Many people like to place mirrors over their fireplace, and there is a reason for this.
Mirrors first began to appear in the homes of European gentry in the early to mid 17th century .
Then they were displayed as signs of wealth and prestige , but their elemental purpose was to reflect within a room and so logic dictated that they should be placed above the fireplace.
It was around the hearth that the families would gather after dark and a mirror over the mantel would catch the glow of the flames , doubling the levels of illumination offered.
While the need to use mirrors to enhance light may not be as great today the spot above the fireplace remains a popular and appropriate location for them.
Such a prominent position means that overmantel mirrors can become almost like part of a rooms architectural character so when choosing one be sure to give careful consideration to such aspects as shape , size , ornamentation and finish.
When hanging an overmantle mirror above your fireplace, choose a mirror that is narrower than the mantelshelf but wider than the heart of the fireplace. If the mirror is the same as the mantel shelf , it looks top heavy and appears to be tipping forward.
As to the height of the mirror, it depends on the effect that is required in the room. Remembering that the taller the mirror the more open and spacious the room will feel since any reflection above ones eye line will give the feeling of a more spacious room, whilst a shorter mirror will give more emphasis to the reflection of the walls and furnishings and thereby create a more cosy and intimate feeling.