I have no new progress to show you today, so I thought this might be a good time to address the single most-asked question (or most given advice) I get about my living room…
Why don’t you move the mirror up? It looks too low on the wall. It needs to be centered between the top of the chair rail and the ceiling!
Y’all would not believe how bothered people are by the placement of my mirror! 😀 I get comments on it each time I post a picture of it on my wall, and I actually get emails from people who write to me just to let me know that I need to move my mirror up. True story! 🙂
Even a few days back when my post included a picture of that wall and I had a paragraph in there that started off, “And please, I beg of you, please don’t tell me to raise my mirror…” the very first two comments were people telling me my mirror needed to be raised. 😀
So here’s the deal. YES, I will be raising the mirror. 🙂 BUT, I’m not going to do it until that wall is a bit more “settled.”
I’m about to start building a fireplace, and that wall is going to be completely transformed, so I’ll wait. There’s no need in moving it now, and then moving it again in a month or so. Not only do I not want to add needless additional holes in my wall, but that thing is made of solid MDF. It’s heavy!
But what if I were keeping the credenza?
Even if I were to keep the credenza in this room and just decorate around it, I would not ever just center the mirror between the chair rail and the ceiling.
It is an absolute fact that most homeowners hang their artwork way too high on the wall. When you’re dealing with a large piece of artwork, the standard rule is that the center of the piece needs to be about 55 to 60 inches from the floor. (57 inches on center is gallery standard, as that represents the average human eye height.) My mirror is currently hung at 60 inches on center.
Of course, those are the rules if the piece stands alone, like in a gallery. But when the piece is being anchored by a sofa, a credenza or something like that, you do want to keep those rules in mind for general placement, but it’s much more important that the piece relates to the things around it.
Here’s a quick photoshop mock up I did of the mirror centered between the chair rail and the ceiling.
Initially, it might look like the perfect placement, right? Because there’s something visually pleasing about having the mirror perfectly centered in the teal area of the wall.
However, there are two problems with this placement:
- This placement puts the center of the mirror at 68 inches on the wall. That’s way too high — 11 inches higher than it really should be.
- With the mirror so high on the wall, there’s really no way it would or could ever relate to anything that I put on the credenza. Instead, it would just be floating up on the wall, completely unrelated, and completely ungrounded.
I can assure you that if I centered that mirror in the teal area of the wall, once I got the credenza accessorized, I’d start getting a whole slew of comments and emails from people telling me to lower my mirror. That placement would look so completely “off” with the accessories around it.
The mirror, hung where it is right now at 60 inches on center, is actually just where it needs to be (if I were keeping the credenza) in order to have the center be at eye level, have it not sitting just right on top of the chair rail, and to have it to be part of a complete vignette with the accessories that would be placed on the credenza, allowing it to be grounded by the accessories and the credenza.
So why does it look too low? And why does its placement bother people so much?
Well, there’s one answer and one answer alone.
It’s unfinished. 🙂
I’ve noticed that people have a tendency to want to judge a room as if it were the finished product when it’s barely halfway done. I had this issue all the time when working with clients, and I would continually have to urge them to wait until all of the items were in the room, and then we would see if they still felt that such-and-such needs to be done. And generally having all of the items in the room would clear up their concern about whatever issue they had fixated on.
It’s generally best to wait until all of the items are in the room before tweaking, rehanging, moving, etc. Because it’s only after all of the items are in the room, and all of the “ingredients” for the vignettes are on hand, that you’ll truly know where something needs to be tweaked. Until then, it’s just guess work…and way too may extra holes in your walls. 😉