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The Interior Design Rule of Mirrors as Sources of Light in the Home

In an interior design workshop I took years ago, one of the  interior design rules I came away with was there should be 7 sources of light in a room  including lamps,  art with glass, windows and especially mirrors. Also,  if your mirror isn’t reflecting something pleasing to look at when you look into it, then you either have to change what it’s reflection or where the mirror is…In fact the instructor said the number one mistake is to put a mirror on a fireplace mantle because it only reflects a blank ceiling or ceiling fan.  I don’t know if I agree with that 100 %, and I don’t hold hard and fast to that now that I design rooms for people myself, especially if it’s a source of light. With that in mind,  I thought would see if I passed the test from some old and new pictures from my home  with  the interior design rule of mirrors as sources of light in the home.
Living room with smoke bush clippings in vintage vases on mantel

Right off the bat, I know I am breaking the mirror over the fireplace rule, but I think sometimes design rules are meant to be broken. I mean, I like a mirror over my fireplace, and I do think it reflects light to make it brighter. Especially now with my darker walls. In fact, mirrors are an amazing source of light to brighten a small space.
Black wall living room with wood fireplace surround and plants
I love having this vintage art piece above the newly stripped fireplace, but I will admit, it’s not as reflective even though  the glass does bounce some light. Did you know mirrors don’t have to be pricey? You can see how I created a dramatic mirror from the dollar store here.

sitting are with lamp, mirror and couch

In this old of my living room circa 2009,  I have a source of light, a lamp, next to another source of light, a mirror. I have to say double points for that vignette.

Open split level living room to dining room area

My dining area has come a long way since this picture, but even the glass on the hutch can count a source of light, as does the glass in the transom, so I nailed this one too.

Split leve dining room with vintage MCM furniture and a gold chandelier with a hutch decorated for Christmas

This pic is a little more current from the holidays.  There’s lots of sources of light in this room. For having a huge sliding door, it’s actually not that bright in here because it’s all western exposure.
Dining area with green wall vintage art and a plaster look vase and candle and plants with a thrift store vase painted to look like plaster
That means it’s bright for about 2-3 hours in he morning and by 11 am, dark all day. The mirror on the wall certainly helps brighten it up. I noticed a huge difference when I moved this vintage art from over the fireplace to the wall. It just wasn’t  as bright.

Dark dresser with lmap, books, vintage number plate and mirror

Here is another vintage living room image. I think pairing mirrors and lamps always make for a brighter room, especially at night. This wall has come a really long way from 2009! We were super into numbers back then. Numbers and French stuff.

Olive tree as in indoor house plant

It’s hard to believe this is the same wall I can’t believe how my style has changed! Do you use mirrors in your home as sources of light in your rooms? What do you think about the interior design rule of mirrors as sources of light in the home?

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