Most of us use a mirror every day when we use the bathroom or when we’re getting ready for work – but we don’t think much about the functionality of these beautiful pieces of glass. The truth is, if used properly, mirrors can make the entire interior of your home seem warmer, bigger, and more inviting.

So how can you do it?

The Roles of Mirrors

Let's take a closer look at the role that mirrors play in your house. There are several things that mirrors can help with in your interior design, such as:

· Providing opportunity for self-assessment. The most obvious function of mirrors is to provide people with the opportunity to look at themselves and the people around them. This is why we keep mirrors in bathrooms; people have the chance to review their face and body for any embarrassing little things that need corrected before returning to join the group. However, as we'll see, this isn't the only function of mirrors, and some mirrors won't be used for personal gazing at all.

· Improving sense of space. One of the best functions of mirrors is improving the sense of space provided by a given room. Because mirrors reflect a great deal of light and imagery, they can sometimes make the room feel like it's twice as big as it actually is. Obviously, you won't be literally increasing the amount of space you have available for yourself and your guests, but you will make the room feel more spacious this way.

· Highlighting key areas. Some mirrors are placed to highlight key areas. They're designed to reflect light onto a given area, or hold something in their reflection to make it more prominent. For example, if you have a beautiful centerpiece in your living room, you might use a mirror to double its image.

· Boosting mood and energy. Many people find mirrors to be beautiful, especially if they're placed properly and they have plenty of supporting design elements around them. Because of this, your mirrors can boost the mood and energy of any room in your house.

Get the Right Mirrors

It’s tempting to buy a standard mirror from a department store, but it’s often better to customize and buy your own unique mirrors. That way, you'll be able to get mirrors that are the perfect size and shape for your spatial needs, and mirrors with colors and design elements that perfectly align with your other interior design choices. You'll also avoid having that “out of the box” look that many mirrors come with. You'll end up paying a bit more for your mirrors this way, but the long-term results are worth it.

Keep Your Mirror Themes Consistent

It's perfectly fine to have different mirrors in different rooms of your house, but you can make your interior design seem more cohesive and more intelligently planned if you have all your mirror themes consistent. For example, you might have all mirrors that are squared off or all circular mirrors.

Angle Your Mirrors to a Focal Point

Consider using mirrors to focus light and attention on a pivotal point within your room. Place the mirror at the same level as this focal point, and make sure it's not so close that it makes the focal point feel cramped. The key to success here is finding the right focal point; centerpieces work wonderfully here.

Allow Plenty of Space Around Each Mirror

Mirrors tend to lose some of their best qualities when they're cramped with other design elements or decorations. That's why it's important to allow plenty of space around each mirror, creating negative space that makes the mirror more prominent. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, your mirrors should be free and clear.

Use Large Mirrors to Make Rooms Feel Bigger

Mirrors are well-known for their ability to make even small rooms feel bigger, but you won't get this effect from a small or awkwardly shaped mirror. Instead, you should invest in the biggest mirror you can afford and place it carefully to make sure it reflects as much of the room as possible. Not every room will be conducive to this.

Be Mindful of Light

Finally, remember that mirrors reflect light. If inappropriately or thoughtlessly placed, your mirrors could end up reflecting light into your eyes or causing obnoxious light patterns on the walls at certain times of day.

Mirrors are exceptionally good at a number of functions, including expanding your sense of space and highlighting focal points within your room. But that doesn’t mean you need to hang multiple mirrors in every room of your house. Use them sparingly, make them count, and don’t be afraid to rearrange things if your original design isn’t working.