Tips on mirrors from Collection by Panfili

Mirrors are the most powerful tools in making rooms seem larger. They can open up dark corners and not only create illusions of space but also provide optical surprises.

From its world of mirrors Collection by Panfili is now running a free delivery and professional hanging service with every mirror purchased, so do not miss this opportunity to brighten up your home.

Here are some useful tips on choosing a mirror and ideas on how to maximise the benefits:

When hanging an overmantel mirror above your fireplace, choose a mirror that is narrower than the mantelshelf but wider than the heart of the fireplace. If the mirror is the same as the mantelshelf, it looks top heavy and appears to be tipping forward.

Create an interesting feature by placing small mirrors together.

Ideally, a mirror should be placed at eye level, the same rules you should follow to hang picture frames.

Brighten your entrance hall with a mirror. In feng shui a mirror at the bottom of the stairs guarantees health, wealth, and happiness.

Hang a long mirror horizontally above a narrow console table to make the whole hall seem wider.

Widen your room by hanging identical mirrors on either side of a window or fireplace.

Create a focal point with a large mirror on the most visible wall upon entering the room.

In a small room try hanging a mirror opposite the window.

Maximise the space in any small room with a mirror from floor to ceiling.

Large mirrors also provide the room with a focal point, and will help to anchor all of the other decorative elements of the room.

Place a mirror on a wall adjacent to an interesting view or picture.

Place a large mirror opposite an attractive fireplace as well as above it, this will catch the eye and make the room seem larger.

When you have a wall in a darker colour than the rest of the room, hang a mirror on it and a picture on the opposite, paler, wall. This will have the effect of giving the dark wall more depth as it appears to recede to contain the picture.

Mirrors need not be confined to the house. A large mirror placed at the end of a small garden, framed by greenery, is a designer trick to extend the space.

A little history

French King Louis XIV was the first to see the mirror's potential to enhance the design of a room. He wanted everything to be multiplied and that is what mirrors are still used for today.

You absolutely need:

• A mirror as large as possible in your bathroom over your sink. The smaller the bathroom, the bigger the mirror should be in proportion.

• A full-length mirror in your bedroom. This will help you greatly in the morning when you get dressed.

• A mirror as close as possible to your front door, because you know you will want to take a quick look at yourself before going out in public or opening the door to a guest.

Cleaning tips

Do not vigorously rub the frame of a mirror. Gold and silver leaf is very thin and you only need to use a feather duster to keep it clean.

Instead of glass cleaner add a splash of white vinegar to warm water, dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out, and clean the surface of the glass while avoiding the frame. Finally polish with a kitchen towel.

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