Do Mirrors Actually Make Small Spaces Seem Bigger? We Asked An Interior Designer

Welcome to The Shoebox, Refinery29's small space advice column. With the help of Homepolish interior designer Emma Beryl, we'll tackle all your cramped living woes — from where to store your stuff to how to make 500 square feet feel as open and unique as you are.
Question: Do mirrors actually make spaces feel bigger? If so, is there a strategy to making this trick work?
Emma's Response: Have you ever walked into a restaurant thinking there’s another room towards the back but it’s actually just a reflection of the room that you're in? That's the mirror trick working to make your eye think that a space is twice as large as it actually is.
Advertisement
There are a few ways to maximise the effects of the mirror trick. First, find a focal point and angle your mirror in that direction to create the illusion of depth. It's important to consider what the mirror is reflecting, point it towards something you want to see two of.
You can also place your mirror near a window to reflect the natural light or place it near a chandelier/statement light fixture to reflect the artificial light for a more formal look. Reflecting light will make a space feel brighter which in turn makes it feel airier and larger.
Don’t be afraid to go large with the mirror you select, the larger the mirror the larger the reflection which is what makes the space appear bigger. Finally, remember to hang up your mirror at eye level to maximise the visibility of the reflection.
Advertisement

More from Home

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Fashion
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
Beauty
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Travel
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.