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Mirror Mirror on the Wall: How to Choose Mirrors for Your Farmhouse

In original farmhouses, mirrors were pretty rare. Most people were lucky to even catch a glimpse of themselves in a reflective glass or piece of dishware. Rarely were mirrors displayed on a wall, certainly not in the way we hang mirrors everywhere nowadays. The fact that we have slowly changed from a culture of character to a culture of personality perhaps has something to do with this, no?

Regardless, mirrors perform many functions in design outside of just looking at oneself. Use one to highlight what’s already in your space, or place it to reflect your favorite wall in the house. You can also use a mirror to open the room or add a little light. Mirrors can be as eye-catching as a piece of artwork. And remember, the frame is as important as the actual mirror itself.

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Let’s explore what kind of mirrors work best in a farmhouse!

If you’re going for authentic old, original farmhouse style, you’re going to be heading to your nearest antique store or online estate sale auction. Look for a simple mirror that has some patina in the glass. Most old farmhouse mirror frames were made from wood in a practical and non-decorative style. If a home had a mirror, it was typically on the smaller side and often hung above a small dresser.

But if you want to play around with the more contemporary farmhouse mirror style, there are many options! Let’s list a few that could work in a more modern or updated farmhouse.

The Mirror Behind the Door – It’s true; we all want to make sure we look good before we walk out of the house, even if it’s just a quick peek to make sure the teeth are free of Everything Bagel seasoning residue, etc. If your entryway is too small for a full entry console with a mirror above it, a mid-sized round mirror hung on the wall in which the entryway door opens is not only practical but fills that typically blah space with some visual appeal. Because the glass will reflect what’s in front of it (in my case, it’s a wall of hooks with winter coats hanging from them), this is an area where a more artsy mirror might give a little needed pop.

Size Matters – The mirror width needs to be smaller than the piece of furniture below it. Just figure that your mirror needs to be about two-thirds the length of the furniture beneath it. Let’s say you have a 9-foot console or sofa, then the mirror should be six feet across.

Small Mirrors – Small mirrors can look lost and lonely when hung by themselves on a more oversized wall. Don’t do this! At the very least, flank them with sconces or artwork. Even better is to create a gallery wall of artwork and include the small mirror (as long as it has a nice somewhat decorative frame) within the gallery.

Create Style Balance – Visually, an ornate mirror hung above an equally busy console is going to be overkill. I have a beautiful antique dresser in my foyer, but I hung a large but simple wood mirror above it. Alternatively, if you have a beautiful but simple mid-century piece, a more artsy or colorful framed mirror would be a stunner.

Above the Sofa – Sometimes, figuring out what to put above the sofa is mind-boggling. A gallery wall? A big piece of art? A sizeable gorgeous mirror is perfect for this spot a lot of the time. The mirror will typically not only reflect something lovely like a hearth but can also provide a sense of expansiveness and light.

Custom Mirror – I once found a beautiful frame just propped up against some garbage cans on the side of the road with a sign on it that read “FREE.” I braked fast and had that thing in my trunk in no time. I knew immediately what I was going to do with it. I’d been looking for the perfect mirror for a spot next to our fireplace for what felt like years. This abandoned frame had more likely than not housed a piece of artwork at one time, but I had other plans for it. With the help of our local hardware store, I cut a piece of glass for it and then painted the back of the glass with mirror paint (an easy way to create a mirror). A friend then helped me fit the glass into the frame, and I had the absolute perfect mirror for the spot next to the fireplace!

I hope these ideas inspired you to decorate with mirrors! Share your mirror reflections in the comments below.

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