Skip to main content
Accent colourAdvice for HomeownersBefore and AfterBlackDecorating AdviceGreen

These Mirrors add Sunshine to any Windowless Room

By 10/06/2019April 17th, 202216 Comments

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you left on my Nephew’s Bachelor Pad Makeover in my last post! My Mom and I actually cried when we read some of them!

As promised, I wanted to tell you about this fake window we created in the dining room. It made such a huge difference and was really inexpensive!

When I saw my nephew’s dining room in his new condo, I had two ideas to turn it into an inviting space to dine.

One was to use a mural with drapes on either side to create a window (below). The other was to use mirrors to create the same effect.

I bought the mural, we installed it, and the adhesive immediately failed.

I could have tried to re-install it with wallpaper paste, but then we all agreed that using mirrors would be better.

And since I was on a budget, we went with the most inexpensive solution which was 15, 12″ x 12″ square mirrors installed with double sided tape.

Couldn’t be easier and we were able to create this entire window wall from IKEA for $40 (Four packages of four for $9.99 each).

Here’s Luuk lining up the first mirror. Once you create the first row you install them by eye after that.

Then I suggested creating faux mullions by painting them white! Or obviously because the black window trend is so big, you could create the same effect with black paint. Luuk loved that idea so we taped it off and painted inside the mirrors where we had left an approximate 3/4″ gap.

Remember, if you get paint on mirrors you can just scrape it off with a razor (Luuk used a butter knife).

And of course you could add wood trim instead of paint but I had a total of 3 1/2 days to pull off this entire transformation and we didn’t have time to organize that.

Here’s another dining room photo I pinned years ago! I love how the homeowner simply installed three floor length mirrors to create such a great window effect and reflect the light:

Design Mom

You can still buy these mirrors from Ballard Designs below:

Ballard Designs



This Parisian inspired mirror is 35″ x 35″ you could stack two of these to create the same effect:



Or you could install a wall mural like this one (below. What I like about this mural (or something similar) is that it looks like you’re standing at a window and looking out at the view. Many of them are designed so you feel like you’re standing in a forest which isn’t quite the same effect as looking out the window.


I saw a skinnier piece of a very similar mural installed in a living room with drapes in a magazine, and I have looked and looked but can’t find it. Anyway, I was shocked when I saw the before pic without the mural because it simply looked like it was the view outside the window.

Anyway, here is another photo I found with a mural above a desk without a window (below):

Style at Home

And here is the after again with the painted white window:

Here’s the before again:

Here’s what the room look like at night with all the lights on:

We installed this light from IKEA (below) in the left corner you can see in the reflection (above):

Here’s the difference in the way the light looks without this lamp in the room (below):


If you live in a box apartment (where usually the dining room is often beside the galley kitchen) this kind of lamp is great positioned in the corner of the dining room and it’s the first light I would flick on when I walked into the room.

Recently I was in a clients home who had a dining room attached to the great room that was painted a dark colour. It was real pretty, but during the day it was just this dark room that you were always looking at from the much brighter living room. I suggested she install a standing lamp in the corner and keep it on all day. This way it visually brings the room into the house. Without the light it just looks like an unused room.

And in case you missed my post earlier this week, here’s the living room before:

And after:

Over to you my lovelies! If you’ve seen a great before and after of a room with mirrors to create a similar effect, please link it below!

Terreeia and I are off to Chicago for my second Specify Colour with Confidence workshop of the Fall Season. We have 2 seats left, there’s still time to jump in and Boston and Orlando are in November (We will not be back to either of these last two locations again).

Related posts:

Inside my Nephew’s Bachelor Pad Makeover: Before & After

Need an Extra Window Somewhere? Do This Instead

Refresh your Dining Room With Upholstered Chairs: Before & After

227 pins


  • Karen Kirby says:

    I love how the yellow roses were on the table as you worked! Some luxury is required! I much prefer the mirrors over the mural – the one you tried looked very phony – maybe because it wasn’t wall sized. So the failed glue was a blessing. And reflecting light is quite important. Lucy Luuk- he looks like such a wonderful young man and you are lucky Maria to have him. Your mom…….. what an amazing grandma – I enjoy every time we get to know a bit more of her.

  • Joanne says:

    First of all, you have a beautiful family! And it seems you are not only stunning, but you are lovely people. I loved this makeover, great ideas for anyone no matter their budget. Mirrors are great and the impact of your strategy for expanding and lighting up the room is amazing. My daughter’s house is surrounded by lovely, old trees thus her living room looks a little dark during the day. Guess what I am buying for her! Although I enjoy all of yours posts, I really appreciate when you feature more modest homes.

  • Rosemary says:

    I think because this was a family affair, along with your talents, is what makes this transformation so special. Did you get the black sconces at ikea, need to make a field trip there. Best of luck to Luuk in all his endeavors and when he comes home at the end of the day, he will have his sanctuary thanks to his Aunty and Grammie.

  • Julie says:

    Hi Maria: What a fantastic 2 part post! This may be my favorite makeover yet!! Your whole family is adorable. I know we only see parts of people in the blog, but your love for each other and enjoyment of one another shines through. My son just graduated from university and is preparing to be out on his own. I showed him the post and he was completely enamored. He said “you, me and Maria have a hot date at HomeGoods”. (The US name for HomeSense). I’m so glad that Luukas and Sam have a beautiful and stylish home in which to recharge.

  • celestial says:

    That living room transformation is the most amazing one ever…I would love to have it for my own! I love the dining room “window” as well; it truly does open the space up well. Thank you for posting the photo of the tall light on and off; it really is a good demonstration of how you “brighten” up the space. I’ll wager your nephew is the talk of all of his friends for having the “coolest” living space of any 20 year old ever!

  • Allison Rapp says:

    Maria, I am always amazed at what you see in a space that–at first–looks like a place I wouldn’t want to live!

    These mirrors are genius–I don’t actually know a lot about Feng Shui, but a practitioner encouraged me to install a mirror behind my stove because the double the numbers of burners, which is considered a sign of wealth. In any space where you use them as you did here, they also vastly increase the size of the room… so, same concept.

    And if I remember what I learned at that time, the dining room is the relationship area of Luuk’s home, so I wouldn’t be surprised if suddenly, everyone he knows wants to come over!

    And how great that it was a multi-generational effort… so satisfying on every level!

  • Brandy says:

    I love how you share your talents with your family. The mirror makes a world of difference in that room! Such a cool space! My favorite is what you did in the living room. Amazing!

  • Jen says:

    Thank goodness for 2700K LED bulbs, and your examples (this post, and your sister’s kitchen) of placing small-ish lamps in the most interior/darkest corner of deeply colored rooms, and keeping them on all day! I now have a small lamp in my kitchen, as I have always done, and now a pair of small-to-medium sized lamps on the interior wall of my deep rose dining room. I so enjoy looking at the gently illuminated from surrounding rooms. Love this idea!

  • Pinkie Crabtree says:

    Sitting here picturing the polka dot curtains in my living room….love Luuk’s dining room!

  • Valerie Leeds says:

    I can’t get over this makeover! I like the mirrored wall for the dark room, but I love the gallery wall even more. Please do a post on how to do gallery walls. I never would have picked so many pictures, or the second large one, or the two little one-one near the lamp and the one on the lower left. Far too many, I would have thought. But Noooo, they all work! They look fabulous! Stunning! Even down to the detail of the triangular hanger for the botanical right under the wall peak! Decorating fairy, please help us to have a portion of your gallery wall vision!

    • Maria Killam says:

      Haha, I will think about how best to teach this 🙂 thanks for your comment Valerie! x Maria

  • Michele says:

    One thing missing: a shoe rack! 🙂

  • Fran W. says:

    So clever, Maria! Love it!

  • Paige says:

    Absolutely fabulous! I know where all the friends will be gathering!

    Can’t wait for Orlando! My countdown timer is on – 5 weeks, 5 days, 22 hours!

  • Beth L says:

    My mouth literally dropped open when I scrolled down to the photo with the mirror “window” installed. Brilliant!

  • Jane says:

    Hi Maria,

    out of all the makeovers you have featured over this past year, this is my favourite. A lot of people live in small apartments, many of them rentals. It is not always possible to change the placement of light fixtures, put in a window, add a wall etc… I just love how you have made an average small (normal for most people) apartment look fabulous. That choice of green is just inspired. Thank you for always teaching me to be daring and for your inspiration. I hope your nephew enjoys this space.
    Keep well.

Leave a Reply