The Simple Wall Art Trick That Can Make Your Room Look Brighter

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Bold wallpaper and moody, saturated colors have been trending since the start of the pandemic—and they’re not going away anytime soon—but they can also make a room look, well, cavelike. But before you go down an If You Give A Mouse A Cookie-style path, deciding that darker paint means you need more lights, which means hiring an electrician, which means you’ve got to choose between your daughter’s braces and having nice things, pause. Try one of these strategic mirror-placement tricks instead.

RELATED How to Make Your Home Brighter (Without Spending a Fortune)

make room brighter chicago side tables

1. layer Your Side Table Lamps With Round Mirrors

Gigantic mirrors are great at boosting the light in a room, but they can also be pricey. Two smaller, round mirrors can work wonders when placed just above and behind a table lamp on either side of your nightstand. It’s an ingenious trick we learned from the HomeGoods Hideout in Chicago, one of three pop-up getaways the décor brand created (and is giving away five-night stays in) to give Moms a break this Mother’s Day.

What makes this technique so smart is how the lampshades soften the light, so what’s bounced off the mirrors is a soft glow, not a glaring beam. To take things a step further, try painting the inside of your lampshades a blush or ballet slipper pink—it adds a subtle warmth that makes a space seem even cozier.

Our Pick: Rachel Roy 24-Inch Round Mirror

make room brighter mirror headboard

2. turn A Mirror Into A Headboard

If you’re down to DIY, try this idea we picked up from the New York Hideout: Repurpose an oversize mirror as a headboard. To save money, you could buy a full-length mirror, hanging it horizontally instead of vertically. Just make sure to measure it beforehand to ensure it’s roughly the size of—or a little bigger than—your bed. (So, about 60 inches for a queen size bed, or 76 for a king.)

It, too, will bounce light from the windows and lamps while adding a glam touch to the bedroom. Easy, no?

Our Pick: Howofurn 65-Inch Mirror

Psst: To enter for your chance to stay at one of the Hideouts featured (or win a box of goodies from the store), visit

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Candace Davison

VP of editorial, recipe developer, kitsch-lover

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...
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