If there is one room in the house that can date the age of the home and keep it stuck in the past it has to be the bathroom. The quickest, easiest and often most effective way to update a bathroom is with new bathroom mirrors. Most older homes either have the old style medicine cabinet with a mirrored door or have a been updated several decades ago with the large rectangular mirror that covers the entire wall above the lavatory.
As far as I am concerned the little in the wall bathroom mirror cabinets must go. The shelf space is narrow. The door is usually framed with metal that has lost its luster. And, to be quite honest, in today's world keeping medications in the bathroom is not necessarily a good idea. I'm sure some will disagree but nothing makes a bathroom look so 1950's as an inset medicine cabinet over the sink with a mirrored door. All too often the mirrored cabinet is placed too high for younger people or some of us who are shorter. If lucky we can see our faces, but that is about it. With age the silvering of the mirror may have deteriorated showing clear areas.
Another common bathroom style is the large rectangular mirror that is held to the wall with what appears to be little screw into the wall clips. Often the edges are unfinished. Of course, machine cut mirrors are often smooth enough around the edges to be useful. A finished edge will suffice in some situations, mostly depending on size and lighting. Many of the newer styles are large and rectangular, but often have finished beveled edges. For those who love their large old style mirror, changing the lighting fixtures can be the key to updating the bathroom. That's another day.
Updated Large Rectangular Bathroom Mirrors with Style
The framed bathroom mirror to the right is framed with a wood that is probably the same stain as that used in the bedroom. In this case, the mirror is recessed making the style perfect for the setting. Note the depth of the mirror. The thickest portion of the wood frame does not appear to extend beyond the recess.
Look at the picture. Now try to imagine the mirror without a frame. There would be nothing to tie the darker light fixtures and/or the darker brass lavatory fixtures to the decor. Note that the candles to the left side of the mirror are a shade of mocha. The reflection in the mirror shows the round towel rack in the same shade as the lavatory fixtures and carrying out the rounded style and the darker accents.
The framed mirror adds a complementary contrast to the curved shapes that are shown in the fixtures and accessories. While the color scheme is maintained, the sharper shape of the mirror and frame provide the perfect background for the accessories and focal points.
Positioning the mirror for maximum benefit is the key to success with this mirror (and other larger rectangular selections). The tile back splash provides the optimal height above the sink. For bathrooms without a tile back splash, such as the one shown, the mirror should be placed at least one and a half times the width of the frame above the sink, but no more than twice the width.
Some large rectangular mirrors that are mounted behind the vanity area may reach from the top of the lavatory to the lighting above. The tile back splash is much preferred. With the mirror reaching the top of the base, spattering from washing one's face or brushing one's teeth will occur and be more visible than it will on the tiles. Of course, we need to keep our bathroom areas clean, but we all know that on occasion we will be in a hurry and not clean a splattered mirror. Just wiping it with a washcloth will not suffice as the cloth will leave lint or cause streaking.
Please note that selecting this mirror for the space would easily hide the space left by a removed medicine cabinet style mirror. Talk about easy and updated! This is it.
I realize the discussion is updating an existing bathroom by selecting a bathroom mirror that is appropriate for the style and space. Obviously, the lavatory to the left is a modern design and could be found in homes built between the late 1950's through today. Most of us do not think of this style as something found in "older" bathrooms. Traditionally, when the majority of people think of the bathroom they think of a tub that is enclosed on at least three sides. The lavatory is usually a wall hanging unit that is quite unattractive or a sink sunk into a cabinet base, again not particularly attractive but quite common.
I selected this mirror and sink ensemble as an example showing proportion as well as combination of forms. The mirror itself is round, the lavatory is built into a hanging wall cabinet that is a curved triangle and is pulled together with a half-wall separation that is square or rectangular.
Even for those who may not be fond of the sleek modern or contemporary style, it is easy to see how much proportion plays in creating a modern updated bathroom. The selected bathroom mirror is round, hung low enough to provide good visuals for even a very young person or a disabled individual. The size of the mirror should be in proportion to the bathroom fixtures.
My Favorite Bathroom Mirror Style for Easy Updating
The mirror to the left is a combination of square and oval with beveled edges. Also available in elongated oval, round, or square the mirror is not the part that has captured my attention. The mirror is attached to the wall by two side clips that project the mirror two to three inches away from the wall giving depth to the mirror. More importantly the mirror will tilt to accommodate an individual's height.
The side hinges are available in a variety of metal finishes from the simplest of designs to the more ornate. Most of the mirrors I have seen are beveled. However, for a more modern appearance the hinges are sleek and thin while the mirror is plain.
If the need is for a mirror to update an existing bathroom, this selection is probably one of the best. It is easy to install and relatively inexpensive. A variety of shapes makes this selection perfect for almost any bathroom. With this in mind, if you cannot find the shape you want, purchase the hardware for mounting and have a mirror made to specifications. Again, having a simple mirror cut (and beveled) is a relatively inexpensive cost for an updated bathroom.
Mirrors to Avoid
There is a big difference between cheap and inexpensive. Mirrors for the bathroom can be found to fit any budget. My favorite mirror selection can be bought in my local area for less than $80.00. Depending on where you live, prices may be higher or lower. While this mirror is inexpensive for what you are getting, it is not cheap.
Cheap is a plastic frame or metallic coating on the mounts. No matter what the cost, cheap is cheap and it will look cheap. Avoid cheap mirrors. Period. And, do not think that all mirrors are of equal quality. Think of the last time you were in the dressing room at a local department store trying on a pair of jeans. Suddenly when looking into the mirror to get a view of the back you realized that you looked as if you were three feet tall and three feet wide. That is the result of a low quality glass that was distorted when being manufactured. The circus and side shows pay extra for that type of mirror. You shouldn't. The mirror should give a true reflection that creates no distortions. Avoid cheap mirrors!
Pay a few dollars more for solid mounts. Although it has been years since I have seen metallic coated fixtures, in the heat and humidity of a bathroom setting anything less than solid metal will eventually flake and peel --- a total waste of money.
Please note that all the selections I have shown are simple. Even the wood framed mirror at the top is simple. There are no intricate carvings. When selecting metallic frames avoid cut outs. They will be more trouble than they are ever worth. Remember the bathroom is a place of high humidity is spurts and then dries out. Unless you dust or wipe down the frame everyday dust will collect and become solid dirt in the cracks and crevices. Keeping it simple will make cleaning easier.