At What Height to Hang a Mirror & Shelf on a Wall?

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The height and placement at which to hang a mirror and shelf will be determined by several factors of room and space design. As you look around, list several things that you like and dislike about a room that you are decorating. Refer to the list as you experiment with height and placement to create a room that is functional and beautiful.

At What Height to Hang a Mirror & Shelf on a Wall?
(Artem Kononenko/Demand Media)

What is the purpose of the mirror? How it will be used, to decorate or for strictly functional purposes, will alter the height of its placement. Height is less critical when hanging a mirror for decoration, such as over a fireplace, couch, or floor unit. In the case of decoration, it’s what looks best to you while complimenting the space and furniture within its sphere. As a general guideline, a wall mirror should not hang more than six feet from the floor to the top, with at least 1 ½ feet distance from the floor. Note, when hanging a mirror less than 5 feet above the floor, its reflection will tend towards the furniture, fabrics, and floor material.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

If the use is more functional in nature, than the height of the person using it will most influence the height and placement of the mirror. When using a mirror to see your full reflection, the mirror should be one half your height. If you wish to see just the upper half of your reflection, then the mirror should be no less than one quarter your height. In both cases, the mirror should hang on the wall in such a manner that an average person can look into it at eye level, or approximately five feet. When hanging a mirror in a child’s room, safety is the first concern. Be sure it is properly anchored and cannot easily fall from its attachment. For height, a standing child should be able to see their full reflection.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Shelving considerations are similar in that you begin with function in comparison to space. What else will be on the wall above, below or either side of the shelf? What do you wish to store or display in terms of weight and size? Heavier items such as books and magazines may require multiple levels, securely anchored to the wall. Lighter items, such as pictures or knickknack displays, will more flexible in lighter designs and attachment materials. The rule of thumb is; whatever you want someone to look at, make it eye level. If it’s for storage over accessibility, then lower or higher units can be added to expand the functionality.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

Use the new stud finder and laser level tools available at most hardware stores. They are accurate and you’ll be much happier with the outcome.

Experiment with mirror and shelf placement at various points and levels around the room. Then walk into the room and see the effect. Also, sit in a chair and see the effect. You will get a different perspective with each viewing.

After hanging a mirror or shelf in a child’s room, always test the strength of your anchors. Press down on the mount to ensure that it will hold the force of any child who may hang on to it as well.

Observe the corners of your shelving that, when mounted, will not rub or scratch anyone walking by. You may have to move them in just a bit or find a wall position that is not in a traffic pattern.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

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References

  • Wall Mirrors
  • Design Ideas for Home Decorating; Heidi Tyline King, Mark Samu, and Glee Barre; 2006
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