Mirror Mirror Not So Necessarily On The Wall

Decorative leaner mirrors have become increasingly popular, and why not?  Ten and twelve foot ceilings are relatively standard in new construction, and allow the space needed to accommodate the desired reaction to a leaner.  Older homes like mine with eight or nine foot ceilings handle a leaner mirror quite well in their own right. The height restrictions may make for more of a challenge, but the choices are not limited.

The March 2011 issue of House Beautiful showcases the vision of renowned designer Betty Lou Phillips in their regular feature,  Bath of the Month.  Here you see an antique mirror propped behind the tub as a wonderful example of the effect a leaner mirror has on a room. Mirrors open up a room and instantly cast the illusion of added depth.  A leaner mirror deepens the richness of the illusion.

gray-leaner-mirrorTraditional Home


via French Garden House

This antique turn of the century French Treameau mirror perfectly defines leaner mirror.  The patina of the wood and the gold gilt easily enhance a formal decor or become the focal point of a casual space.  I love the visual surprise of pairing stand out formal furniture or accent pieces with casual or primitive design.


When the shock wears off for those who don’t get it, or the excitement subsides for those of us who do, the look is hard to dismiss as luck of the design draw.  I have a great example of this to share with you at a later date.

via Traditional Home

Any mirror can become a leaner.  The look achieved by placing a mirror upon a piece of furniture and propping the mirror against the wall spins a traditional placement to a fresh look .

House and Home/photo: Donna Griffith

One of my television guilty pleasures, and there are many, is the sinfully decadent  The Real Housewives franchise.  One of the ladies was chatting up a fellow cast member last season while giving a  tour of her new home.  The master bedroom suite, bathroom, and dressing closet were quite nice but the eye catcher was the floor to ceiling gold ornate up to your eyeballs leaner mirror.  It is as big as the mouth of its owner!  The dual purpose of function and formality comes across loud and clear.

Talk about a fantastic idea and learning new tricks! I had a client purchase a set of small ornate fireplace andirons from me three years ago.  The client knew exactly what she was going to use them for and shared it with me.  The andirons were placed on her fireplace mantle and used in an easel manner to display a leaner mirror.  Fantastic idea!

If you have searched high and low for your perfect mirror and can’t find it, consider an unframed mirror paired with decorative  prefinished picture frame molding.

House Beautiful 

Decorative moldings can be purchased at home improvement stores in limited selections. Larger selections can be found at specialty stores and through millwork manufactures.  Sheet mirror is typically inexpensive. Going this route will allow you to customize a mirror to achieve the look you are going for .  Molding is purchased, corners are mitered, mirror installed, and the perfect “prop” is on your stage.  A diy project that reflects your decor personality~  now who’s the fairest of them all?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.