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Feng Shui and Mirrors – Through the Looking Glass

Mirrors are a favorite enhancement in Feng Shui design. When well placed, they act as “windows” that bring light and beautiful views into the home. Mirrors can enhance your sense of safety by providing a view of the door when you can’t directly see it. Mirrors can also “correct” or camouflage architectural challenges such as poles, angles, and corners, as well as visually enlarge small areas like foyers and hallways that would otherwise feel very confining.It is important to choose mirrors that are one uninterrupted piece of glass. Beveling around the outside edges is fine, but mirrors cut into small segments, foggy or broken antique mirrors, or mirrored tiles that distort images aren’t recommended. Along the same line, all your mirrors should reflect your entire face, with several vertical inches to spare. Obviously, in a shared home, mirrors need to be installed to accommodate the shortest and the tallest adults in the household. (Tiny mirrors that are not used to reflect your image are an exception.) Seeing a full, clear image of yourself tends to enhance your self-esteem, whereas mirrors that fracture or distort your image have the opposite effect.In one case, a client began to suffer from depression after he moved into a new home. Over his bedroom bureau was a large mirror composed of many small pieces that fractured his body’s image. The mirror was also hung too low, cutting off most of his head and presenting him with a very distorted reflection of himself every day. When he replaced the offending mirror with a tranquil painting and installed a large full-length mirror in his dressing area, his depression disappeared.Because mirrors appear to enlarge and brighten a room, they tend to encourage activity. This is great in the active areas of the home such as the living room, exercise room, home office, and kitchen. The bigger the mirror, the better! But mirrors can over-stimulate rooms meant to be serene and relaxing, such as dining rooms and bedrooms.

A mirror in the dining room can cause you to hurry through your meals. (The common use of mirrors in restaurants encourages patrons to ìeat and run.î) To enhance the serenity of the dining room, replace a mirror with art that has a nurturing quality or reduce a mirror’s influence by placing a sideboard or other decorative items in front of it.

One of the quickest ways to calm a bedroom and its occupants is to remove or cover the mirrors. Large mirrors, like mirrored closet doors, can

be treated as windows, with curtains or shades that can be opened each morning and then closed at night. Many an insomnia problem has been solved this way. Other options are to cover the mirrored closet doors more permanently with panels of cloth or wood, or to replace them with another type of door. A bureau mirror can be “put to bed” by draping it with a beautiful piece of fabric before retiring each night. When you cannot see the bedroom door from the bed, a small mirror (or art with reflective glass), strategically hung to reflect the door enhances peace of mind.

Mirrors have the power to brighten and expand space. Install them carefully and enjoy how they enhance the beauty and vitality of your home.

Terah Kathryn Collins is the author of six books on Feng Shui and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui™ in San Diego, CA. For additional Feng Shui articles, more information about Essential Feng Shui®, or to attend a Feng Shui Training Program or event, or please visit or call directly 760-633-3388.