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When you should (and absolutely shouldn’t) have an entryway mirror

Your entryway is the first impression guests have of the interior of your home, and you don’t want it to feel dark and cramped. The easiest solution? Invest in an entryway mirror. Mirrors are one of the best hacks in a homeowner’s design kit since they reflect light and automatically make a space feel more open. Plus, from vintage-looking pieces to modern displays, you’re sure to find an entryway mirror that suits your personality and aesthetic.

But, sometimes, an entryway mirror isn’t the best idea. Find out when you should hang one, and when you should find your mirror another home.

Woman welcoming friends at front door
Courtneyk/Getty Images

Why you should have an entryway mirror

There are plenty of great reasons to get a mirror for your entryway that go beyond just filling that blank space on your wall.

Reflect the light

Mirrors are an excellent way to bring light into your home. If your entryway is directly across from a window or other natural light source, a mirror can multiply that light and make your entryway feel more expansive. Even without the light source, mirrors can help create the illusion of space.

Without light to reflect in the mirror, however, you may lose some of the effects. If you have pretty lights nearby that can also help reflect light, this can work in a pinch. Consider your light sources and think about how that light will make your space feel. Reflecting an efficient fluorescent light might have the opposite effect of what you intend.

Reflect your favorite things

Mirrors will add depth to your entryway, but consider what you’re reflecting back to your guests. If the mirror highlights architectural details that your guests may otherwise miss, it’s a good design choice. If your mirror is reflecting a feature that you don’t like, you’re going to dislike that mirror doubly.

Mirrors are wonderful for doubling up on the areas of your home that you love. If your entry is filled with beautiful natural light and gorgeous molding features, a mirror will offer you double those things.

Make a statement

A single big mirror can draw the eye up and provide the illusion of more space. Your entryway mirror should be front and center, with a few smaller decorations next to it that will busy up your area. However, you want to ensure that your mirror isn’t hanging too high.

Get a mirror that’s big enough to stretch up the wall, but still has the bottom of the frame around 48 inches from the floor. Also, match the width of the mirror to the table you have in your entryway or to around three-fourths of the wall space if you don’t have furniture.

If you can’t find a suitable mirror to match those dimensions, it’s best to wait or to find an alternative. And if you aren’t sure, try having someone hold the mirror in a few different positions to see how you feel when you walk into your entryway.

Mirrors are functional

A mirror in the entryway gives you one last look before you’re out the door. Want to check how your outfit looks or to make sure your hair is styled exactly as you’d like it? An entryway mirror is perfect for that.

A mirror can also add some security to your home — after all, there’s a reason stores use them for that purpose. While it’s not likely an intruder will enter your home, having more reflective surfaces in the space gives you a better view of your whole home.

entryway with mirror

Things to avoid (potentially)

There are a few reasons you may want to avoid hanging a mirror in your entryway:

Improper feng shui

Should you hang a mirror in front of the door? If you follow the principles of feng shui, you may want to reconsider the entryway mirror. Hanging a mirror opposite the front door can rob you of money and opportunity, causing you to work harder for what you have, according to feng shui. However, you should consult a feng shui expert for your particular space and its energy needs. If you aren’t a follower of feng shui but want to be better safe than sorry, you might try it for a set period of time to see how the energy feels.

Here are a few simple ways to adhere to the principles of feng shui:

  • Relocate the mirror to another area of your house.
  • Move the mirror so it isn’t in line with the door and reflecting the view of the door.
  • If the mirror can’t come down, use fabric and other design elements to cover the mirror.
  • If the mirror doesn’t work anywhere else in your home, consider donating or selling it.

Unwelcome reflections

Once again, if your mirror is only reflecting design features that you don’t like, hanging a mirror isn’t going to help you feel any better about the space. Wait until you’ve made the changes you want in your home’s decor or choose another statement piece to lift the design of the entry.

No wall stability

Mirrors are heavy, and the last thing you need is for your mirror to come crashing down on your guests at the front door. If your entryway doesn’t have the studs to stabilize a heavy mirror, you might reconsider your choice of decor.

One way to stabilize a mirror is to rest the bottom of it on a table, helping hold the bulk of the weight. Invest in sinkers that expand throughout the drywall for better grip, or skip the heavy frame and use L-hooks to hold the mirror.

Home entryway with desk, mirror, and coat rack

Customizing your space with a mirror

A well-placed mirror can double your natural light and help your entryway feel bigger than it actually is. With the right placement and use of reflection, your entryway mirror could help your guests walk into an encouraging space and make you excited each time you walk through your door. Play with dimensions and placement until it’s just right.

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