Here at Cosy Home, we’re big fans of mirrors. They add light where needed, look decorative – oh, and you can use them to see your reflection in as well. Whether or not mirrors form part of your interior design scheme, one place we really can’t get along without them is the bathroom. The right mirror and lighting can transform your bathroom visually as well as making it a relaxing and practical space to use. Here’s what to think about when planning your new mirror.
Large vintage landscape mirror, £79.95 from Rose & Grey.
Size and shape
For bathrooms, you need to consider function as well as form. The usual placement for mirrors is over the sink or vanity unit so that it’s easily accessible, and many of us are limited for space. ‘Wacky’, irregular shapes may create interest but will probably annoy you over time, and they’re harder to keep clean as well. Choose a mirror that fills the space as efficiently as possible, and balances out what’s below it.
Vanity units are wider and chunkier than sinks alone, so you can probably choose a mirror with a wide frame or something that makes a visual impact. Try not to go any wider than the unit or sink itself or it may look overpowering. For really difficult corners, it’s well worth getting a custom mirror made – some picture framing shops will do this for you, and it’s not as expensive as you might think. If you have a very wide vanity unit (for example, one with a double sink), then consider two or even three single mirrors as opposed to one long one.
Portrait art deco style mirror, £78 from Audenza.
To be practical, your mirror needs to extend at least 30cm above and below the eyeline of the person who’ll be using it. Stand in front of the wall where you’ll be hanging your mirror and mark a faint pencil dot on the wall. Your mirror only needs to be 60cm tall and hang with the centre over your dot. If you have enough space, though, go for a bigger mirror so that it extends higher up the wall. This will reflect light and add interest to the room.
French triple mirror in antique silver, £185 from Cox&Cox.
What you choose will obviously be driven by your own personal taste, but also a little by the confines of the space you’re working with. If you’re putting a mirror in a cloakroom, for example, there may not be room for anything big and chunky. In that case choose a mirror with a sleek, narrow frame or even no frame at all. Fitting a frameless mirror exactly to the width of the wall can really open up a room and make it visually much bigger. If you have a little more space, you can play with details such as ornate frames or natural textures like driftwood or painted surfaces.
The second essential component is lighting. Having the perfect mirror is a moot point if you can’t actually see yourself in it because it’s too dark! In a bathroom, overhead lights are practical but can be harsh, especially first thing in the morning. Side lights are more flattering and give a more targeted light (this is also another reason to use two smaller mirrors over a double vanity unit – there’s room for a light in between them!)
Most of us spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom, so it’s well worth investing some time and effort into getting these details right as you’ll see a lot of them!
Main image (c) 2021 Garden Trading, featuring the Farringdon square mirror, £100.