Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Why do you Reflect Nothing at All?

Home Stager with Sensational Home Staging

I staged a house yesterday that was mostly vacant and had some basic decor put in place to "stage" it by the previous listing agent.  You know - too many veggie and vinegar deco jars, the greenery, and towels that are put in a house to "stage" that really don't do the trick.  On top of that, there was a mirror placed above the fireplace leaning in a niche and I had to ask myself - "Why is that there?  It's too high and it is not reflecting anything of interest."

It always makes me scratch my head when I see a mirror hung in an odd place where it is not reflecting anything but another wall or is hung so high that the viewer cannot see into the mirror anyway.  There are guides for using mirrors in living - and in Staging.

The most important one is to consider what the mirror is reflecting back in the mirror as it is hung.  If we want more light, it can reflect a window. If we want to feature a view, the mirror can reflect that.  To me, the mirror should not just reflect back a chunk of wall if it is hung as art.  There should be something interesting framed in the reflection.

When we are hoping to capture the Buyer's reflection (as psychologically it helps for them to "see" themselves "in" the house - and a mirror does the trick) - the mirror needs to be hung at the appropriate height (average woman is 5 foot 4 inches so imagine her looking in the mirror and hang it so the middle is at her eye level).  I like seeing a small mirror in the entry area - but not reflecting the door as it opens - that is "bad feng shui" and also is a little glaring to immediately be looking at ourselves when the door opens. A better technique is to hang the mirror on the side wall in or near the entry.

We often use mirrors in a dining room - they reflect the image of the buyer, and usually the light fixture which highlights it and adds a bit more light to the room.  We only do this if there is another wall where we can hang something with color - art or painting.

Why is it that so many people get the mirror hanging thing wrong?  I have seen photos where a mirror with an interesting frame was used over a fireplace that is up about 10 feet off the ground. The mirror is not reflecting anything - and it looks silly.  A piece of artwork or a wrought iron grille would be much better served in that place,and the mirrror used where it can actualyl reflect something of merit.

So when using mirrors, it's not so much about using something that fits a space or has a neat frame, we have to ask ourselves, what are we reflecting back to the buyer.  If it is not something that we want to highlght or is wasted because of the height, pick anohther item to hang and use the mirror next time.

- Jennie


Posted by

Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier, SRS, REO, Owner & Principal Stager, Sensational Home Staging serving the Greater Denver region

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Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

HI Jennie!  Sometimes I use them over a fireplace to cover outlets in the center of the wall. I've tried hanging artwork but the art hangs funny because of the outlets-so I lean the mirror instead.  I know it is not right-but then I remind myself I am staging and move on.    

Jul 13, 2008 02:22 PM #1
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Jennie, I agree that a mirrors purpose is to reflect something pleasant AND add light but I do not put mirrors in dining rooms.  IF someone can see themselves eating it is very distracting and its also bad feng shui, I believe.   I also ask business owners not to put them behind their desks because their clients will see their own reflections and be distracted.  In staging I mainly use them to add light to dark corners or rooms without much natural lighting. 

Jul 13, 2008 02:23 PM #2
Gretchen Faber
The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek - Denver, CO

Wow Jennie, I never thought about mirrors in this light (no pun intended).  I'm going to pay more attention to mirror placement from now on.

Jul 13, 2008 02:24 PM #3
Jennie Norris
Sensational Home Staging - Littleton, CO
Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource,

It's interesting that feng shui rules sometimes work with Staging and sometimes not.  I actually have a mirror I love in my formal dining room and it's never made me feel disturbed at all  It reflects our elegant light fixture and if we want to add more ambiance and just use candlelight - it looks really pretty. - Jennie

Jul 13, 2008 02:27 PM #4
Ronelle Schroeder-Hill
Vacaville, CA

Great topic, lot's of great points. A great way of testing this is by taking photo's of it from different angles, picture's always pick up those little things I would have otherwise missed 

Jul 13, 2008 03:53 PM #5
Sandra Hughes
Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia - Fairfax, VA
Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia

I remember one home I was staging and I moved the mirror from the mantel because it was reflecting the ceiling fan and replaced with a picture.  The home seller was not happy and even after I explained it she still didn't like it but agreed to leave it.

Jul 13, 2008 04:00 PM #6
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Thanks for the great post.  It is so relevant to me because I just put a large mirror on a horrid semi round huge monstrosity of a fireplace.  The corner was so dark/brick so ugly that the mirror and white candles and a little greenry helped emmensely.  Sometimes it's the lesser of two evils!

Jul 13, 2008 04:12 PM #7
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Nice post Jennie. The mirror should reflect an accent point based upon the buyers stop point in the room. (outside, accent, or decor shot) It always needs to be something that accents the quality of the room and the feeling that you want to accentuate for the property and the buyer.

Jul 13, 2008 04:46 PM #8
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Mirrors above fireplaces reflecting a ceiling and/or fan just doesn't make sense to me.  Instead, art is a much better alternative.  And I too love staging with a mirror in a dining room. 

For me personally, my favorite spot is in an entrance way!


Jul 14, 2008 12:04 AM #9
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I like it:

''psychologically it helps for them to "see" themselves "in" the house''


Sep 19, 2016 06:17 PM #10
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Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource,
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