use what you have: Kim’s mirror

I’m adding a new category today, “use what you have” projects; decorating/decor projects that cost little or nothing to complete.

The problem: an over-sized, very plain mirror in my friend Kim’s, rental living room.

The house was originally built as a railroad depot in the lateS5002276 - Copy - Copy
nineteenth century; it was successfully converted into a private home but with a rather odd floor plan. The living room was  the depot’s waiting room and is a huge space with hardwood floors and a blonde-brick fireplace. Above the fireplace is a wall recess that holds a very large plain mirror. The mirror was too 
plain. It needed something…color…definition…  Because it was a rental the options were limited: removing the mirror was not viable, framing it was too expensive, painting was not possible, and attaching anything to the walls around or near the mirror was not practical due to the composition of the wall.

The solution:

We “framed” the mirror using wood-toned duct tape that Kim already had. Unless you looked really closely (within inches) you couldn’t tell it was tape; it looked like a wood frame.


Kim prefers wood tones and neutrals but duct tape comes in a huge variety of colors and even patterns, and only costs a few dollars for a roll. Or consider using washi tape. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add color and definition to a too plain mirror when other options are not viable.  


Once the mirror was “framed”, the second step was to arrange furniture and replace the accessories. The accessories were  too small for the space.  Because the fireplace is in a corner between a door and an open archway, furniture placement is difficult, but we placed two chairs (from another room) on either side of the fireplace with a small table and plant. Then we propped framed art prints (from another room) on the mantle. The final suggestion: a rug  before the fireplace and between the chairs.

from here….

cropped 2








                                           …to here, using what we had. Total cost: 0










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