Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces: Expand Your Space with These Design Tricks

Adding mirrors and reflective surfaces to a home can make spaces appear brighter, larger, and more open. When used strategically, mirrors bounce light around the room, visually expanding tight areas. 

A living room with mirrors and reflective surfaces to open up the space.

In floor-plan homes combining living and dining spaces, thoughtful mirror placement aids traffic flow and functionality without compromising comfort. Follow these tips when incorporating mirrors to open up combined living/dining rooms.

Determine Window Placement

Take note of all exterior windows in the living and dining spaces. Stand in various spots and see which direction natural light enters each room. Place larger mirrors across from or near windows to maximize reflected daylight. Avoid blocking window views with a mirror.

A white couch surrounded by reflective surfaces, including mirrors, placed strategically to open up the space and amplify natural light from the large window.
A white couch in a living room with reflective surfaces.
A living room with arched windows and reflective surfaces.
The sun is shining through a large window, reflecting off mirrors and other reflective surfaces in the living room, creating an open and airy atmosphere.

Key Takeaways:

  • Locate all exterior windows shining light into living and dining zones
  • Position mirrors to amplify incoming natural light
  • Don’t obstruct exterior views with mirror placement

Evaluate Entryways and Exits

Consider all entryways and exits to the open living/dining space. Doorways, openings to hallways, and paths to other rooms allow people to move in and out of the combined area. Place mirrors strategically to highlight these essential transitional spaces without causing confusion.

An entryway with a white door and tiled floor that features a mirror, reflecting surfaces that open up the space.
An entryway with a black and white checkered floor, featuring reflective surfaces.
A white front door with a white tiled floor, adorned with mirrors that open up the space and create reflective surfaces.
An entryway with a marble floor and mirrors that open up the space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Not all doorways and paths used to access the living/dining zone
  • Use mirrors to illuminate entryways but avoid visual clutter
  • Prevent mirrored spaces from misleading traffic flow

Choose Mirror Locations First

Decide on mirror spaces before arranging furniture in an open-concept living and dining room. Place larger mirrors on focal walls with nice exterior views. Use mirrors that are appropriately sized in proportion to furnishings and traffic areas. Remember, mirrors can make spaces feel significantly bigger, but furniture should dictate function.

Open up your living room space with a white couch and a gold mirror. The reflective surfaces of the mirror will illuminate the room and create an illusion of a larger space.
A living room with a round mirror above a couch that helps open up the space by reflecting the surrounding area.
An oval gold mirror above a couch in a living room, creating an open and reflective space.
A gold oval mirror, reflective surface, hangs above a couch in a living room to open up space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Select mirror locations before furniture placement
  • Relate mirror size to furnishings and flow spaces
  • Big mirrors maximize views on focal walls

Style Mirrors Consistently

Create cohesion in the combined living and dining zone with uniformly styled mirrors. Match frames, shapes, colors, materials, and overall mirror aesthetics for a purposeful decorator look. Eclectic mirrors work for some spaces, but consistent mirror styling keeps things visually unified.

An open living room with a couch, coffee table, and mirrors on the wall that serve as reflective surfaces, opening up the space.
A living room with mirrors on the wall to open up the space and create a reflective ambiance.
A gray couch with four mirrors on the wall, creating a display of reflective surfaces.
A white couch is sitting in front of a wall adorned with mirrors, creating a sense of open space and reflective surfaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • Uniform mirror frames, shapes, and styles
  • Cohesive aesthetics between mirrors
  • Avoid haphazard mirror arrangements

Consider Scale and Balance

Appropriately scaled mirrors bring better balance to open floor plans. Oversized mirrors can feel invasive or dominating. Undersized mirrors get drowned out among furnishings. Find ideal mirror size and quantity combinations to suit room proportions for a balanced environment.

An ornate fireplace with open up chairs and a reflective chandelier.
A reflective surface, in the form of a mirror, placed above a fireplace.
A fireplace adorned with a mirror, utilizing the power of reflective surfaces to open up space.
A fireplace adorned with flickering candles and a gracefully placed mirror, creating a mesmerizing interplay of warmth and reflective surfaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oversized mirrors overwhelm
  • Undersized mirrors underwhelm
  • Scale mirrors appropriately to space

Expand Small Spaces

Make a small living room or dining nook instantly feel more spacious with reflective surfaces. Hang mirrors directly across from windows whenever possible, bouncing daylight deep into rooms. Position tall leaning mirrors in corners to carry light further across each wall’s length.

A table with chairs and a mirror that open up the space and includes reflective surfaces.
A wooden table and chairs in a restaurant with mirrors.
In a room filled with a red chair and a table, there lies a mirror that has the power to open up new perspectives. The mirror, with its reflective surface, enhances the ambiance of the room
Mirrors can open up the space in a restaurant and create a reflective surface.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reflective surfaces broaden tight spaces
  • Window-facing mirrors amplify natural light
  • Tall corner mirrors expand light across walls

Brighten Dark Zones

Instantly boost gloomy areas or brightly-lit spaces feeling dull and flat by incorporating mirrors. Hang an evenly lit mirror grid over a dining table to cast a bright yet soothing glow for evening dinner parties and holiday gatherings. Illuminate a dim living room corner with a bold-framed rectangular mirror.

A dining room with black chairs and a reflective surface.
A dining room with a round table and black chairs that features reflective surfaces to open up the space.
An open dining room with a table and chairs that features reflective surfaces.
A dining room with a black table and chairs that incorporates reflective surfaces to open up the space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mirror grids create soft, even lighting
  • Rectangular mirrors amplify dim corners
  • Reflective surfaces perk up dark zones

Guide Traffic Flow

Use mirrors to direct the flow of traffic between open living and dining spaces. Position rectangular floor mirrors along pathways between furniture groupings to keep high-traffic areas visible. Avoid positioning mirrors that cross traffic patterns or point folks in the wrong direction.

A blue couch in a room with a mirror that reflects light and opens up space.
An expansive mirror in a living room, strategically positioned to reflect light and open up space.
An expansive mirror in a living room that utilizes its reflective surface to open up the space.
An expansive mirror in a spacious living room, which opens up the space and showcases its reflective surfaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • Floor mirrors illuminate key furniture paths
  • Prevent mirrored spaces from misdirecting people
  • Keep high-traffic zones visible

Showcase Architectural Features

Make a stunning architectural feature the star of your open-concept living/dining area with strategic mirror placement. Hang an oversized mirror directly across the room from a beautiful fireplace or showcase special interior architecture leading the eye upward with a mirrored dining room ceiling.

An inviting living room with a fireplace that is perfectly complemented by a large mirror, creating an open and spacious ambiance utilizing reflective surfaces.
An open and spacious living room with a large mirror above a fireplace, creating reflective surfaces that visually open up the space.
A bright and open living room featuring a large mirror above the fireplace, creating a sense of spaciousness and utilizing reflective surfaces to enhance natural light.
A living room with an open up space, featuring a large mirror above a fireplace and reflective surfaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oversized mirrors highlight architectural gems
  • Mirrored ceilings showcase special details
  • Reflect amazing structural features

Use Mirrors to Connect Rooms

Strategically place mirrors to bridge separated living and dining zones mentally. Angle mirrors reflect views of each space into the other. Frame doorways and arched openings with mirrors carry the eye and light between rooms. Repeat frames, shapes, and styles between living and dining mirrors for maximum flow.

In a living room, a large round mirror hung above a couch serves as a reflective surface that can open up space.
An open fireplace with a reflective surface above.
A large mirror, known for its reflective surface, hangs proudly in front of a brick wall.
A living room with a round mirror, strategically placed to open up space and create reflective surfaces.

Key Takeaways:

  • Angled mirrors connect separated rooms
  • Framed openings continue the visual flow
  • Match living and dining mirror styles


When used thoughtfully, mirrors can make ordinary living and dining combinations feel grand and spacious. Consider light direction, traffic flow, room-scale, dark corners, and eye-catching architectural details when incorporating mirrors. 

Showcase stunning style elements through reflection, and your open-concept space will feel upgraded instantly.

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