Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mirror, mirror on the... floor?

It’s been a long and windy road trying to find the perfect mirror for our new bathroom. When we started planning the bathroom we knew we wanted to have a recessed medicine cabinet above the sink to increase our limited bathroom storage. Shopping around gave us a few options and our only concern was which style to choose.


But when we started the reno we realized that the cabinet would be on an outside wall and recessing it meant we'd have loose the insulation behind it. Our top floor is freezing in the winter so losing any amount of insulation, not matter how small, was not an option.
Some Googling for inspiration lead us to this beautiful design and I was sold on having a big, round white mirror above the vanity (photo from here).

But my exhaustive search for such a mirror came up empty handed (read about it here and here). Next we debated going super modern with a glass starbust mirror but decided it wasn’t our style.

Out of ideas and places to shop, I threw in the towel and decided to go with any mirror we could find that wouldn’t look horrible. A quick trip to Home Depot and Lowes gave us three options and we brought them all home to see which one worked best.
Choosing a mirror was a very precise process. First we laid them on our bed to hmm and haw over which one we liked most.

Then Matt held each one above the vanity while I took pictures for us to compare. The picture method eliminated one mirror immediately. This white oval mirror was too underwhelming for our fancy smancy new bathroom. So back to the store it went.

Deciding between the traditional dark oval mirror and the modern white rectangle one was a harder. The dark oval mirror worked really well with the vanity and the wall colour. But it didn’t match the light, airy feeling we were trying to create.

The white rectangle mirror really opened up the space but it was just an inch too big. Between the light, the vanity and the large mirror, things were too crowded.

We decided to sleep on it for a few nights before making holes in the wall to hang one. But then I got a tip that Zellers had some really nice mirrors. Jackpot! It was mirror heaven. I came home with five, yup five, new mirrors to hang in various rooms. But we’re talking about the bathroom. Focus, Meaghan.
Zellers didn’t have my dream mirror but they did have a rectangle mirror that would fit perfectly above the vanity. The only downfall was the vintage paint job. It was beige instead of white and it had a distressed look that wouldn’t work with our modern design. But a can of white spray paint would quickly remedy that.  And at $40, it was the cheapest mirror we saw to date.

The mirror passedthe picture test with flying colours. And even though it looked beige in the florescent store lighting, at home it was a warm yellow tone that looked awesome with our blue-green walls. (Whoops, seems like we need a new lightbulb too!)

In hindsight, our bathroom really needed a pop of colour to warm it up and the yellow mirror was just what the doctor ordered. Even the distressing, which I’m usually not a fan of, was a great contrast to all the shiny modern finishes.

Our $40 mirror took our room from feeling too harsh with all its white d├ęcor to warm and welcoming. We hung the mirror up the next night and spent an entire evening admiring our fab $40 find.

The great mirror search was finally over. Until we were woken up by a loud crash at 2:50 AM that night. Our lovely mirror had fallen off the wall! There’s a reason it was only $40 – the hook had fallen off the mirror and sent it crashing to the floor. We were lucky though –there was no damage to the vanity or newly tiled floor. Phew! But the mirror took a beating on the way down.
We thought about returning the mirror and starting the great mirror hunt again but I had fallen in love with the charm this vintage-looking piece brought. We exchanged our damage one but this time instead of trusting the stapled on hook (we should have known better the first time), we bought wood screws to fasten the hook to the mirror frame. Then all we had to do was mount it on the hook in place from the first mirror.

I’m still loving how this mirror warms the room up. And how the vintage distressed look makes the room feel more lived in. It doesn’t scream “brand new room” anymore.
Here's a replay of the mirror progression:

It’s been almost 24 hours and the mirror is still on the wall. Hopefully it stays that way.

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