Decorating with Photoshop


I don’t use the word hate casually. I reserve it for things deserving of the harshness it implies. Things like war and inequality and ingrown hairs.

So it means a lot when I say that I *hate* my dining room mirror.  I hate it.  It’s gross.  I bought it at Costco years ago and as far as I can remember I’ve hated it.  I’m  not sure why I bought it other than it was probably cheap and it’s big.  Big has impact.  But so does hate.




Every time I walk through the dining room I’m faced with this big, stupid mirror, and my reflection in it. Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the stupidest Costco shopper of them all?  Me.  That’d be me.

Damn the adrenaline rush of big, cheap things.

I don’t mind an ornate frame, in fact I really like them, especially in contrast to other white, sleek lines, or the rustic charm of the brick wall,  but if a frame is going to be ornate I want it to be an authentic antique frame like the frame that surrounds Margaret, my lifesized portrait in the dining room.  Just look at me gazing adoringly at her/it.



The problem is, it’s not an easy thing to just pull off the wall to start experimenting.  As mentioned earlier.  It’s big.  Big and stupid.

Enter  Adobe Photoshop.



I have all kinds of frames and mirrors in my basement. I collected them all during my fanatical garage sale days. I was good at garage sales. Very good.

So a while ago I went into the basement, armed with my camera and some centipede spray and started pulling out all of my framed mirrors. I laid them up against the basement wall and took a picture of each one of them individually.

I then transferred the pictures to Photoshop on my computer and erased the background so all I had in the pictures now was each individual mirror.

Now, using Photoshop,  I could take each mirror and transfer them into a picture of my dining room wall to see how I liked them. I could rearrange them, move them, stack them … anything I wanted to without actually breaking a sweat. Or any laws.

I could also add in the 2 new lamps I got on my first trip to Target.  They were also a bit of an impulse purchase.  Like the mirror.  Ahem.  I’ve kept the wrapping on the shades, so they can still go back.  At least I’m smart in some ways.

I don’t hate the arrangement of different mirrors, but I kind of knew that in real life I’d find it too busy and jumbled.  I might have the thrill of a change we’re all so familiar with, but in a week, or maybe a month I’d realize I didn’t actually like this change at all.   And then I’d be back to hating the wall I had to face every time I walked to the kitchen or bathroom.  And this time there’d be 6 or 7 reflections of stupid me, instead of just one.

So thanks to Photoshop, I eliminated what could have been a whole day’s work.  Poof.  Just like that.

Next up, everyone’s sure fire fix for anything ugly … white paint.   White Photoshop paint.


This I think I’d have an easier time living with. At least until I can find a genuine antique mirror, or collection of shrunken heads to put over the buffet.

Best of all, if I’m careful, I can do the painting without even taking the mirror down. I’ll probably go matte, maybe even a Chalk Paint, to contrast the shine of the white lacquer buffet.

If worse comes to worse and I hate it, I can always put the whole big, dumb thing out on my sidewalk where I’m sure some other adrenaline junkie will squeal at the sheer size and cost ($0) of it. Then … it’ll be their problem.

I give them a week before they’re out buying their own copy of Photoshop.


  1. Shelly says:

    LOL Karen! I was admiring the chicken sculpture on your buffet until closer scrutiny revealed that it was simply some green leafy thing with your reflected head perched upon it…

  2. Cussot says:

    I’d try blackened rather than black – deliberate sooty dirtiness rubbed in, former Costco glitz dimmed by time, wine and too much eyeliner. There’s a wipe-on Minwax product that might work.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Now if you would be so kind as to show us how to remove the background in a photo.

  4. AnnW says:

    I would paint the Costco mirror with gold spray paint to make it even Golder! Or gold leaf it. Or, make some Acanthus leaves from cardboard or card stock and spray paint those. Or make oak leaves and paint those. Or add some more wood trim to the costco mirror to make it even grander. The smaller mirrors look a little lame, like you couldn’t afford something real. The lamps might look better with the big mirror also. I Know you can create a masterpiece here. Wish I could go to the antique show. Ann

  5. Donna Morrow says:

    Karen, I’m enjoying your blog. Got here looking for Sharpie renewal. I saw this mirror post and wanted to share an amazing mirror decor that I happened upon at Even if you don’t do this with your mirror, I just imagine you’ll enjoy the pictures and ideas.

    This is not my product, but I sure wish it was! 😀 !

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Donna! I like it. It’d be nice with all black or all white rocks. It’s awfully expensive tho! Yikes. I could buy the rocks from Dollar Tree or Dollarama for about $10, could probably wrangle up the barnboard for the frame for free … then the cost of the mirror. Negligible. Hmm … ~ karen!

  6. Jenn says:

    OK, I didn’t read every response word for word, so this may have already been suggested.

    Why not re-frame the mirror? I bet a frame of reclaimed wood would look awesome in your house! Something like this

  7. Linda says:

    I have a giant (free) mirror over the fake fireplace in my living room. It has no frame. I want it to have one but I just never got around to it. My son the carpenter could surely make one for me. I always said I would paint one around it but that hasn’t happened either. I like your mirror painted white.

    The picture of you gazing at your life size portrait (which is gorgeous) made me laugh out loud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

The Art of Doing Stuff