How to Make a Small Dining Room Look Bigger with Mirrors

Hey friends! Welcome back to another edition of Home Décor Chat. As you know, I’m Angela, your friendly neighborhood decor blogger. I live in a cute but cozy 1910s bungalow, so I always look for tips to maximize my interior space. Today, we’re tackling a common decor dilemma – making a small dining room look bigger!

I have some super clever mirror tricks to expand your dining space visually. We all know the power of mirrors to create the illusion of more room, but it’s about way more than just hanging any old mirror on the wall. You’ve got to be strategic and creative to get the best effect! From perfectly placed panes to proper proportions, I’ll share my insider secrets for picking and arranging mirrors perfectly.

Let’s dive in and reflect on how to reflect light and views to make your tiny dining area look twice as big!

Why Use Mirrors in a Small Dining Room?

small dining room mirror ideas

Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s quickly chat about why mirrors are so magical at maximizing small square footage. Here are some of their space-enhancing superpowers:

  • Depth Perception: Mirrors create the illusion of depth and dimension by reflecting views of the existing room. It’s like peering through a virtual window into an “identical” space.
  • Bounces Light: Well-placed mirrors can flood a dark, cramped dining room with light. The reflective surface bounces and amplifies natural light from windows and fixtures.
  • Expands Views: Mirrored walls give the illusion of more physical space by reflecting furnishings and architectural details. It visibly expands the boundaries of the room.
  • Brightens and Opens: The light-enhancing and view-expanding qualities make the space more open, airy, and bright.

So, by harnessing these mystical mirror properties, we can completely transform the look and feel of a small dining space! Now, let’s dive into my step-by-step guide to picking and placing mirrors for maximum magic.

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Choosing Mirrors for a Small Dining Room

When selecting mirrors to enhance a petite dining room, you must consider size, style, and shape. It’s about picking the perfect pane for the space! Here are my top tips:

Size Matters

  • Consider room proportions – don’t overwhelm the space!
  • Floor-length mirrors visually expand vertical space
  • Horizontal mirrors reflect more of the room’s width
  • Place larger mirrors opposite windows and doors

The size of your mirror will directly impact how much of the dining room it reflects. Be thoughtful about proportions to find the sweet spot between supersizing and downsizing.

Floor-length mirrors running vertically can make ceilings appear taller, while wide horizontal mirrors reflect more of the room’s width. They expand the space in different dimensions.

For maximum impact, hang larger mirrors directly opposite windows, doors, or other openings in the room. The reflection will make these access points appear doubled!

How Mirrors Can Brighten Your Space

Style for Visual Interest

  • Complement your existing decor – don’t clash!
  • Simple, clean-lined frames keep focus on the reflection
  • Ornate frames become striking focal points
  • Match metal finishes for a cohesive look

When selecting a mirror style, choose something that suits your overall decor scheme. Super ornate antique mirror frames can look distracting and disrupt the visual flow in a contemporary space (and vice versa).

A showstopping frame can become a bold focal point in the right setting. Just be sure it complements the other finishes and furnishings. Matching metal tones (like silver, gold, and bronze) creates excellent continuity.

Clean-lined, simple frames keep the focus on the mirror’s magical reflections. There’s no need to compete for attention in a small space!

Strategic Shape and Placement

  • Round mirrors soften hard corners and edges
  • Rectangular mirrors expand views left and right
  • Place at angles to reflect more of the room
  • Reposition moveable mirrors as needed!

In addition to size and style, placement and shape are critical. Soft, rounded mirrors help diminish harsh corners, opening up traffic flow. Horizontal rectangular mirrors reflect more of the room’s width when placed on side walls.

And don’t be afraid to get creative with angles! Tilting a mirror away from the wall doubles its reflective power. Reposition movable standing mirrors as needed to direct reflections.

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Experiment with different shapes and placements until you find the most magical arrangement for visually expanding your small dining space!

Create Visual Interest with Mirrors of Different Shapes and Sizes 

Hanging Mirrors – Installation Tips

Once you’ve selected the perfect mirrors to give your tiny dining area a spacious makeover, hanging them up is time for the fun part! Here are my tried and true installation tips:

  • Recruit a helper for large, heavy mirrors
  • Use anchors for secure wall attachment
  • Hang mirrors at standing eye level
  • Use levels, spacers & pencil marks
  • Lightly twist mirrors when aligning
  • Check for tipping risk & add security

The first rule of hanging heavy mirrors is to leave it alone. Recruit a friend or family member to help lift and position, preventing injury or damage. Safety first!

Use proper wall anchors and hanging hardware to support the mirror’s weight securely. I prefer monkey hook anchors for drywall. Hammer them in with a level to double-check for straightness.

The ideal mirror height is around 60 inches from the floor to the mirror’s bottom edge. This positions reflections at average standing eye level. Mark pencil guidelines before hammering in hooks.

Here’s a handy hanging trick – when aligning the mirror to the hooks, lightly twist the mirror to fit rather than trying to reposition the pins. Much easier finesse!

And for any top-heavy mirrors, add an extra security line at the base to prevent tipping mishaps. Better safe than shattered!

Don't Let a Small Dining Room Hold You Back Hang a Mirror

Maximizing Mirrored Magic in a Small Dining Room

Okay, let’s combine everything we’ve covered into a reflective action plan! Follow these steps to maximize the magical space-enhancing power of mirrors in your petite dining space:

  • Clean & Repair – Make sure existing mirrors shine by gently cleaning and removing damaged sections. A well-maintained reflective surface has the most visual impact.
  • Evaluate Space – Assess the room’s current layout, proportions, furnishings, and problem spots needing the illusion of expansion. This informs optimal mirror size and placement.
  • Select Mirrors – Shop for mirrors suited to your space in size, shape, and style. Remember, it’s about balance and blending with your existing decor.
  • Strategize Layout – Map out where mirrors can make the most significant difference, like drawing the eye to window views or optically expanding tight corners.
  • Prep Walls – Clear the installation areas and patch/paint walls as needed. Use pencil guides to mark the ideal height before hanging mirrors.
  • Recruit Help – For large mirrors, get an assistant to help lift, hold, and secure the wall hooks or anchors. Safety first!
  • Double Check – Confirm mirrors are straight, adequately secured, and not tipping forward once hung. Stand back and enjoy the new spacious views!
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Mirrors can work magic in your small dining room with the right tricks! And no sorcery is required – just thoughtful planning and placement.

Let me know if you have any other small space dilemmas that need solving! I’m always here to help you love your home.

Does a mirror look good in a dining room

Quick Mirror Q&A

While writing this post, I crowdsourced your brilliant mirror questions on Instagram. Here are lightning round answers to your inquiries:

Q: What are the best mirrors for a narrow dining space?

A: Long horizontal mirrors hung on the narrow end walls are ideal. They’ll reflect light across the entire length of the space and expand those side views.

Q: Is it possible to use too many mirrors and make a small dining room seem cramped?

A: Absolutely! Be judicious in your mirror placement. Use just enough to enlarge the space, but not so many that they create a funhouse effect. I’d say 1-2 well-positioned mirrors are plenty.

Q: Should all the mirrors in a small dining room match?

A: Matching can look great, but it’s not mandatory. Having two contrasting mirror styles can be lovely, too. Just be sure they work together aesthetically or have unifying elements like framing. Don’t let it become a hodgepodge!

Are mirrors good for small spaces

Q: What’s the best height to hang a dining room mirror?

A: I recommend hanging the mirror’s bottom edge around 60 inches high. This positions the reflection at average standing eye level. Mark a guideline in pencil before hammering in hooks!

Q: How do I make a mirror the focal point over a dining room buffet or sideboard?

A: Such a gorgeous idea! Centering an eye-catching statement mirror right over the buffet draws the eye. Add dramatic lighting like sconces or chandeliers. Style decoratively with art objects around it!

Thanks for the fantastic Qs! Drop more mirror inquiries below, and I’ll keep this helpful convo going.