Bathroom mirror ideas have had a bit of a relaunch over the last few years. Once a very functional, hardly noticeable part of the bathroom, maybe stuck on the inside of a cabinet, protruding from the wall on an unsightly arm, or at best a simple design above a vanity. But now, now bathroom mirrors are often the focal point of the space and aren't just about functionality, but so much about adding shape and style to room, using clever techniques to 'expand' space and creating that hotel vibe.
So to pay homage to the rebranding of bathroom mirrors, we've pulled together all our favorite looks and asked top designers for their bathroom ideas too. So whether you want some sleek and slimline or an opulent addition, there is plenty here to get you inspired.
1. Make it movable
This is such an innovative bathroom mirror idea, created by HKB Interior Design (opens in new tab). Make it flexible by installing a mirror on a track so you can slide it to exactly where it's needed. It's ideal if you have a large sink area or a double vanity. It's also a nice way to divide a room, say if your bathroom is an en-suite connected to a bedroom like this one
'Vanity mirrors can be tricky when also needing to let in natural light.' explains Heather K. Bernstein, founder of HKB Interior Design. 'In this home, we had two such spaces where we wanted to keep the natural light but add function with mirrors over the vanities. In the primary bath we put the mirror on a track so that it could roll from one sink to the next while keeping the open, light filled space (and not having to close it in). In the powder room we opted for a ceiling mounted mirror that hands in front of the window. It allowed for lots of light to pour in from behind it.'
2. Choose mirrors that echo shapes throughout the space
When choosing the shape of your bathroom mirror, look to your other fixtures and features for guidance. Maybe you have chosen a hexagonal bathroom floor tile you can reflect in your design, or a circular basin that would perfectly mirror a circular design hung above. In this small bathroom designed by Marla Walker (opens in new tab) it was the curves of the double sinks that inspired the mirrored cabinets.
'For this small master bathroom I sourced sleek, mirrored medicine cabinets whose rounded shape echo the shape of the sink basins.' explains Marla. 'I wanted all of the metals in the space to be consistent, so the brass trim on the mirrors ties into all of the other fixtures and adds a bit of glam without distracting from the graphic floor tile and earthy walnut vanity.'
3. Create satisfying symmetry
Mirrors are ideal for creating that really luxurious look you often see in hotels, the two mirrors sat above a double sink or vanity that creates that instantly satisfying symmetry. And it's a look that can work with so many styles from elegant traditional space to uber-modern playful rooms like this delightful pink bathroom designed by 2LG Studio (opens in new tab).
'This bathroom was all about symmetry.' explains Jordon Cluroe co-founder of 2LG Studio. 'Twin sinks, twin storage, and twin mirrors. We had them made specifically for this project and framed them with these beautiful wall lamps from Michael Anistasiades. The lozenge shape is playful and echos the arches either side. Keeping it formal but still playful.'
4. Pick out a one of a kind
A bathroom mirror is an opportunity to add something unexpected to a bathroom. An out-there shape, a bold color, an imposing size – choosing something that adds more to the room than just a place to stare at your reflection. An easy way to ensure the character is by scouring antique stores and finding something truly original. In this simple white bathroom, designed by Humbert & Poyet (opens in new tab), it's the vintage French mirror that elevates the room.
'Throughout much of this interior, we used marine timber for the paneling with a white lacquer finish. The old SNCF mirror, that was handpicked in an antique shop in Nice, perfectly balances the minimalist interior style whilst complementing the brass lighting fixtures, brass sink and fittings.' explain designers Emil and Christophe.
5. Use bathroom mirror ideas to blend styles
Well, who knew yellow and white stripes could look so chic? Despite the bold bathroom color ideas this bathroom feels so serene and elegant and we think it's mostly down to that wonderful antique mirror. The deep charcoal hue and imposing shape, balances out the brave color choice, shifting the focus from the tiles so the overall look doesn't feel too overwhelming.
The mirror also creates a lovely blending of styles, old and new come together in this space to create a modern bathroom that feels equally classic. Try it out yourself, by shopping second-hand for antiques rather than buying new. 'Old' works with any style and is a lovely way to bring some character and shape into a bathroom.
6. Bring warmth to a bathroom with brass accents
Matching a bathroom mirror to the fixtures and fittings is a really easy way to create a very cohesive, spa bathroom vibe. Brass is such a popular choice as it's a lovely way to add some warmth to a bathroom – often spaces that can risk being cold and stark. In this bathroom designed by Humbert & Poyet, the mirrors, lighting, and faucets all bring out the warmer tones of the gorgeous marble feature wall and balance out the cooler tones of the blue vanity to create a space that feels both elegant and soft.
'The twin brass frames mirrors were custom designed by Humbert & Poyet and contribute to the symmetry of the bathroom.' explains Emil and Christophe. 'The size of these mirrors makes them a room-defining feature, adding further depth to the luxurious space, and enhancing the effect of the striking onyx stone wall.'
7. Add texture with wooden frames
There's this real bathroom trend this year for bathrooms that don't feel like bathrooms. Rugs, soft furnishings, curtains, and lots of lovely textures make the space feel more like a living room or bedroom than a bathroom. But it can be tricky to re-create this look and still keep the space feeling practical, after all, a bathroom before anything else has to be practical.
So if you are looking to bring in these softer textures, use bathroom mirror ideas to do so. Wooden framed mirrors, as can be seen in this space is a really easy way to bring in texture in a way that's not all form over function. We love the worn antiqued look of these gilded wooden mirrors, they suit the maximalist space perfectly. And yet this design wouldn't look out of place in a really clean all white bathroom to bring in some much-needed texture.
8. Use a mirror to add interest to a small bathroom
In a small bathroom or powder room mirrors can make all the difference. They can of course be used to help 'expand' a space, but they can also be used to add a focal point and interest when floor space is tight. In this bathroom, designed by Renu Mathias Interiors (opens in new tab), the unusual shape of the mirror with its interesting curves avoids adding any clean lines to space. And note the lack of symmetry too, again creating a more intriguing room despite the smaller dimensions.
'The pairing of an asymmetrical mirror with offset lighting in a small powder room can make up for spatial limitations with visual interest.' explains Renu.
9. Build bathroom mirrors into paneling
Paneling is such a huge interior design trend and really can work in any room. In bathrooms, it lends itself to that trend we mentioned of bathrooms becoming softer, more lived-in space. The tricky thing with paneling is how to incorporate mirrors, which of course need a flat surface to hang nicely. This bathroom design by Ivey Design Group (opens in new tab) has the answers.
'We wanted to do millwork in the primary bathroom, but how would that look with mirrors?' says Jamie Ivey, owner and creative director of Ivey Design Group. 'Then we came up with the idea of having the millwork become the frames of the mirrors. It created a truly custom look.' Very clever and looks super sleek.
Which mirror is best for a bathroom?
The best bathroom mirror will mostly come down to personal tastes, but there are a few practicalities to consider like size and positioning. Look at your sink size, height, and shape and measure up the wall space on which you want to hang your mirror, and use these dimensions to determine the size of your mirror. You ideally want your mirror to hang a few inches above your faucet and should be at a height that suits both the smallest and tallest person who will be using it.
'When choosing a bathroom mirror, always consider where it will be installed.' says designer Marie Flanigan (opens in new tab). 'The need for a mirror in a powder bathroom is typically different from its need in a full bathroom. In a full bathroom, make sure the mirror is adequately scaled within the sink and wall space. Further, always take height into account to make sure both the tallest and smallest guests can use the mirror. Lastly, consider how the area will be lit and where your sconces will be added. For powder bathrooms, while you absolutely need a mirror, you can have a bit more fun with your selections as it isn’t typically used for true vanity purposes.'
In terms of style choices, the possibilities are endless. But a key decision to make is whether you want a frame or to go frameless. Frameless mirrors can be ideal for making a small bathroom look bigger as they will add less clutter to a room, hence why they also suit more minimalist spaces. Frames allow for you to get more creative and often create more of a focal point in a bathroom, adding character and texture.
How big should a mirror be over a bathroom vanity?
This will depend on the size of your vanity and whether you have bathroom lighting wall mounted on either side. But as a rule of thumb, you want your bathroom mirror to be smaller than the dimensions of your sink or vanity by a few inches, so measure up your vanity and let that dictate the size of your mirror. However, don't go too small as you don't want it to look like it's floating in a sea of wall.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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