My roommate and I spent the last month or so dreaming up a high-impact, low-cost wall art solution for our dining area. It’s the first room you notice when walking in our front door, and we all know first impressions are valuable. I totally believe the seven-second theory applies to a gazillion situations: not just first dates or job interviews.

We thought about purchasing a nice mirror for our wall, but let’s face it: Large mirrors can be pretty pricey. We weren’t willing to drop $200+, so we had to get creative.

When I moved into my very first college apartment in 2008, I purchased three Ikea MALMA mirrors and hung them above my couch. Sadly, we got bored with each other and parted ways by 2009. But when I spotted these $2.99 beauties during a recent Ikea trip, inspiration hit.

I prepped each MALMA by covering the mirror with painter’s tape.

My roomie and I painted the mirrors with acrylic paint. We chose blue and grey to match our grey/blue/tan/green dining room. The possibilities were endless; we considered staining them, too.

Once dry, the mirrors were ready for some mirror-on-wall action. Here’s the before:

And here’s the after! They’re hung approximately 6″ apart.*

Aren’t they lovely? They make the small room appear taller & larger, which is awesome.

Not bad for approximately $30 and two hours worth of work.

Do you have any Ikea MALMA projects to share? 

*Props to my dad & brother for hanging these. If the hanging part was up to me, the end product would have been embarrassing.