Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How to Make a Room Feel Bigger

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Photo By Mary Ann Reese
Strategically placed mirrors can make a small space feel bigger.

When we first saw the 800-square-foot cabin that was to be our home as farm caretakers, I felt a slight panic in the pit of my stomach. We would really need to place our furniture strategically to create a sense of comfort and openness.

With the living room, dining room and kitchen being one open area, we were able to use our furniture to create “rooms.” To separate the living area from the kitchen, we placed our full-sized china cabinet back-to-back with a 7-foot-tall metal kitchen shelf. This setup worked well but resulted in a large mass that shrank the room. We knew our main challenge, then, would be to make the cabin appear more spacious. We met that challenge by leaning a large mirror against one end of the cabinet-shelf duo.

We also found a beautiful oval mirror at a local shop and hung it on the wall next to the kitchen sink. Now, as we enter the kitchen area, the view through the mirror is of the “hidden” yard on the north side of the cabin. The effect is that of a finely framed picture that changes with the seasons. Light plays on the mirror, bouncing the colorful morning sunrise into the kitchen and brightening previously shadowed areas.

Mary Ann Reese
Maple Falls, Washington