Worth re­flect­ing on...

Whether you’re looking for a state­ment piece or some­thing to hang in the hall­way, a good mir­ror can tran­scend its pur­pose. Riya Pa­tel casts her eye over some stylish de­signs

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - INTERIORS -

Mir­rors can do much more than show your re­flec­tion. A well-placed piece can en­hance a room’s nat­u­ral light, act as a fo­cal point or form part of a fea­ture wall with framed prints and other trea­sures.

Whether you are pick­ing a wall mir­ror for the bath­room, over the fire­place, above the bed or lean­ing on the dress­ing table, con­sider how it will re­flect and in­ter­act with other fur­ni­ture and ob­jects in your space.

Once you’ve set­tled on the right place for a mir­ror, there are a mul­ti­tude of shapes and styles to choose from. Round and oval shapes are the most adapt­able and can make a good choice in the bath­room to break up hard lines and sur­faces. Rec­tan­gles are less for­giv­ing if you haven’t hung them ab­so­lutely square with other fur­ni­ture and ob­jects.

Check whether hang­ing hard­ware is in­cluded with the mir­ror. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers leave it out as it can de­pend on what type of wall you are fix­ing to. Mir­rors with frames are eas­ier to hang and clean than those with­out.

John Lewis Round Hang­ing Mir­ror: £50, John Lewis

The leather strap and weight of this 30cm-di­am­e­ter mir­ror makes it seem more ex­pen­sive than it is. Hang­ing mir­rors are good for in­tro­duc­ing a bit of char­ac­ter to small spa­ces and also look ef­fec­tive as part of a ‘gallery’ wall along­side framed prints. The fin­ish has been aged to look like an au­then­tic an­tique-shop find, and it comes in brass, nickel or cop­per.

Habi­tat Xan­the Wall Mir­ror With Shelf: £175, Habi­tat

A handy one for the hall­way, Habi­tat’s Xan­the Mir­ror in­cludes a small shelf for keys and let­ters. Its thin steel frame is fin­ished in gun­metal grey for a slick, mod­ern look.

At 45cm x 85.5cm, it’s a good size and has tall and slim pro­por­tions that are use­ful for smaller spa­ces. It can ap­pear a lit­tle clin­i­cal on its own, so use pic­tures and plants around it to soften the look.

Ur­ban Out­fit­ters Rain­bow Mir­ror: £42, Ur­ban Out­fit­ters

This rain­bow-shaped mir­ror will make you smile ev­ery time you look at it. The arc shape and lines mean it’s not hugely func­tional — think of it more as a fea­ture that dou­bles up as a mir­ror. It looks pleas­ing on the wall, or lean­ing against it on a dress­ing table or pic­ture ledge. The glass is backed onto MDF with no frame, so keep­ing fin­ger­prints off it is hard work.

Petite Fri­t­ure Fran­cis Wall Mir­ror: from £312, Con­nox

If you’re looking for a mir­ror that dou­bles as an art piece, try this un­usual prod­uct from Petite Fri­t­ure.

Splashes of colour are dig­i­tally printed on the lower left of the mir­ror sur­face in a pat­tern that mim­ics ox­i­di­s­a­tion on an­tique mir­rors. The rest of the 45cm-di­am­e­ter glass is beau­ti­fully clear, held by a pow­der-coated alu­minium frame.

Zara Home Sil­ver Mir­ror With Wavy Frame: £49.99, Zara Home

Brits know this Span­ish high-street re­tailer for its af­ford­able fash­ion, but Zara’s whim­si­cal home­wares have been steadily cap­tur­ing our imag­i­na­tions too.

This mir­ror is in­spired by an an­tique form (and per­haps a cer­tain fairy tale), but has a slimmed­down frame that keeps it looking mod­ern. Four fix­ings give you the op­tion of hang­ing ver­ti­cally or hor­i­zon­tally.

A17 Ar­gos Col­lec­tion Colleen Oval Wall Mir­ror: £17.99, Ar­gos

The bar­gain-filled home range at Ar­gos clearly has price over qual­ity in mind. But some­times you can find an ab­so­lute steal that looks the part too. This oval mir­ror has a moulded, an­tique-style frame, fin­ished in matte black, and looks par­tic­u­larly smart as part of a col­lec­tion of frames. It’s a good size (60cm x 80cm) and is easy to hang, with

fix­tures and fit­tings in­cluded.

Myakka Rani Iron Mir­ror: £79, Myakka

This eye-catch­ing mir­ror has a sculpted iron frame in a joy­ful sun­burst de­sign. Myakka is a fair-trade brand that sup­ports re­gional crafts — this piece is made in In­dia by skilled crafts­men us­ing re­cy­cled metal. The over­all piece has a 63cm di­am­e­ter, but the mir­ror it­self is sub­stan­tially smaller. It’s best used as a fea­ture mir­ror rather than for ev­ery day.

Asda Ge­orge Crest Mir­ror: £35, Asda

There are many ver­sions of the tile-edged cir­cu­lar mir­ror out there, but per­haps none as af­ford­able as this. It has a 64cm di­am­e­ter, large enough to make a state­ment over the man­tel­piece or hall­way con­sole. The edge has been kept sim­ple, al­low­ing more sur­face area to be func­tional. But with no frame, clean­ing can be dif­fi­cult. The glass is backed on thick MDF, and has a sub­stan­tial feel.

Out There In­te­ri­ors Franka Rat­tan Wall Mir­ror: £135, Out There In­te­ri­ors

Rat­tan mir­rors are mak­ing a come­back and are es­pe­cially fashionable in an en­sem­ble of dif­fer­ent sizes and shapes. This ver­sion has the im­per­fec­tion of some­thing crafted by hand, but its size and colour are closer to a con­tem­po­rary mir­ror. It is 75cm tall, with plenty of space to use as a func­tional mir­ror as well as a fea­ture.

Liv­ing by Chris­tiane Lemieux Cerro Resin In­lay Mir­ror: £70, House of Fraser

The oc­tag­o­nal shape of this mir­ror gives it real im­pact, com­pounded by a frame of strong black and white lines that has an art deco feel. The frame is made of in­laid resin, which re­sem­bles the more ex­pen­sive bone in­lay seen on clas­sic and ex­otic mir­ror frames. At 78cm x 78cm, it’s a great size for mak­ing a fo­cal point over the bed or a grand dress­ing table.

The Ver­dict

There are many ver­sions of the pop­u­lar strap mir­ror, and the key to mak­ing them look neat is to have a solid hook and a heavy frame that pulls any creases out of the strap. John Lewis’s mir­ror feels heavy and has a pleas­ing aged fin­ish to the deep frame. The leather strap has el­e­gant de­tails where it meets the cir­cu­lar frame and the back of the frame also has a fix­ing for ex­tra sup­port. The good-value range in­cludes a 38cm and 50cm-di­am­e­ter ver­sions too, so you can find the right one to suit your space.

John Lewis

SHIN­ING EX­AM­PLE: Hang­ing mir­ror, £50,

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