The Complete Guide to Hanging a Mirror on Your Dining Room Wall

Adding a mirror to your dining room wall can completely transform the look and feel of the space. When placed correctly, mirrors make rooms feel larger and brighter while serving as a striking focal point. But how do you choose the right mirror for your dining room and properly hang it to maximize the stylish effect?

Determine the Right Size Mirror for Your Space

One of the most important decisions is choosing a mirror that is well-proportioned to your existing wall size and dining furniture. A mirror that is too small compared to the wall will look oddly out of place. Conversely, an oversized mirror that dominates the wall can feel heavy and overwhelming.

Here are some tips for selecting the ideal dining room mirror size:

  • Measure the wall area where you plan to hang the mirror. Then choose a mirror width that is no more than 2/3 the width of your wall space.
  • Take into account the size of cabinets, buffets or sideboards below the mirror area. The mirror should be proportional to the furniture pieces below it.
  • In general, a mirror with dimensions in the range of 36-48 inches wide suits most standard dining room spaces well.
  • For very small dining rooms, a long horizontal mirror can help the space appear wider. In larger or open concept rooms, try a bigger 60-inch mirror or larger.

The shape of the mirror also impacts proper sizing. Oval or round mirrors often suit smaller spaces better than a large rectangular mirror. And consider the effect of ambient light – mirrors in darker dining rooms should err on the larger side to reflect more light.

Guide to Common Dining Room Mirror Sizes

Use these general dining room mirror size guidelines for a starting point when selecting your mirror:

dining room with mirror on the wall
  • 24-30 inches wide: Best for small spaces or to mount over buffets
  • 36-42 inches wide: Versatile size for many dining rooms
  • 48-60 inches wide: Ideal for large dining rooms
  • 60+ inches wide: Makes a dramatic statement in open concept rooms

Pick an Ideal Height and Position for Your Mirror

The placement of your dining room mirror is just as important as the size. Follow these tips to find the optimal wall position:

  • The standard height for a dining room mirror is about 60 inches from the floor to the mirror’s bottom edge. This aligns the mirror with average eye level while seated.
  • Position the mirror on the wall opposite any windows to reflect the incoming natural light throughout the dining space.
  • Angle the mirror slightly to direct reflections to light up a darker corner or bounce light off a pendulum or chandelier.
  • Break the rules and hang your mirror closer to the ceiling for a decorative element, not necessarily functional reflection.

When to Deviate from the Standard Placement

In some cases, it makes sense to break the standard mirror placement guidelines:

  • In a very small dining room, hanging the mirror slightly higher draws the eye up to help the space feel more open.
  • If your dining table sits in front of a window, position the mirror to the side to avoid glare from the outside light.
  • Place a mirror behind or above a credenza or sideboard to create a decorative backdrop and accent the furniture.

Select a Frame Style that Matches Your Decor

The mirror’s frame plays a big role in the overall aesthetic of your dining room. Choose a frame design that aligns with the existing style of your space:

  • For traditional or formal dining rooms, select an antique gold, silver or distressed wood frame with classic ornamental details.
  • In contemporary, modern or minimalist dining rooms, sleek thin metal frames or simple solid wood frames suit the pared-down vibe.
  • For farmhouse, cottage or rustic spaces, a reclaimed wood frame adds natural texture and complements the cozy vibe.
  • Frameless mirrors make astatement in industrial, midcentury or transitional dining rooms. Allow 1-inch for a border.

Look for a frame finish that coordinates with other metallic accents in the space, like pendant lights or chair hardware. Or choose a unique frame color for added pop.

Use Mirror Shape to Make a Statement

Typical dining room mirrors are rectangular or square, but consider going for a bolder shape or unusual silhouette to make your mirror the talk of the table:

  • Oval or circular mirrors instantly draw the eye and feel more organic in shape.
  • Try a unique shape like a starburst, octagon or diamond cut for dramatic reflections.
  • Horizontally oriented mirrors can help elongate a narrow room, while a tall vertical mirror makes a small space feel grand.
  • Make a bold impression with an asymmetrical or shaped mirror like a sunburst or half-circle.

Creative Mirror Layouts

In addition to the frame shape, consider creative mirror layouts:

  • Cluster small, round mirrors together for a mosaic effect.
  • Overlap two framed mirrors for a layered look.
  • Use mirrors to divide a long blank wall into sections and add depth.

Lighting: Illuminate Your Mirror for Maximum Impact

Proper lighting is key to making your dining room mirror shine. Here are lighting tips and tricks:

  • Flank the mirror with sconces or pendant lights to accent and amplify the reflections.
  • Use LED strip lighting around the inside edge of the frame to backlight the mirror.
  • Place candleholders on a buffet below the mirror to create a soft glow during evening dinners.
  • Layer ambient lighting like chandeliers and wall sconces to brighten the entire space.

Avoid very harsh overhead lighting directly above the mirror, which can overpower the look. Dimmer switches help control brightness at different times of day.

Decorating and Styling Around the Mirror

Once your stunning mirror is hung, complete the look by decorating and styling the surrounding wall space. Here are some sophisticated ways to complement your mirror:

  • Hang an artfully arranged gallery wall with paintings, photographs or prints around the mirror.
  • Choose bold wallpaper, grasscloth or a dramatic paint color to accentuate the mirror’s frame.
  • Add textural interest with woven baskets, rustic boxes or container gardens placed below.
  • Keep decor minimal if opting for a large statement mirror as the focal point. Avoid clutter.

Whatever your decor approach, make sure accents near the mirror relate in color and style. The mirror should feel like the anchor, with art and accessories complementing not competing.

DIY Framing and Installation Tips

Big box home improvement stores now offer a wide selection of affordable mirrors. But you can also create a custom framed mirror or install your own basic mirror:

  • Upcycle old window frames, cut crown molding or use wallpaper to create one-of-a-kind mirror frames.
  • Purchase a frameless mirror then use decorative tape or trim pieces to build out a frame.
  • For installation, use D-rings and picture wire attached along the sides for hanging.
  • Always securely mount heavy mirrors directly to wall studs, not just drywall anchors.

If hanging above buffets or sideboards, ensure the furniture piece can support the mirror’s weight without tipping. Lean the mirror against the wall rather than anchors for safety.

Achieve Specific Goals with Strategic Placement

Carefully place your dining room mirror to solve problems or attain specific goals:

  • Visually expand a small dining room: Use a large mirror to make the space feel bigger and brighter.
  • Create a focal point: Draw attention to the mirror in a minimalist or open floor plan.
  • Brighten a dark space: Reflect light from windows or fixtures around the room.
  • Balance heavy elements: Mirrors add airiness to counter substantial furniture or artwork.

Analyze your space to determine the best spot to meet your needs. Trust your instincts once the mirror is up – you can always adjust!

Installing a mirror on your dining room wall not only amps up the visual appeal but also serves practical functions like reflecting light and expanding smaller spaces. Follow this guide’s tips for choosing the ideal mirror style and placement to create a stunning focal point.

Mirrors offer huge design potential for any dining space. Take risks with an unconventional shape or placement to make a dramatic impact. Add special lighting and decor accents tailored to your personal taste. Most importantly, enjoy the ambience and expanded light a skillfully-hung dining room mirror infuses into special meals shared with family and friends.

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