​The dos and don'ts of picking bathroom mirrors

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Disraeli Road, Putney, Grand Design London Ltd Grand Design London Ltd Minimalist bathroom
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When it comes to bathroom décor, the simple mirror is the one element that receives far less attention that it deserves. After all, you use your mirror in the bathroom every single day, don’t you? It is a critical element for grooming, yet is also one of the easiest ways in which you can inject style and character into the bathroom. 

Let’s talk about costs. Changing a bathroom mirror is far cheaper than replacing, say, a toilet or sink. And the style and design of the mirror goes a long way in enhancing the rest of the bathroom’s look and ambience.

What about additional detail? Of course all professional bathroom designers will agree that the simple bathroom mirror can be styled up to become quite the focal point of the space, with ideas like striking frames and lighting fixtures going a long way in turning an ordinary wall mirror into an element of beauty. 

But even though choosing a mirror can be fun and easy, it should be met with some degree of planning and consideration. Fortunately, as always, homify is here to help when it comes to choosing top-notch bathroom mirrors across the UK…  

1. Do consider the size

Style and design aside, think about your mirror’s size in relation to the rest of the space, especially the vanity unit. Although there are exceptions, a large bathroom mirror generally shouldn’t be wider than the vanity itself.  

In terms of height, a mirror only needs to reach about 30cm above and below the eyeline of the user. Of course the more height you can get, the better, as this will ensure extra viewing angles and give the bathroom a more open feeling. Try to span at least 1.2 – 2m above the floor. 

homify hint: To help you determine the perfect mirror height, measure from the base of the vanity up to the lighting. Determine if you want a gap between the top of the mirror and the lights or if you want them flush. To avoid water spots, consider placing the mirror about 15cm above the vanity.

2. Don’t overlook the importance of function

Gone are the days when a mirror was only about providing reflection. Even the simplest of home décor stores can provide a selection of bathroom mirrors with great additional features. 

Storage: Vanity cabinets with mirrored fronts are available in both traditional and modern styles. Even though a mounted box vanity cabinet is usually traditional in style, modern designs are often created with sunken cabinets that are completely invisible when closed. Both are ideal options of you require a little more storage space for those endless amounts of bathroom goodies. 

Lighting: Mirrors with built-in lighting are perfect for cosmetic reasons, with the lights ensuring extra glow so you can see what you will really look like when out and about. Remember that these need to be hardwired into the bathroom, for which a licensed electrician is definitely recommended.

3. Do decide between framed or unframed

While you’re sifting through different round, square, small and large bathroom mirrors, consider framing. While it’s true that framed mirrors add another dimension of style, they are also bulkier. They can also take up more surface area, which can be an issue if you’re pressed for space. And don’t forget that unframed mirrors are currently the trend due to their clean and minimalistic look.  

Fortunately, should you purchase an unframed piece and change your mind down the road, frames can be bought and added separately to form a custom design for that bathroom style-up project!

4. Do consider your bathroom’s style

Bathroom mirrors are available in a multitude of styles, colours and shapes. Using a different shape for your bathroom mirror can ensure a stunning focal point, as long as the design enhances the rest of the space, and there’s a link between existing hues and textures. 

Our recommendation? Simple is usually the best choice. Subtle finishes like chrome or brushed aluminium are also popular choices in modern days, which can also be a terrific compromise between full frames and unframed mirrors.

5. Don’t ignore that round mirror just yet

Speaking of shapes, just because rectangular mirrors are the norm doesn’t mean you’re forced to follow suit. A round mirror can be a great way to bring some curves into an otherwise straight-lined room, ensuring a soft touch and relaxed mood. 

A round mirror can also be a great companion piece for a pedestal basin, as the curved lines between the two can ensure a visual link. In addition, circular designs leave more negative space around the ‘corners’ than rectangular ones, if you’re doing anything possible to avoid a cramped look. 

homify hint: Want to place emphasis on your beautiful wall (maybe you’re showing off stunning wallpaper or an eye-catching finish)? Go with a round mirror, as it leaves a bit more wall exposed, plus the circular shape automatically draws attention away from the rest of the bathroom’s linear outlines (shower, tub, tiles, etc.).

6. Don’t forget about your windows

Obviously that bathroom mirror needs to enhance a practical layout, but consider where windows are located. If the mirror can reflect a window, that will mean additional natural lighting for the bathroom, which can bring out the best in every other design feature you include in the space.

7. Do take your lifestyle into consideration

In addition to being beautiful (obviously,), your bathroom mirror must also be practical. Do you share your bathroom with a partner and kiddies, resulting in a need for plenty of mirror space? Are you and your spouse always blocking each other’s way (one is shaving, the other’s brushing teeth… ) while preparing for work in the mornings? Perhaps two separate mirrors can work wonders for your morning routine? 

You may feel limited by outlets or wall sconces, but luckily a mirror can be custom cut to ensure perfect dimensions for your bathroom space.

8. Do think about multiple mirrors

Fortunate enough to have a wide vanity in your bathroom, especially one with multiple sinks? Then don’t discount the benefit of multiple mirrors. Opting for several tall, skinny mirrors can also help to give a bathroom a more vertical look, emphasising the height of the space. 

On the other hand, using a single large mirror opens up the room by reflecting more of the opposite walls. 

Of course multiple mirrors can still work with only one sink. In fact, centring a mirror on the sink and then adding a second mirror symmetrical to the first can make the entire composition look more balanced, compared to just one singular mirror. 

In the end, the choice comes down to your personal style and your bathroom’s space.

How to clean your mirror in the bathroom

DIY your own mirror-cleaning solution. Mix ½ cup of distilled water, ½ cup of white vinegar, and one tablespoon of corn starch in a spray bottle. Shake well!

1. Use rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth to scrub hair spray and other stubborn debris off your bathroom mirror. 

2. Spray your bathroom mirror with your new DIY cleaning solution.

3. Wipe the surfaces with a microfiber cloth (or crumpled-up newspapers) that won’t leave any streaks. Be sure to wipe across the mirror in a broad “S” pattern, wiping from top to bottom and edge to edge. Avoid a circular motion (save that for when you’re buffing a car). 

4. Inspect your newly cleaned mirror from different angles to ensure you didn’t miss any smudges. 

How to prevent a foggy bathroom mirror

Even if you have the best and most beautiful large bathroom mirror in the UK, you still need to do your share to prevent it from fogging up.  

1. Easily mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. 

2. Shake it gently to mix the solution.

3. Spray the solution directly onto your bathroom mirror and allow it to sit for a few seconds. 

4. Grab your microfiber cloth (or newspaper) and wipe off those sprays.

5. Repeat if necessary. 

Before you give your bathroom a whole new transformation, have you considered The pros and cons of a sunken bath


What other tips can you add to make the quest for the perfect bathroom mirror much easier?

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