Making a Living Room Look Larger for $240

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. Beautiful!!! I love mirrors and can never have too many!! I replaced glass in an old storage /china hutch with mirror to hide the clutter ( art supplies) within it.
    IMPORTANT! Remember to avoid ammonia based cleaners on mirrors as it it drips onto the edges it will start to eat away the reflective surface and leave you with black spots if the backing!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – Thank you for the tip about not using ammonia based cleaners on mirrors. I didn’t know that and I am sure others will benefit from knowing this. I can add it to my post. I used a non-toxic window cleaner that doesn’t even have vinegar. It shined them right up. :-)

  2. What a difference those mirrors make in your living room!!! I have a living space on the small side and I find that mirrors are not only pretty but functional too!
    I like how you used the large mirrors behind the couch to make your space seem very large!!!! CLEVER:)

  3. Lisa Marie says:

    These mirrors look perfect! I had to laugh at making three trips in the Mini. I have one and it’s amazing how many bags of groceries I can stuff in it. I have people laughing out loud in the grocery store store parking lot watching me stuff bags into every nook & cranny of my Mini. My love of garage sales and thrift stores is the reason I refuse to get rid our Jeep. It’s old & we keep fixing it and I love it to take on my thrifting adventures.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa Marie- We are kindred spirits for sure. :-) I love my Mini and I use to have a Jeep Cherokee. I get the same, people looking at me put a large item in or tons of grocery bags, especially when I am bringing home lumber. Once at a flea market I bought a piece of furniture and didn’t even think that is would not fit. When the handlers at the flea market came to load it into my car, they shook their heads and said no way! I showed them the way. I named my Mini – Genevieve, after my mom. She would have loved it.

  4. Lovely. Your water views are so wonderful and your mirrors are perfect. We were fortunate enough to purchase a model home on a golf course in Boulder (Co) with fantastic mountain views 28 years ago and we are grateful for this…I always joke and say if only there was a big lake where the golf course is we would really be in heaven :) Your yard in the back on the water is nice as well.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jillian – Your home sounds beautiful. You are very fortunate, even with the golf course. I am all about vast open views – mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, even a view from a high-rise in Manhattan that overlooks Central Park. :-) Ed would love to have both a golf course and a view. We did look at one home on a sound in NC that did have both, but we didn’t like the area. Thanks for reading my blog.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I love the addition of the mirrors, it make the space look larger and brighter.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elizabeth – When I first hung the mirrors, my husband wasn’t home. When he did come home and walked into the room, he immediately noticed something was different and said that the room looks so much bigger. :-) That was a secondary benefit!

  6. This is a very informative post and thanks for sharing this.

  7. Looks wonderful and bright! Always find great ideas through PB 👍
    Thanks for sharing 😊

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lynn – Me, too on finding great ideas when browsing the PB site or when I get to go to an actual store. I like the style – simple, clean lines, but with a homey feel. :-) I wish I could afford more of their merchandise, but it is fun to come up with ways to get the look for less.

  8. Lourdes C says:

    It turned out just beautiful!! I used to have a large apt with a fabulous view and had one large mirror reflecting that. That was years ago. Thank you for reminding me what a great new effect mirrors van have on a wall.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lourdes – I am happy to hear that my post brought back fond memories of a past residence. It sounds like it was a great apt. :-)

  9. Another winner, Diane! I love the addition of these mirrors to your living room. They are perfect in every way! The bargain hunter in me also can’t believe you found the perfect number of mirrors at HomeGoods! How lucky is that?! Thanks for the inspiration. 👍

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – I usually go to HomeGoods every other week just to see what they have. On the trip I found the mirrors, they were not what I was there to find. I had the idea to use mirrors in my mind and was still in the thinking stage to DIY or find something. When I turned into an aisle and saw the mirrors, I said to myself… Hmmm, mirrors, I should look to see what they have and prices. I saw the driftwood grey color and thought – wow that would work, but I would need at least 3 to fill the wall and that is the number they had. Just meant to be. :-) I love finding good deals.

  10. Thanks for another inspirational post. I love the look the mirrors have given the room. When we downsized a couple of years ago we bought a mirror that looks like a window for a living room wall to make the space look a bit bigger. It looks great and I look at it all the time and think about how much it has added to the room. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I got that idea from you! Your post has caused me to look around the room and think of other places that smaller decorative mirrors could enhance. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Reading your comment made me smile and happy to know that my posts are inspiring. :-) I have added mirrors across from the sliding glass doors in every room since they all face the lake. The ones in the bedroom are more above a dresser type, but large. They make each room brighter and what I love even more is when you look at the house from the lake, you see the mirrors in each room and it looks like you are seeing through to the other side of the house. That was never my intention, but a cool look for the house.

  11. Char McKeever says:

    Hello, Diane! Your three new mirrors visually add another room and are the perfect find in every regard. Have to chuckle about the Mini Cooper turned utility transport. You may want to consider bartering a DIY project for someone to haul things. I’ve collected mirrors forever…and now need to brighten a hall wall opposite a styled console. Love your idea to paint the book risers we all love. Here’s to lazy summer days at the lake, enjoying the spaces you’ve made so unique and livable….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Char – Thank you. In regards to bartering to get someone to haul things for me. After my post went up, a friend who lives across the lake who has a truck texted me to tell me I should have called her to help as it also be a good excuse to go to HomeGoods for herself. I always hesitate to ask since the lake is big and would take a few hours of her time. Painting the books to use a risers is something I learned when I worked in retail display. They work perfectly. At Christmas last year, I covered them with plaid gift wrap in all different colors. They are very versatile.

  12. I recently turned my den (which we rarely used) into our dining room. It only has one window at the far end if a long, narrow room. I placed a small mirror over the mantle opposite the window and increased the natural light. Your idea of three mirrors is great! I will be on the lookout for larger mirrors! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – I love hearing how readers decorate their homes. Changing the designation of two rooms in your home is the best way to change things up on a budget and create excitement. Your new dining room sounds lovely. I am sure you will be able to find larger mirrors. They are quite popular now and affordable HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Target and Walmart.

  13. Those mirrors couldn’t be more perfect. We live on a lake in Wisconsin and have a panoramic view that I so appreciate. Your ideas inspire me and I always look forward to your posts.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Joan – Anything we can do to expand those lake views. :-) I bet in the winter you get to see a very scenic change. Here is SC, the green trees may fade, but we don’t get snow.

  14. Great idea! I made an observation recently that I have a mirror in every room of our house except for the kitchen & laundry room. Really love the natural elements & decor you have used. I keep a bowl of pinecones out year round in one room!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – Thanks. Mirrors really do make a difference in a room. Sounds like you are enjoying that difference. I am leaning very much to creating and decorating with more natural elements, they just feel right. Pinecones – I have a bazillion!!! For real. Every weekend I am in charge of collecting them from our yard before the grass gets cut. I fill up huge trash cans every week and am always thinking of ways to use them. I think this year at Christmas I may use them exclusively on the tree.

  15. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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”. :-)

  16. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.

  17. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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. :-)

  18. Beautiful, I need your help….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – How can I help?

  19. 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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.