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Can you believe I’ve been waiting to hang these Howard Elliott mirrors for an entire year?!
Was it worth the wait? You better believe it! These mirrors are so beautiful; they add much-needed drama and glamour to this space! Every time I enter the bathroom, I feel like I’m in a luxury hotel, which is perfect because that’s the design concept I envisioned from the start.
Choosing a vanity mirror can sometimes be an afterthought when designing a bathroom, but it really shouldn’t be! The bathroom mirror must be proportional to the rest of design, so it’s as important of a design element as any other. The size of your mirror will determine wall sconce placement, and the finish of the mirror should play a role in the plumbing fixtures finish.
Whether you’re building from scratch, remodeling like we were, or simply looking for a low-effort, high-impact upgrade, below are some of my best tips for choosing the right bathroom mirror for your space.
How to Determine the Right Mirror Size
Before you can choose a mirror, you have to know quite a few different measurements, including:
- the width of your vanity,
- the sink size,
- distance between sinks in a double vanity,
- your own height and the height of family members,
- the room height, and
- last but not least, sconce placement.
Make sure your mirror size allows enough clearance for sconces, faucets, the vanity backsplash, etc. You want the glass to be at least a couple inches above eye level for the tallest person who will be using the bathroom. It should also hang low enough that shorter individuals can easily see in the mirror.
Once you have all six of these measurements, use them to narrow down options when shopping online. When searching for mirrors for the Greystone master bathroom, I was set on having four sconces flaking the mirrors. As a result, I was limited in mirror width to approximately 18 inches. This measurement really narrowed down my options, and thankfully Howard Elliott’s Dante mirror was the perfect width – only 17.5 inches wide! This mirror width allowed me to have the four-sconce layout I desired.
How to Choose the Right Mirror Shape
Bathroom mirrors come in all sorts of shapes, but I find it best to stick with the basics: rectangular, pill-shaped, or round. You can always bring in drama with a more elaborate frame finish or style, but keep the shape classic. There are some scenarios where a more ornate shape makes sense, but if you want a timeless design, I suggest going for the classics.
Consider the other lines and shapes in the bathroom, and choose a mirror shape that reflects that. For example, if your faucet has a rounded neck like the one in the Greystone master bathroom, then a pill-shaped mirror like the Dante will repeat that shape, making both design elements feel more intentional. You can also see the same rounded lines repeated in the vanity sinks, which, once again, ties in other elements and makes the space feel more cohesive.
Another great tip: If you’d like to make your bathroom feel taller, choose extra-tall bathroom mirrors. A taller mirror gives you additional reflection space and can make a bathroom feel bigger and more open. The Greystone master bathroom has 9-foot ceilings, so essentially I could’ve gone for taller mirrors had I wanted to. But having the shower tiled all the way to the ceiling is another trick to make the bathroom feel much bigger, so the opportunity was not lost.
How to Choose the Right Mirror Frame Style and Finish
The mirror frame style and finish gives you a chance to add visual interest to the bathroom. The frame and finish will decide whether the mirror blends into your overall design as a supporting character or stands out with major main character energy.
Personally I am not a fan of matching the mirror finish to the vanity; that feels forced and dated to me. I do like to coordinate the mirror finish with either the hardware or plumbing fixtures, but every now and then I’ll choose something entire unique. In this case I went with a rose gold frame. The shiny mirror finish ties in the satin brass of the sconces flanking the mirrors to the shiny brass of the plumbing fixtures.
You also the option of choosing frameless mirrors, which can have a clean, modern look, eliminating the need to match any other finish. We have a frameless Howard Elliott mirror (number 1 in the roundup below) in our Greenfield powder room, which you can tour here.
Still not sure which bathroom mirror to choose? Below are a few of my favorite classic options.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the following:
- Rethink the Round, Brass Mirror (Plus a Roundup of Favorite Alternatives)
- DIY: Modern, Asymmetrical Wreath on a Round Mirror
- DIY Mirror Makeover: Stencil Your Favorite Quote on a Mirror
- Mirrors of Every Style for Under $200