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Mirrors are Better Than Art… Caitlin’s CONTROVERSIAL Hot Take (And 81 of Our New Favorites)

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If you’re a design blog reader, I’m sure you’ve heard the standard spiel for mirrors — they make a room look bigger. They bounce light around. They can trick the eye. They add style. ETCETERA ETCETERA. You get it. But today, I’m here with a new, quarantine-inspired argument for mirrors. I’m about to make a bold statement, so get ready: if you’re designing a space and you love to switch things up, mirrors may be a better investment than art. (At least to start.)

I KNOW. That’s a big claim. And I’m not like Narcissus over here, or trying to create my own personal Versailles, or building my own DIY infinity room…but y’all, mirrors are like the dress of the decor world. They’re one and done. A mirror makes your space look like you’ve put a ton of effort in, when in reality, you’ve just hung one thing. Say goodbye to your gallery wall stress! Just put a mirror there. It’s easy! Wanna get really fancy? Two mirrors!

Let me sing some more praises: A few years back, I bought *the* round Target mirror (does everyone own this, or does it just feel that way?) and it’s since hung everywhere in my home — in my living room, in the space next to my front door, in my hallway, in my bedroom…the list goes on. It’s a WORKHORSE. And since it’s reflective (breaking science news: mirrors reflect!), it always looks good. I never have to worry about colors clashing or about art just seeming a little ~off~. 

I feel the same way about my full-length mirror — I’ve hung it horizontally over a sofa, used it on a north-facing wall to reflect my afternoon sun in my living room, and propped it up in my bedroom to help me get ready in the morning. Here’s the reality: when it comes to flexibility and bang for your buck, mirrors are just a more cost-efficient option. Even the most expensive floor mirrors are often cheaper than *just the frame* of a similarly-sized art piece! ARE YOU STARTING TO AGREE?

Julie’s bedroom and Jess’ entry are perfect examples. Both spaces called for something a bit larger, but a big piece of art in either of these spots would have overwhelmed that room and fallen a bit flat. Sure, these mirrors are bouncing light around — both are across from windows — but more importantly, they’re also sculptural and interesting. IT’S BETTER THAN ART, Y’ALL. And you know what else? Both these mirrors will continue to look good, wherever they are placed, FOREVER. That’s a worthwhile investment in my book! ARE YOU FULLY CONVERTED NOW?

Hopefully, the answer is yes because I’ve rounded up a ton of our new favorite wall, floor, and mantel mirrors. We have ones for every budget and price point so you’re guaranteed to find something that works for your space! I looked at about one million mirrors for this post (and then Jess helped me vet about a million more), so I can pretty definitively say that this is the best roundup of good-looking mirrors for good-looking people out there.

Emily Henderson Parachute Bathroom3
photos by sara ligorria-tramp | from: scott’s bathroom makeover with parachute

And while I’m personally rocking Target and Ikea in my home, the more expensive options included are actually thicker or made from a better grade of glass which means that they’ll last longer, won’t make you look wonky, and they’ll still reflect evenly when hung on uneven walls (because, as I learned, sometimes it’s not the mirror that’s the problem — it’s where you hang it!).

We’ve arranged by shape (and one by type) but keep in mind that there’s a ton of flexibility here! Hang a pair of two next to each other over your vanity instead of a big builder-grade option. Flip a floor-length mirror on its side and hang horizontally in a hallway. Throw up a million mirrors so your room looks like an Instagram exhibit. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. Let’s kick it off with the classic rectangle, yeah?

PS. At the time I’m linking these up, A WHOLE BUNCH are on sale — like, 20-40% off (the prices on the roundup are full price, so a lot will be cheaper if you click through). Apparently this is a good weekend for mirror shopping. What lucky timing for me! And maybe for you?

1. Rectangular Mirror with Rounded Corners | 2. Kai Mirror | 3. Metal Beveled Venetian Wall Mirror | 4. Bar Harbor Bone Inlay Mirror | 5. Horizontal Yaquina Mirror | 6. Vintage Brass Mirror | 7. Ruban Mirror Rectangle |8. Rounded Rectangle Framed Mirror | 9. Studio McGee Mirror

There’s a great customer shot on the Target site of #1 being used as a vanity mirror, but I’m really partial to #6, which is vintage and nearly 4′ tall. It’s a perfect statement piece for an entry or powder room!

1. Arc Mirror | 2. Glen Ellen Mantel Mirror | 3. Conner Entryway Mirror with Hooks | 4. Tulca Mirror | 5. Over the Mantel Mirror | 6. Half Round Mirror with Shelf | 7. Daisy Black Metal Wall Mirror | 8. Arch Shaped Mirror | 9. Arched Mantel Metal Framed Mirror

The classic arch. Most of these are perfect for mantels (you can see #9 in action in Sara’s house!), but there’s something to be said for the storage options like #3 and #6, which can pull double-duty in a small entry space. Also, can you spot #8 in this shoot?

1. Hub Floor Mirror | 2. Grace Bone Inlay Floor Mirror |3. Yosemite Falls Floor Mirror | 4. Wood Wall Leaner Mirror | 5. Walnut Acorn Mirror | 6. Tall Wall Mirror | 7. Wood Leaner Mirror With Live Edge | 8. Georg Mirror | 9. Nissedal Mirror | 10. Leni Leaning Mirror | 11. Hovet Mirror | 12. Safi Floor Mirror | 13. Salvaged Door Mirror | 14. Gleaming Primrose Mirror |15. Penarth Walnut Floor Mirror | 16. Bogart Oval Floor Mirror | 17. Deco Oversized Mirror |18. Folded Ellipse Standing Mirror | 19. Hovet Mirror | 20. Floor Mirror | 21. Obregon Beveled Accent Mirror | 22. Paul McCobb Wall Mirror | 23. Temescal White Oak Floor Mirror | 24. Narrow Full Length Metal Mirror

We’ve hit the true motherlode here, folks. My hands-down favorite here is #17 — it’s oversized (almost 4′ wide!) and perfect for the problem corner in my living room. I also love the super modern and organic shape of #12! And #1, #10, #20, and #22 are perfect for bringing a little extra style-able storage to your bedroom.

1. Round Decorative Wall Mirror | 2. Embroidered Fringe Mirror | 3. Lucrezia Accent Mirror | 4. Mira Mirror |5. Amber Circum Mirror | 6. Black Bamboo Flower Mirror | 7. Cuzcaja Round Mirror | 8. Rockton Modern Mirror | 9. Eclisse Double Mirror | 10. Groovy Velvet Mirror | 11. Large Ella Mirror | 12. Wall Mirror | 13. Brass Handcrafted Mirror | 14. Round Metal Framed Mirror | 15. Fabric Wrapped Mirror

Round mirrors are a timeless classic — they look great in every room. The leather hang detail on #3 is so special (and potentially DIY-able, for my crafty pals out there!) and I’m really taken with the amber tint of #5. #8 is also ENORMOUS and a great deal for its size.

1. Bangles Mirror | 2. Capsule Framed Wall Mirror | 3. Rogue Small Oval Mirror | 4. Angui Mirror | 5. Oval Acrylic Mirror | 6. Poise Mirror | 7. Lindbyn Mirror | 8. Narrow Tall Wall Mirror | 9. Stamped Metal Mirror

Y’ALL. Pill-shaped mirrors are SO MODERN and wonderful. Be sure to check the dimensions on some of these, as they can pull double-duty as a full-body mirror (looking at you, #7). The Peruvian artist behind #8 also has a ton of options and shapes available!

1. Woven Mirror Artwork | 2. Scalloped Wall Mirror | 3. Round Gold Mirror | 4. Oval Evan Mirror | 5. Rise & Shine Wall Mirror | 6. Tufa Wall Mirror | 7. Pinched Rounded Corner Mirror | 8. Kacey Monogram Wall Mirror | 9. Teardrop Gold Mirror | 10. Leslie Beveled Wall Mirror | 11. Brass & Lucite Shield | 12. Saylor Wall Mirror | 13. Suva Rough Cast Mirror | 14. Abate Slatted Mirror | 15. Pond Mirror

My favorite section! I’ve written about my love of #1 before and nothing’s changed. It’s so versatile! I’m obsessed with the scallops on #2 (especially when hung horizontally) and so delighted that #5 is basically the mirror equivalent of a bolo tie. I also have to call out #13, which is aluminum but almost looks like plaster (worth a zoom in!) and #15, which was the impetus behind writing an entire post about mirrors.

AND OKAY, HIT THE BRAKES. We’re done here. WOW. That’s a whole lotta glass and a whole lotta links, right? With all this said, when it comes to mirrors, it’s always worth checking Craigslist, your local thrift store, or your nearby flea market (if any of those are an option for you right now). You can find some really special vintage pieces at really special prices!

But in the interim, did I miss any favorites? Have I convinced you to swap out some art for a mirror? (You’re the real work of art, anyway!) (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to hit on the readers in our posts but I’m giving it a shot.) HAPPY FRIDAY. Can’t wait to chat with ya 🙂

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Geneieve Garruppo | From: A 120 year old Barn Makeover with The Frame TV 

Fin Mark

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Can’t be more agree! Thank you for sharing! Love your picks!

Millie

FYI, clicked on a couple of links that took me to the wrong mirror. #1 in the last group and #13 in the round group.

Ev

We bought the studio mcgee for target rectangular mirror (#9) for a vanity mirror and its huge for the price and really nice in person!

Renee

Love all the picks! Thank you!

Margaret

One thing seriously wrong with mirrors: they reflect ME. I don’t need that. I’ve seriously considered removing the one over the bathroom sink.

Herselfindublin

I’m also a huge fan of mirrors, but it’s worth remembering that you also need to give them something good to reflect – a nice picture or some plants, not a pile of laundry or that stack of unpaid bills on your shelf!

Meredith

Mirrors are great….but don’t forget that artists are struggling right now like a lot of people. We should be encouraging people to buy art from local artists right now, not replacing art with something from a big box store.

SB

I have to agree here–why can’t it be a post about mirrors, instead of HOT TAKE: MIRRORS VS ART? Sometimes you need a mirror, sometimes you need art; advocating broadly for replacing art with mirrors vastly oversimplifies how selecting things for your walls actually works, and is frankly kinda rude to artists.
And mirrors are a better investment? WHAT? You buy a mirror, you’d be lucky to get your money back when you go to resell. There’s an entire industry based on art’s ability to appreciate in value.
Focus on pretty things, and don’t worry about making them a hot take.

Lee

Oh for god’s sake. Must you SJWs turn EVERYTHING into a cause? Even mirrors?

What a a bunch of sanctimonious, humorless toads you are. … Or maybe I should apologize to toads?

Beth Cote

I actually think that there is room for both. As someone who has collected art through lean and fat times, good art is an investment. Mirrors, not so much. Mirrors will go in and out of style, etc. Good art should not go in and out of style. Good art should not always match your sofa. Sure put mirrors on your walls and maybe less inexpensive mirrors, then save that money for some good original art.

Shari

Hey Caitlin! Great roundup. Heads up that for the full length mirror section #11 and #19 link to the same mirror

MK

THANK YOU, for sharing. I just started my search for mirrors. This is so helpful to me. I LOVE these posts.

Rusty

Super round up!!! Yet a glaring omission IMHO.

You know the commitment to promoting POC and their businesses and products?

Well, Jungalow (Justina Blakeney) has such way cool mirrors and she’s a friend of Emily’s buuuut, you guys aren’t promoting her amazing products???
She has a really wide range of mirrors, but not one shown here?
I can’t even buy one coz I’m in Australia and they don’t ship mirrors, because … glass. But most of everyone else is in theUSand can buy them
Is therean answer to this question? I’m sittin’ here pretty confused about the matter. 🤔

Absolutely no offense intended. I really think it’s a quality post.

Emily

#3 and #9 in the fun shaped mirror section are by Jungalow.

Rusty

Thank you for pointing that out! 😉

Meghan

In short: no, I don’t agree. I’m normally on board with EHD trying to push the envelope in terms of how we approach and think about design, but this one falls really flat to me. Artists are already struggling enough to make ends meet during a pandemic, and I think it’s really insensitive to put their hard work in opposition to mass-produced mirrors.

I love the mirrors you’ve rounded up; I just think you really missed the mark by making it an art vs mirrors talking point when the same roundup could have been posted without nullifying the contributions of artists.

Jessica

Agreed. This post feels really shallow in its clickbait-y title.

The whole notion of art as an “investment” (in this post and beyond) is flawed–I buy art because I want to be surrounded by beauty and thoughtfulness, not because I want to feel like I got a good deal on something. We should look at, appreciate, and purchase art because it moves us, not because it matches our color palette or fills a certain space on a wall.

Mk

Art as an investment is flawed??
Yes, you can purchase a piece of art for its beauty and have it appreciate as an investment. I certainly have thought about beauty and appreciation on some of my pieces.
I am sure those individuals who purchased a Matisse, Picasso and other artists work were not necessarily thinking $ signs.
Yes, sometimes a lovely mirror turns out to be a better investment for a particular room than a piece of art.
Some are taking this Headline a little too seriously. Look for the grey in the topic.

Celi

Round Mirror #15 looks like it has part of a pool noodle on it, heh…

Susannah

Really? Resorting to click bait. Where’s the EHD integrity I associate with the site.

Headline: Mirrors are Better Than Art

First paragraph: “mirrors may be a better investment than art”

Big, big difference.

Y’all should be ashamed.

Andrea

“Y’all should be ashamed.” Those are harsh words for the situation. No need.

Susannah

Wow, your sensibilities are awfully delicate if you found that harsh.

Lee

Oh look, another sanctimonious humorless toad!

That you can get “angry” over a post on mirrors says more about you than about this site. Here’s what it says (in case you need help figuring it out): judgmental, rude, petty, sanctimonious, preachy, boring.

shauna

Looking at pictures of people’s photos of mirrors they are selling on craigslist and FB marketplace is one small bit of comedy I do enjoy. Its near impossible!

j

ME TOO!!!!

P

Another good full length mirror is the Beau from Article.

Nancy

Hi – know we’re talking mirrors today (love the subject), but I’d also love sourcing info for the amazing chairs in the main photo!

Thank you,
Nancy

Katie

A really great follow post that I would LOVE is rules/best practices for vanity mirrors in bathrooms + a roundup. My husband and I are building a house right now and I cannot find something I love for the double vanity mirror in the owners bathroom.

One more suggestion – I really love the roundups and the way you do them a lot (especially the graphic with the source and price right by the pictures), but it would be so much more useful if the products were sorted by price. 🙂

Angelika

I ended up with three mirrors in my small u-shaped hallway … a teak one and an etched one I inherited and one in an ornate gilded frame I found at a flea market.
They are so vastly different from each other that it works.
I swear, I’m not vain – I just couldn’t pass on these looking glasses!

Patti

As a huge mirror aficionado I would like to add a forgotten category – convex! These are simply a joy to own and reflect amazing panoramic room or exterior views. Check out the massive one by Mitchell Gold! That’s a work of art!

Aminah

“if you’re designing a space and you love to switch things up, mirrors may be a better investment than art. (At least to start.)” Emphasis on “at least to start”. People don’t need to take everything so serious all. The. Time. I find this post great because yes. Most of the time a mirror is cheaper than a similarly sized piece of art. And sometimes you only have a small budget but are trying to get the maximum effect. Enter mirrors. Nowhere does she say that we should all stop supporting artists. People will always be buying art, but for me at this stage in life I just can’t afford to buy the large impactful art pieces I would LOVE to own. Maybe fifteen years down the road, once the mortgage is paid off and the kids are off to college. But right now, reading a round up post about mirrors (all which this really is, not some underlying message abou5 boycotting all struggling artists) makes me hopeful that I can make my house look a little more special without spending 700 bucks on one big piece of art. We get it. Everyone is struggling right now in some way… Read more »

If anyone else is loving that mustard yellow velvet one but it’s sold out on Effortless Composition, just a heads-up that Home Depot also stocks it. https://www.homedepot.com/p/3R-Studios-Round-Mustard-Yellow-Velvet-Framed-Decorative-Wall-Mirror-DF2205/311362664

Kate

Ah, roundups are like Christmas. But I’m cursed: somehow every time I FINALLY decide to fall in love with something…. it’s sold out. The lamest low-key superpower. The heart wants when it wants? That sweet little inlaid number that looks so pretty on Emily’s piano (#8 under Arched) isn’t shipping anymore. My luck.

kc

it’s capsule not pill shaped mirror. Pills are round, capules are….well, they’re shaped like capusles!

Eli

Love the round up! And this is so helpful as I have been searching and searching for mirrors for my master bath and entryway. Thank you!

PS: Just an FYI, the #15 Burke Decor mirror shown under “Fun Shapes” is actually $365. Their small round-shaped mirror apparently is the one that is $179 (In case that helps anyone!).

Heidi

The idea to hang a full-length mirror HORIZONTALLY is pure genius. My dining room wall might be perfect for this – Thank you!!

Christy

Mirrors are the best. My husband says we have “too many,” whatever that means. When I was younger and broker I realized they are so much less expensive than art when it comes to filling a wall and making rooms look more finished

Nicole

Thanks for the round up! I’m curious about rules around mirrors. Can a large mirror be part of a gallery wall? I have a very long wall in my living room and am thinking to hang a mirror along with artwork in smaller frames. Thoughts?

Aub

I love these round-ups! As a new home owner, who finds interior design a challenge, they have been super helpful. Thank you for putting them together and please keep them coming!

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