Like dishwashers and toaster ovens, the floor length mirror is often grouped into the camp of necessary decor evils—unsightly yet far too functional to do away with entirely. If you’re among those who’s been inwardly cringing every time you pass your home’s well-intentioned floor mirror, get ready to do a complete 180! Ahead, we’ve rounded up a whole host of ideas on how to stylishly integrate this workhorse into nearly every room in your house, from the bedroom to the living room.
If you’re thinking that a flimsy, plastic-framed floor length mirror has no business in a living room, you’re right. But a massive double-wide floor length mirror encased in an intricately carved wood frame or gold gilded frame? Now, that’s a definite “do.”
Over a Mantle
In a spacious living room (i.e. one with high ceilings and a fireplace), floor mirrors can often be used over a mantle, enhancing ceiling height and adding architectural interest. Trumeau floor mirrors are a traditional choice for these areas, but French-inspired floor mirrors (think gold frames and arched tops embellished with Rococo-like details) are also a common pick.
If you’re more of the mind to make your full length mirror functional rather than purely decorative, try leaning a wall mirror against an empty wall in your living room. Generally, a casual lean is preferable to hanging a floor mirror at this lower height on the wall, which can sometimes feel a touch out of place in a living room. An artfully-leaned mirror imparts a sense of natural, come-undone elegance. Layering a leaning floor mirror with a bench or case piece in front also helps to make the scene feel intentional rather than like you’re temporarily using your living room for mirror storage.
If a leaning full length mirror has you wondering “How do in the world do I keep my floor mirror from falling down?” the answer is simple: wall anchors and anchor cable. Get the world’s easiest tutorial here.
When you consider how often restaurants and bars utilize mirrors in their design (they’re ideal for multiplying the effects of candlelight and upping the ambiance), why not try a full length mirror in a dining room? Not only will your guests be spared any awkward using-the-back-of-a-spoon-as-a-mirror moments, but a full length mirror is a great way to make any dining room feel a bit more sophisticated.
At the Head of the Table
If you have a boxy dining room that lacks architectural interest, hang a full length mirror behind one of your dining table’s end chairs to designate that as the official “head” of the table. In addition to creating a focal point around which the entire room can orbit, a mirror parked here will help lend dimension to an otherwise flat space.
Behind a Credenza
Not sure you’re down to dine with your mirror image? Hang a floor length mirror horizontal over a buffet or credenza. With an effect that’s similar to a mirror behind a bar or bank of booths in a restaurant, this technique will help elongate your dining room—an especially appealing proposition if your dining room errs on the compact side.
Take horizontally-hung floor length mirrors a step further and hang three mirrors horizontally (one on top of the other) for a cool triptych look. Keep mirror frames simple if going this route, since the arrangement should be doing the talking—not the frames.
If the floor length mirror has a natural habitat, it’s the bedroom. Still, it can be tricky to factor one in, especially when you’re trying to fit it in among other bedroom essentials like a bed, dresser, and nightstands.
On an Easel
One way to make things less of a squeeze is to prop a floor length mirror on an easel and angle it in one of your bedroom’s corners. Not only does this method allow you to make use of a typically under-utilized floor space, but it makes your floor mirror mobile (and who doesn’t want the ability to snag last bits of natural light when pursuing that date night-ready smoky eye?). Not as mobile, but also along the same lines, is a trifold wall mirror.
Attached to Closet Doors
Another option for the space-compromised is affixing full length mirrors to a bedroom’s closet doors—or in the case of a no-closet bedroom, purchasing a wardrobe with mirrored-front doors. One of the main benefits of going this route that you’ll create a wall of mirrors. Every bit as luxurious as it sounds, a wall of mirrors is also an optical illusion, capable of fooling the eye into thinking a room is much larger than it actually is.
Pro Tip: If you love the idea of utilizing closet space for a floor length mirror, but would prefer the mirror not be worn on the outside, try hanging a floor length mirror on the inside door of a vintage or antique wardrobe. Because a mirror tucked away in a wardrobe will be for your eyes only, don’t worry about investing thought in mirror frames or shape. A frameless full length mirror can be attached with simple mirror clips making it easy to remove should you choose to repurpose your wardrobe later down the road.
Close Cousin: Full Wall Mirror
Not just for ballet classes, the full wall mirror takes everything we love about full length mirrors and amps up the drama. Ideal for rooms with low light or a lack of built-in details, wall mirrors can be installed in just about every room, but can feel especially glamorous in a bathroom, bedroom, or dining room. You can also mimic this all in look by using as series of floor length mirrors hung side-by-side, as designer Benjamin Dhong did in his Napa bedroom, pictured above.
A mirrored wall can also take on a whole new tone by having elements layered on top of it. For instance, in a bathroom, a full wall mirror can have sconces drilled in, or have a framed vanity mirror hung over the top to create a playful sense of dimension.
Lead photo by John Merkl