FROM JUST OK TO SIMPLY AWESOME. How to change an ordinary wall into a stunning feature with just 2 simple alterations

Every now and then magic happens with the most simple things.

Do you find it strange to hear that even good designers sometimes panics? Perhaps you know that feeling – you’ve pushed the limits and tried something new. You know that it will work, but there’s that little voice that nags, that whispers in your ear – WHAT IF IT DOESN’T. Do you know what I mean?

And then, in the end, it works out beautifully.

In this case, that moment came very distinctly. We’ve custom ordered two unusually large mirrors for this dining room, to be installed horizontally above the server. On the day of the installation I was anxiously hovering around trying to be helpful (but I’m sure more in the way than anything else). As the installers lifted the first mirror and hooked it over the bracket the impact was immediately obvious – the dimension of the room changed entirely. The effect was even bigger than we imagined.

It’s moments like these that keep me going.

Feature wall with two large mirrors installed horizontally

Feature wall with two over-sized mirrors installed horizontally on a dark painted textured background.

What’s in a feature wall?

To give you context, this project was done in two phases, the first involved some serious construction work lifting floor levels, removing structural columns and changing the entrance. This vastly improved the layout and flow of the large open living-dining area. During the second phase we only focussed on creating a feature wall behind the dining area.

The beauty here is in the simplicity. We changed only two things:

  • Painted the feature wall in a toned textured paint.
  • Replaced the existing artwork with large mirrors. Hung horizontally, the secret was to split the overall size into two oddly long panels. That small gap between the mirrors makes all the difference.


Dining room with feature wall and fireplace

Adding darker tones needs proper lighting. A window in the corner and layers of lighting adds light and life.

Framed mirrors hung horisontally

The mirrors are framed in a stained timber to pick up the hues of the dining table. Two mirrors – instead of one – and showing a bit of wall between them is crucial.

Painting the feature wall had the effect we expected – it gave the room depth and stature, and it formed the perfect backdrop for artwork.

But when we hung those mirrors, WOW, the effect was immediate and drastic. The entire room opened up, reflecting texture, light and splashes of colour.

A small change with a huge effect. This is what it looked like before.

Dining room with artwork before painting and adding mirrors, before changes were made Dining room with mirrors and textured paint on focus wall after

Every room has a focal point – the area your eyes are first drawn to when you come in. Sometimes it’s not clear what the focus point is because there’s too much going on, and sometimes the eyes are unintentionally drawn to things that you don’t want to highlight.

If there’s not an architectural focus point like a fireplace, you need to create one. It can be a piece of furniture, or artwork, and it will come down to styling it in a way that lifts it out.

If you want to make the right choices form the start AND love your space, contact me for an online or in-person consultation

Over to you..

When you walk into your room, what is the thing you notice first?  Is there a point where your eyes are naturally drawn to? Is it something attractive that you want to highlight? Does it say LOOK AT ME, COME IN?

If you can scan the room without hovering for a moment, perhaps you need to find the beauty and lift it out.

I hope you have fun while doing it, Mia

interior design information

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  1. This before and after is amazing! I love the two horizontal mirror ideas and am considering doing the same in my dining room, which seems to be very similar to yours in terms of layout, size, and color palette. Would you mind sharing where you bought the mirrors, please?


    • Hi Clint, the end result is absolutely awesome, better than we imagined. I’m sure you’ll find the same.
      These mirrors were custom made to fit the space, and match the length of the double-length console/server below at 8’6″. They are about 20″ wide, and installed 2″ apart, and 4″ above the server.
      What makes this specifically beautiful is the low, and very long horizontal lines.
      I’m sure you can achieve the same end result with a little planning. I would draw out the wall in elevation and play with the proportions of furniture and mirrors in terms of the height of ceiling and total width of the wall. Happy planning!

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