• Mirrors are a Dark Room’s Best Friend

    Maximizing Light With Mirrors + Other Surfaces

    Guest Post by Cathy Habas

    To brighten a dim corner of your home, you can use a simple trick from the days before electricity: put up mirrors.

    mirrors plus natural light

    Better yet, use multiple mirrors. You can strategically place several mirrors on various walls to keep the light bouncing from one to the other.

    The reflective quality of mirrors spreads light around the room, allowing you to maximize the light coming in from a lone window or emanating from a single light fixture. It’s the perfect way to make a room seem bigger than it actually is, and to make the room more comfortable and pleasant.

    Here’s a quick guide on how you can use mirrors or other reflective surfaces in various rooms in your home:

    Entrance halls are the perfect place to install a mirror.

    mirrors for natural light

    There are numerous advantages to installing a mirror in the hall by your front door: mirrors make an impressive, stately decoration all by themselves, enhance the natural light coming in from narrow windows around the door, make the hallway feel bigger and even serve the practical purpose of allowing you to quickly check your appearance one last time before dashing out of the door for work.

    Bathrooms are of course the natural place to have a mirror, but most bathrooms have tiny windows, frosted windows or even no windows at all.

    more light in bathroom

    Natural light makes any space more pleasant, and mirrors make any room look larger. Combine the two to maximize the amount of sunlight streaming into the room and to make a typically cramped space seem extra inviting.

    Replace a small bathroom mirror with one that takes up most of the wall, and complement it with a floor-to-ceiling mirror to double the effect.

    bathroom wall mirror

    If you have a shower with sliding doors, you can install reflective doors, which is perfect if you don’t have much wall space to devote to a mirror.

    add light with glass bathroom doors

    Bedrooms are another logical place to put a mirror. You may already have a mirror as part of a vanity table, or maybe a vertical mirror behind your door helps you assess your outfit each morning.

    mirror for extra bedroom light

    You can take the bedroom mirror to the next level by replacing your closet doors with special mirrored doors, giving the room a substantial increase in spaciousness and light.

    mirrored bedside tables

    Basements often have narrow windows at ground level, and these rooms can seem dull and dreary if not carefully lighted. You can make the most of the interior lights, as well as any natural light from the small windows, by incorporating multiple, modest-sized mirrors into your décor.

    add more light to basement

    Kitchens sometimes have only a sole window located over the sink, since the rest of the wall space is typically occupied by cabinets and appliances. This lack of wall space might also make it impractical to put up a mirror, but fortunately kitchens offer a unique opportunity to play with other reflective surfaces.

    glass cabinets reflect light

    Stainless steel appliances contribute a definite shine to any kitchen. Certain countertop materials, such as granite, are appealing thanks to their clean, sparkling surfaces.

    glass refelcts light

    Using glass panes in your cabinets increases the reflective surface area in your kitchen even more, as do certain wooden floors, tiled floors or backsplashes.

    Maximizing Light Is Not Just About Atmosphere

    As part of an interior design project, maximizing light exposure makes sense in order for a room to seem more spacious or have a more pleasant atmosphere. But did you know that increasing light in a home can make people happier on a biological level?

    Natural light has been proven time and again to be important to our health. Sunlight not only allows our bodies to make vitamin D, but also has positive psychological effects that help us to produce more serotonin and thus combat depression. In fact, light therapy (primarily through the use of special lamps that mimic natural light) is a common preventative measure to help people who are prone to depressive moods.

    All of this is to say that the power of light cannot be overstated enough.

    There’s no need to install a skylight or punch a hole through the wall for an extra window; these are not only expensive solutions, but also impossible for renters to implement. Increasing the amount of light in your home is as simple as buying a few basic mirrors, but you can also incorporate this principle into larger renovations by choosing reflective surfaces when possible, like stainless steel or granite. People have been using mirrors to maximize light since the humble days of candlesticks, and it’s a technique that is still relevant today and can be used in virtually any room in your house.


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