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How big is that patio? And other tight-space tricks with mirrors.

Study the photographs here and on the following pages and you'll see what mirrors can do to open up tight spaces.

A device as simple as the homemade screen shown at left turned a bland, unused corner into an expansive focal point for the room.

A device as grand as the wall of mirrors above turned an unpleasant 12- by 30-foot space between a house and garage into an elegant, cheerful outdoor area. Though this is an outdoor installation, the mirrors are protected and won't lose their silver: they are built into showcase window sash mounted to the wall and weatherproofed with caulking. The panes of glass in the arched doors also have a slight tint to make them reflective.

Installed 1/4-inch plate-glass mirrors will cost from $8 to $11 a square foot. Professional installation often makes sense--larger pieces are heavy and unwieldy. Metal channels along the bottom edge carry the weight, and seams of butted edges must be carefully matched.

With all the reflection in the top photograph, the dining room may appear complex, almost chaotic. But look at the lines on the ceiling where the two mirrored walls meet--the room is actually quite small. Mirrors make it appear expansive and direct the eye out through sliding doors to a view of the ocean.

Visual space gain also results from the mirrored backsplash above. The tight corridor kitchen benefits greatly from the sense of light given by the mirror.

Reflected light is the key in these two bathrooms. Above, two mirrored walls quadruple the room images while also making two rectangular skylights seem like four larger squares. And the bath at right feels much larger and brighter with the skylight doubled. Even the plants appear fuller and lusher.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1984
Words:290
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