Design Tip, but also Dilemma: Where Does the Mirror Go?

January 13, 2022

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I’ve been in a real pickle in our bedroom when it comes to the mirror arrangement. Across from the bay-window is a large wall that would generally absorb so much light throughout the day! That’s what walls across from windows do–absorb the light so much that they can appear flat. It’s because there are generally no shadows, you know? There’s also a narrow walk-way between the wall and the bed, and to me, it’s the obvious wall for a mirror! I’ve done it over and over, in many spaces. The wall across from a window gets a mirror of some shape–regardless of the room. It’s a great design tip to eliminate a “flat” looking wall. In our room, we have it leaning against that wall currently and it checks all the design boxes I want: bounces light throughout the room, makes the room look bigger, plus it takes up substantial space on the otherwise, blank narrow wall.

leaning mirror

Rug | Bed | Mirror | Bench | Swivel Chairs | Chandelier | Bedding

Here’s the dilemma… As gorgeous as the mirror is across from the window, when it comes to actually *using* the mirror, it’s a dud. Let me explain! Every time I stand in front of the mirror (the ONLY full length mirror downstairs) to go get a good look at myself, I’m completely backlit! Basically, I become a silhouette standing in between the window and the mirror! It feels like a silly problem to have, but when I was talking to my sisters about it–it seems like we’ve all experienced the same thing. See what I’m talking about?

A mirror on the same wall as a window is ideal, because you’re perfectly lit when facing it! I’ve thought about swapping out the small dresser with a mirror, putting it ON the window wall! Then I’m not sure where to move the dresser, and also the wall across from the window goes back to absorbing all the light in the room… Am I destined for backlit glances in the mirror in our bedroom??

A Mirror on the Window Wall

window wall

Dresser | Vase | Jewelry Boxes

A side-lit wall would also be a solution, but the only wall that could work for that is the wall where our bed is… Do we move the bed into the window bay?… Again?!

It would solve the mirror dilemma. And the TV dilemma. AND the dresser dilemma.

We’ve solved this mirror problem once before. In the primary closet of our last house, the mirror swiveled. A simple swivel of the mirror, and the lighting was great. Problem solved, and it was genius if I do say so myself!

A Swivel Mirror

swivel mirror

F&B Lamp Room Gray | Chandelier | Ottoman | Knobs

Sometimes I see mirrors in other people’s spaces online and I can tell right away if it is a functional mirror for bouncing light, or can they actually use it to see themselves. Maybe I’ll rearrange…again. Or maybe I’ll just hunt for a different wall in a different room. That seems to be the most likely option at the moment, and in the meantime, I’m open to suggestions!

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What do you think?

  1. Lauren says:

    Sooo the photographer in me needs to say something lol. A white wall is like a giant reflector reflecting white light back into the room. Any other color is going to have a slight cast to the light reflected, red being one of the most noticeable. A black wall is going to absorb the light. Sooooo don’t let this feeling that the wall is going to absorb the light stop you from moving it!

  2. We’re big supporters of the leaning mirror. The styling is intentional and purposeful. It’s also surprisingly still quite unconventional as most people would hang their mirror on the wall. Plus, leaning your mirror allows you to creatively place wall art in the space. Your large statement piece above the bed looks great by the way!

  3. Arlene says:

    I am no designer at all but have decided I like to place mirrors so that they reflect the window as you walk into the room. Which may be opposite the window, or may not, depending where the door is placed. It makes it sort of feel like 2 windows, and I’m all about more windows!

  4. AK says:

    So maybe no mirror at all? I thought I’d totally miss a full length mirror in our current bedroom but nope … I just use the bathroom mirror for a quick check and assume I’m gonna remember to put some pants and shoes on …

  5. Olivia says:

    For the time being Can you hang a mirror on the back of the bedroom door? Or maybe on the back of the bathroom door ? Not sure where thise doors are in the room if they face the window etc but it could be temporary solution

  6. Jeanette says:

    A beautiful vintage or antique standing mirror angled in the corner where the dresser is now!

  7. Kate says:

    I vote for keep the mirror where it is! And then you can put your TV on a swivel stand above the dresser – that’s what we do in our bedroom and it swivels out to face our bed when we watch… it’s brilliant.
    2nd alternative – have the mirror swap places with the dresser.
    but please no to the bed back in the windows – that looked so out of place to me; it’s SO much better where it is.

  8. Jozi says:

    We have a similar issue!!!! I’m considering putting a library/art light above our, or backlighting the mirror somehow to see if that helps they functionality. Good luck!

  9. Corie says:

    So why can’t you move your bed to the wall opposite of the bay where the mirror currently is? Wouldn’t the bed, art and lamp lights create the shadows and dimension? Then the mirror can go in the current bed wall.

    • Sarah Kucharski says:

      I think Julia has mentioned she doesn’t like having the head of the bead on the same wall as the door because it feels like her “back” is to the room’s only exit and didn’t like the feeling security-wise. I could be misremembering, though!

  10. Melanie says:

    Keep the bed where it is, move the mirror where the dresser is now on that narrow wall, and try putting a dresser IN the bay window area. I think it could be a totally unexpected design element but highlight a beautiful piece of furniture (maybe something wider than the dresser currently on that narrow wall – something vintage?).

  11. Jill says:

    If it were me, I would add motorized shades to the windows to replace the shutters. Then it would be easy to close them when you want to use the mirror, and open again when done.
    I like the arrangement now and would not put the bed back in the bay. I never did like that arrangement. I like seeing all the windows and not having the bed block any of the windows.
    You could move bed to the wall where mirror is, but I know you said you like seeing the foot of the bed instead of the side when entering the room.

  12. Jane says:

    What if you kept the layout of everything (I personally think the bed looks better where it is now instead of the bay) and you installed some amazing sconces on either side of the wall mirror to give you the lighting coming from the front that you need.

  13. Ashley says:

    Was also going to suggest sconces on either side of the mirror (like in your old (old) master). Would that help? Or is there space in the master bath for a full length mirror? Love the current arrangement…wasn’t a fan of the bed in the bay, it felt cramped and off to me. But moving furniture is always easy and can be changed anytime you want. Good luck!

  14. Caleigh says:

    Can you put a mirror on that wall but not necessarily a mirror to use for looking into? And put your full height mirror some where else in the house as you are suggesting? Maybe bathroom or closet?

  15. Emily Sturges says:

    I Have the exact same problem! I ended up putting a full length mirror on the back of the door to our bathroom. Can’t see it 80% of the time when the door is open. Totally cheap collage thing to do, but there is a skylight in there and a big window and you just open or close the door a smidge to get the PERFECT lighting.

  16. Eliza says:

    I personally loved the way the room looked when the bed was in the bay. I thought it framed the bed beautifully and in many ways highlighted the window as a natural headboard. I would say move the bed back to the window and address multiple challenges at once!!!

  17. Kristi says:

    We have a big French door type sitch in our primary. We have a mirror on the side wall since the bed faces the window (kind of our only option anyway due to length of walls) I’d love to see what it looks like in your room however I do love how you have your bed and that cozy place for your chairs

  18. Darcie says:

    What do you think about feng shui principles? I’ve found they ring true regarding mirrors in bedrooms. I’ve slept much better after eliminating mirrors and all that light (and energy) bouncing around. A full-length in your closet when you redo it feels right. But for me, for now I’d put the mirror elsewhere and see if you notice a difference in your sleep. ;)

  19. Maggie says:

    I like a mirror on the same wall as the window, then put something reflective, but not a mirror, on the wall opposite. Like a large piece of art or a grouping of photos behind glass. The glass will reflect some light.

  20. Kate says:

    Love the mirror on the window wall where the dresser is. I couldn’t see the wall across from your bed and I know you guys like a TV in your bedroom (like I do!) but could your dresser storage be under the TV? Maybe ‘his and hers’ for a symmetrical look?

  21. Renata says:

    How about adding sconces flanking the mirror? It will provide lighting for a person looking at the mirror and add some sparkle on that wall which will reflect off the mirror and look pretty at night. That way, you don’t have to change your furniture arrangement if you love where your bed is located.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Can you swap the mirror and the bed? I love waking up to a view and to the light so for me, I have my bed face the window. Plus it could solve your light dilemma.

  23. Robin O says:

    Try adding wall sconces flanking the sides of the mirror?

  24. Amanda says:

    Loved your bed in the window nook! I forgot why exactly you moved it again? I love seeing the foot of the bed when walking in. But maybe it blocked too much light?

  25. Olga says:

    What if you moved the bed to the wall where the mirror is? And put the mirror where dresser is. I personally didn’t like the bed in the window bay. It just didn’t feel cozy and blocked all beauty of the window.

  26. Emily says:

    I vote keep it where it is for bouncing light and when you redo the closet/bathroom, find a space for a full length mirror there too. I have one in my closet and I love it!

  27. Laura says:

    I love the idea of having the mirror on the window wall. Move the dresser to the big wall and have a huge mirror above that or alongside of it. More than one mirror! One to use and one to bounce.

  28. Deborah says:

    How about moving the bed across from the bay windows? Not sure if that will work because it’s hard to picture the room and where all the doors are without a floor plan ;)

  29. Carla says:

    We have a simple full-length mirror mounted on the inside of our closet door (it’s a small walk-in closet) so I can use it when I’m in the closet with the door closed or when I’m outside the closet with the door open. It’s purely functional. I don’t know if mounting mirrors on the inside of your two closet doors might work?

  30. Kelly says:

    What about keeping the mirror in the same place and adding a sconce above it, so you can light yourself via lamp rather than sunlight? It would also work well for both day and night conditions.

  31. Christine Clements says:

    Does closing your window shutter while you check out your outfit work? I have the same dilemma, but that’s how I solve it. I close my shade while looking at my outfit, and then push it back up after so the light bounces around the room, which is equally as important to me in my space.

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