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To Frame or Not to Frame?

bathroom door and wall not frame

Mirrors are a brilliant source of design, adding beauty and interest to any room. They can blend in or stand out, all while reflecting light and opening the space. An essential component of the home, a mirror plays a role in balance, functionality, aesthetics and spaciousness. Carefully curated and properly sized, placed and illuminated, a mirror will make a big difference in your space. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to spruce up any room. The question is, do you want a framed or frameless mirror? The answer is determined by the location in which you wish to place the mirror, the function you require of it and your personal taste. The following is information about framed and frameless mirrors that may help you decide which style is right for you. 

Frameless mirrors:

Frameless mirrors are large sheets of finished mirror glass, custom cut to fit your room. They offer a sleek, modern, minimalist look and contribute to the illusion of space. They provide a more reflective surface than framed mirrors and go well with any aesthetic. Classy and contemporary, they can be used by multiple people at once. Frameless mirrors are easy to clean as they offer little for the dust to cling to. Look for a version with a specially sealed backing and edges in order to stand up to heat and humidity. Also, note clarity and fabrication quality. Use mirror clips or mirror mastic (special glue that leaves no marks) for maximum security and ease of installment. To add interest, choose a mirror with a bevelled edge. Be aware that if a frameless mirror is touched or moved frequently, it’s likely that the edges will chip.

Framed Mirrors:

Framed mirrors are a classic and beloved choice that come in all shapes and sizes; from simple rectangular versions to round elaborately carved designs to angular shapes with painted accents. They add interest, detail and a traditional or polished look. Made of wood, plastic or metal (brushed chrome, brushed nickel, brass), framed mirrors help to coordinate woodwork, stone, ceramic, and glass, bringing together all aesthetic elements and materials. These mirrors create personality and drama in a room. They are a work of art! Installation is simple and reversible so your mirror or frame can be updated or replaced at any time. Be aware that frames require cleaning and they may be susceptible to moisture. As framed mirrors are statement pieces, choose a grand, beautiful framed mirror rather than defaulting to an off-the-shelf, department store option.

Where can I place a framed or frameless mirror?

There are multiple locations in which a framed or frameless mirror can be placed, adding to your home’s balance, beauty and decor. Try putting a mirror in:

  • The bedroom: Positioning a mirror in a bedroom results in an increase in function and beauty. Place it:
    • Above the bed: Placing a mirror above the headboard of your bed draws attention away from the walls and makes your sleeping area more attractive. Just make sure it doesn’t reflect clutter in your room as this can create stress and tension. 
    • Close to the closet: Placing a mirror near your closet creates a dressing area, allowing you to check out your appearance as you select your daily outfit. 
    • In your walk-in closet: If you’re fortunate enough to have a walk-in closet, use some of the wall space for a luxurious mirror. Add an ottoman for extra storage and feel completely pampered.
    • Opposite a window: if your bedroom is small and/or dark, placing a mirror opposite the window reflects light into the room giving the illusion of space. Behind the door: If you’re short on space, position a full-length mirror behind the bedroom door. This keeps the room from feeling crowded while supplying you with assistance coordinating outfits.
    • On the door: Have limited wall space? Try a door-mounted mirror. Use hardware that rests on the top of the door.  
    • On a sliding closet door: Mirror-coated sliding closet doors give you a full-length view and save space at the same time. 
    • On an armoire: If your bedroom boasts an armoire (an ornate or antique movable cabinet/wardrobe), place a mirror on the inside of a door, on the side of the wardrobe or on the front.
  • A small room: Mirrors enlarge and lighten spaces by reflecting light making them the perfect trick to help make that small space feel larger. In a small room:
    • Make a mirrored wall: Cover one wall of a small room with a bevelled edge or polished edge frameless mirror. This oversized mirror complements your decor while seamlessly making the room appear larger.
    • Consider a horizontal mirror: Elongated, rectangular mirrors instantaneously make a wall look bigger! This trick is especially successful when using long skinny mirrors, creating the illusion of spaciousness. 
    • Pair a mirror with a light source: Candles and lighting fixtures go well with mirrors, adding atmosphere and dimension to a small space. Try placing a lamp or candle in front of a wall-mounted mirror.
    • Try a tall mirror: It will draw the eye upward, instantly making the room feel more spacious, and providing a sense of depth and continuity. 
    • Opposite a window: Placing a mirror opposite a window creates the illusion of space inside a small room. It’ll ensure ample reflected natural light during the day and a view of the world at all times.
    • Create a focal point: Align all the mirrors in a  small room to a designated focal point, creating the illusion of depth and space.
  • Your home gym: If you’re fortunate enough to have a home gym, consider installing a mirror in this space. It will provide a motivational boost, transform what is often a dark basement or garage location and help you detect and correct mistakes in your form, posture and alignment. 
  • The dining room: If you’re looking for an elegant and easy way to brighten a dining room, add a frameless mirror, transforming the lighting and ambiance of your eating experience. Placed parallel to a chandelier or window it’ll amplify the light, making the space appear grander in size. Try placing it over the buffet where it can reflect the lovely array of food you’ve displayed.
  • The living room: Mirrors act as beautiful decorative pieces in a living room. Use a mirror to help you spot your favourite artwork from an unforeseen corner of the living room. Hang a mirror opposite a window to bring the outside in. Use a mirror to fill an awkward empty space in your living room wall decor. Use an oversized mirror that fills an entire wall. Consider a mirror over the mantle of the fireplace.
  • Near the front door: A small mirror mounted near the front door lets you do a last-minute check on your appearance as you leave. Place a small table or chest beneath to provide a place for mail and keys. Add fresh flowers, letting the mirror reflect their beauty. 
  • The bathroom: A mirror is an essential grooming aid for any bathroom but don’t forget that it can open up this small space and help create a spa-like feel. The width of a bathroom mirror should measure a few inches less than your vanity. The height of the mirror depends upon your ceiling and your personal eye level. Hang the mirror 5 to 10 inches/12 to 25 centimetres above the sink. Make sure it is a few inches above the highest point of the faucet and center the mirror between the lighting and the sink. 

Whether you choose a framed or frameless mirror for your home, ask a trusted glass company to help you find the one that suits your taste and needs. They can custom-make a mirror that will make your room shine!  

Looking to add a distinctive framed mirror to a room in your home? Need a custom-cut frameless mirror? Call Calgary’s premier glass and mirror company, House of Mirrors & Glass (403) 253-3777 or email us at info@houseofmirrors.com.  We manufacture bevelled and polished edge frameless mirrors to order and have hundreds of frame samples from major suppliers. Our helpful team of associates can assist you in finding the look that works for you. We’ll even come to your home to measure and install your new mirror. Check out our showroom today!