Choosing the Right Vanity Mirror for Your Bathroom
A bathroom mirror is about much more than function — it is a vital aesthetic piece. In fact, the right vanity mirror can make or break a bathroom design. However, there is some good news if you are not happy with the look of your current mirror. They are way easier and cheaper to replace than, say, sinks or toilets, giving you the perfect opportunity to spruce up your bathroom without breaking the bank.
Before choosing your looking glass, it is important to remember that not every mirror is going to work with the design of your bathroom. Whatever you choose should match the overall aesthetic of the space, whether it is traditional, modern, or eclectic. After all, a vanity mirror is the central point of your day-to-day life.
The Right Size
Small and large mirrors both have their pros and cons. A large mirror not only gives you more reflection space but can make a bathroom seem more spacious. A small mirror, on the other hand, leaves you more room for other decorative elements such as light fixtures and sconces. Whatever size mirror you select, you should always take into account proportion and balance.
Most people opt for a mirror that is between two and four inches narrower than the bathroom vanity. However, this is up to each individual with some people preferring a mirror that lines up with their vanity. If this is the option you choose, be aware that you may need to get your mirror custom-fitted.
If you need space to store your beauty items, a medicine cabinet mirror might just be the ticket. Depending on the size of your bathroom, an additional full-body-length closet mirror might also be a great idea. If you want to make your bathroom feel more open, opt for a frameless cabinet or closet mirror.
The Right Shape
While most people opt for rectangular bathroom mirrors, some individuals get creative with custom-made designs that fit into the specific setup of their bathroom. Round mirrors tend to bring an element of softness to a bathroom since they contrast with straight lines and hard surfaces. For something a little bit more unique, hang an oblong mirror above your vanity.
Both round and oblong mirrors tend to go particularly well with pedestal sinks since those often also feature curved lines. Since they do not have corners, curved mirrors also leave more wall space where you can add lighting fixtures and other decorative elements.
Those looking to make a statement can opt for a wall-to-wall mirror that runs above the vanity and often all the way up to the ceiling. The great thing about this approach is that it makes the bathroom seem a lot larger than it actually is, which can be ideal if you have a compact bathroom.
If you opt for this approach, be sure that the mirror fills as much of the wall as possible and lines up with other objects — otherwise, it may look out of place. This usually means that you will have to invest in a custom-fitted mirror.
Mirrors that hang by a chain or strap can add an element of quirkiness to any bathroom design. They can also be highly functional if your bathroom has an unusual layout that makes a wall mirror inconvenient, such as a window right above the vanity. Suspended mirrors are usually either hung from a central peg in the ceiling or mounted on rails.
The Right Location
No matter the shape, most people center mirrors above the vanity, around three inches from the faucet. In terms of height, vanity mirrors should be around a foot below and above your eye line. It goes without saying that it pays to be mindful if you live with people who are on the shorter or taller side. Generally, the higher the mirror the better because this gives the bathroom a more open look.
One vs. Multiple Mirrors
If your bathroom features a wide vanity or more than one sink, you may wish to invest in multiple smaller mirrors instead of one large one. While this is up to personal preference, hanging two taller mirrors can give your bathroom the illusion of more vertical space while hanging one wider mirror can open up the bathroom by reflecting the opposite wall.
To Frame or Not to Frame
Mirrors come either framed or frameless. Framed mirrors feature extra detail and can be synchronized with your bathroom’s color scheme and design. As such, they are often used as statement pieces. If you are on a budget, you can also spruce up your bathroom by adding a frame to an existing mirror.
Frameless mirrors, on the other hand, have a modern, stylish look more in keeping with a minimalist bathroom aesthetic. One thing to consider when deciding between framed or frameless mirrors is the cost — frameless mirrors tend to be more affordable. For a more unique, clean look, consider inserting the frameless mirror into the tiles.
Make Lighting Work for You
Using the right lighting to complement your mirror can do wonders for your bathroom decor. It is important, however, to find lighting fixtures that match the style of your bathroom. For a touch of timeless elegance, frame your mirror with sconces. On the other hand, if you prefer a minimalist aesthetic, select a vanity mirror with in-built LED lights or backlighting. Some modern LED mirrors even come with additional features such as a clock or a de-misting function.
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McManus Kitchen and Bath is a design and build company specializing in kitchen and bath remodels.