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Making a Living Room Larger for $240

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If you’ve ever wondered, how to make a small room look bigger without having to knock down a wall?”

I have the answer for you. It can be done with mirrors. See how I did just this when I added mirrors to the cozy corner in my living room. 

You know that I enjoy decorating and keeping the rooms in my home updated in my own style with furnishings I buy as well as using decorative items I make.

Pottery Barn room with two large mirrors placed behind a sofa.

I am always looking at decorating magazine and catalogs for ideas and just last week, after seeing this photo on Pottery Barn’s website, I knew an idea I had brewing in my head for my living room was going to happen.

Seeing the photo just reinforced what I already wanted to do… and that was to add large mirrors on the wall behind my sofa and console table in my living room.

lake house and views of lake

In the Pottery Barn photo, the mirrors have a hip and trendy vibe. I like that, but that is not the reason why I wanted to decorate my living room with mirrors. I wanted to add them to double the view of the lake.

Moving Ahead With My Mirror Plan

Then a few days after seeing the PB photo, while doing a stroll around HomeGoods, I came upon, not one, but 3 identical driftwood grey-stained wood-framed wall mirrors.

OK,” I said to my self, “This is fate! Adding mirrors to my living room is going to happen. These mirrors that have practically jumped out at me are perfect in every way – color, shape, size and price. $79 each.”

The large mirrors from Pottery Barn are around $900 each!

Console table with a trio of large wall mirrors behind it. The table is decorated with white and green.

I only had one thing stopping me from buying the mirrors and that was how I was going to fit them in my very small car, a Mini Cooper.

The saying “when there is a will there is a way” went through my mind. I made it happen, by wedging one mirror in the car and then taking three trips to get each one home. :-)

Decorating My Living Room To Reflect the Lake View

Small living room wall decorating ideas using mirrors.

After 5 years of living on the shores of Lake Murray in SC. I have been wanting to pare down the decor in my living room so it reflects what I see out the sliding glass doors and that is the lake, trees and nature.

That is why we moved, for a water view, so I am determined to see it as much as I can.

Floor mirrors hung on a living room wall.

I want the decor to feel like a natural extension of what is on view outside and have been working on making that happen by creating a cozy corner using faux barnwood on two walls and coming up with a decorating style for the room that I call, White and Woodsy.

I played around with how to space the mirrors on the wall and decided to make them look like a large window by placing them together instead of apart.

Opposite side of a living room being reflected in a wall mirror.

When standing in the room now, at all angles you see the lake view, although you can’t see it in my photos as the very humid, rainy weather the past 3 days have fogged up the glass on the doors since we have the AC on in the house.

If it ever stops raining, I will try to get a better photo so you can see how nice the reflection of the lake can be seen from different angles in the room.

Living Room Wall Decor With Mirrors

You may be asking… what did I do with the oversized wall clock I made that has been hanging on the wall the last few years? I moved the clock to a wall in my studioffice where I can still see it every day.

Small space living room decorating ideas using mirrors and large decorative items.

Decorating with mirrors on a wall behind the sofa, a set of chairs or a console table can really make a small room look bigger visually.

Adding them has literally made the room feel twice as big. Even Ed remarked about it, which of course made me happy to hear that my decorating efforts were paying off.

More Ideas To Decorate With Mirrors

Even though large mirrors can make a small room appear bigger, don’t overlook how small mirrors, like adding a starburst mirror like this to a wall can make a difference.

Adding any size mirror can add visual interest to a space—not to mention solve a few design dilemmas along the way, like when I used mirrors to create faux door transoms to reflect light in dark hallway.

You can also use a collection of smaller mirrors to create a layered mirror gallery wall like I did for the guest room in my previous home. Or use old wood window sashes to create a mirror that resembles a large window.

All of these decorating ideas using mirrors are budget-friendly as you can find decorative mirrors at thrift stores, Target, Walmart, HomeGoods and even the dollar store.

How to Make a Room Look Larger With Mirrors
Decor TIP: Paint thrift store books to use as lifts for short objects.

The Main Reasons Why I Like Using Mirrors:

  • They can make a small space feel larger as the reflection visually doubles the space.
  • Placed strategically across from a window, mirrors double the light that comes into a room.
  • Mirrors also reflect both natural and artificial light that will make a room brighter during both the day and night. Even candlelight!
Mirrored top coffee table with concrete bowl filled with moss on top.

Mirrors are also not just for walls, you can repurpose one to make a mirrored coffee table and use it in the room to bounce the light off a white ceiling.

Decorating With Wall Mirror Tips

White hydrangeas on a stack of white books on a table in front of a wall of mirrors.
  • Make Sure Whatever You Place in Front of the mirror is pretty and you don’t mind seeing a reflection of it. For instance, I now see two TV’s on the wall, but that I can live with.
  • The Best Way to Hang Mirrors – Most large mirrors come with attached heavy duty hangers. Mine did, so hanging them was pretty easy. If they don’t, you can buy Heavy Duty Strap Hangers at the home improvement store. They are easy to screw onto the back.
  • How to Keep Mirrors Streak Free – The best way to clean large mirrors is to double clean them.
    • First use window cleaner or vinegar and a paper towel/newspaper to remove dust and dirt.
    • Then spray-saturate the mirror with cleaner and using a squeegee, quickly use long swipes – top to bottom to remove the cleaner, wiping the cleaner from the squeegee after every swipe. The mirrors will be streak-free.
    • A mirror cleaning tip from a reader: Avoid ammonia based cleaners on mirrors as it drips onto the edges and will start to eat away the reflective surface and leave you with black spots on the backing.

Decorating with a Simple More Natural Vibe

There’s something powerful and liberating about paring down to what you feel is essential in your decor.

I think many of us crave a room without so much distraction in the way of clutter or unnecessary items, we feel less burdened; we flourish and have more energy. I know this is true for me.

By adding the large mirrors on the wall, I made the room appear larger, while doubling the lake view.

I went with my idea and got what I wanted…

…an open, airy, but styled and cozy room that reflect the tones and textures of the landscape outside the glass doors, easing the transition from outdoors to indoors. :-)

What is essential for you when decorating a room in your home so it feels just right for you and your family?

Decorating Resources:

Living room console table in front of wall mirrors. Text overlay says Decorating using wall mirrors.

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  1. Diane, the addition of the mirrors give such a lovely look to the overall living room decor.

    I love your ideas. You inspire me.

    As a young married military wife I hung 5 K-Mart ($5.99) oval, gold trimmed closet mirrors close together on my dining room wall. My husband thought they were totally tacky, (they grew on him) and I got so many compliments.

    Mirrors make a difference.

    1. Hi Rebecca – Your budget mirror decor sounds just wonderful. I love that you were determined to make that house feel like home. I bet it was quite pretty. My husband is the same, it sometimes takes him a while to “get it”. :-)

  2. My husband and I are building a tiny home to use as an Airbnb rental and we may use some of these ideas there to make the space appear larger. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Margaret – Building a tiny home for an Airbnb is such a great idea. Using mirrors would be functional as well in the space. A win/win all around.

  3. Looks great, Diane! Kathryn from Do It On a Dime YouTube Channel just did something similar in her entry using Walmart mirrors in a 3 over 3 grid and it looks amazing too. I’ve love watching your style evolve and the White and Woodsy look is beautiful. Your big bowls with moss look like they are waiting for big white pillar candles. Hope you and Ed are having a great summer!

    1. Hi Bettsi – Thanks :-) I was going to make the DIY mirror that is popular right now using a sheet of plywood, molding and square mirrors from IKEA. It is really nice, but getting sheets of plywood home is not something I can easily do without renting a truck. So I looked for other options. For the bowl on the coffee table, I was going for the simple look that I see done in Studio Mcgee and Patina Farm rooms. I need better looking moss to make that look better, but I love your idea of placing candles on it. I will try that out – thanks. :-)

  4. Wow! They are beautiful. I love that you found a way to get them home even though you had to make several trips. I’ve been considering add a small mirror above a closet door in our family room. As always, thank you for your inspiration. And I hope you get some more sunny weather soon. It’s hazy here in Western PA today too.

    1. Hi Vivian – Thanks. Adding a mirror above a closet door will look great. If you have a small mirror right now, test it out by placing it up there to see how one will look. Even if it is not the right size, just to get an idea. I think you will like it. I don’t mind a rainy day, but it is going on about 5 now – everything is saturated. Looking forward to the sun returning.

    2. Your house is looking really beautiful. It has really evolved over time. I admire your take charge attitude to solve your decorating issues.