Home Design Crafts: Decorative Bathroom Mirror Ideas

A few simple ideas for decorating a bathroom mirror to integrate it into your total decor.

When you think of bathroom mirrors, they hardly bring to mind the epitome of style. More often a functional necessity than a fanciful form, the mirror often gets lost or just forgotten in bathroom decorating endeavors. Decorating a bathroom mirror may be a little puzzling at first, but with endless possibilities it can provide the inspiration for the entire decorating theme in the bathroom or it can be the crowning glory of a magnificently decorated room. Whether you have a mirrored vanity or a flat mirror, following are a few suggestions that could make your looking glass a glass worth looking at.

Obviously, when considering the decorating options for mirrors, you have to remember the purpose of the object and maintain enough viewing space to still use the mirror. You will also have to take into consideration opening ability if it's a vanity or medicine cabinet, what type of lighting is above the mirror and how close the mirror's edge is to any other objects. Now that you have those things in mind it's time to browse through a few options.

This first suggestion is etching your mirror. This is a great idea because it can be used on either a flat mirror or a vanity and you don't have to worry about whether it opens or where the lights are. The one drawback is that it is permanent, so be sure this is the look you want before beginning. You will need etching cream, a new craft paintbrush, a craft knife and clear contact paper. All of these items are easily found in most craft stores. Decide on the pattern you want etched into the glass and draw or trace it onto the contact paper. Choose an item from your shower curtain or wall border or a nice flower border that complements your design. The sky is the limit for etching patterns. You can even bring in leaves from your yard to trace if that's the look you want. Once you have your pattern on the contact paper, cut the design out with the craft knife. Peel and stick the contact paper on the mirror with the cutout where you want your etching. Be sure the edges of the cutout are firmly adhered to the mirror's surface by smoothing around them with your fingertip. Now, following the directions on the container, apply the etching cream to the mirror with the paintbrush. When it is finished, based on the time provided in the directions, wash with warm water and remove the contact paper. Now you have a custom mirror with very little money or effort!



A fun idea for dressing up a flat mirror is to frame it, either with a custom cut frame or rough-cut lumber, again depending on the look you want to achieve. This idea requires figuring out how much space you have between the mirror and any object, including light fixtures, mounted around or above it before you decide on the type of frame material you want. If you want to use a custom frame, call your local frame shop and ask them how to measure the dimensions. When you have your measurements, visit the frame shop and decide on the frame material you want. It may take a couple of hours or a couple of weeks to get your frame, depending on the shop. Once you have your frame, place it around your mirror (you might need an extra set of hands for this) and nail it in place with finishing nails (make sure the nails are long enough to go through the frame and into the wall). Cover the nail heads with matching putty or paint and presto - instant artwork! The process is pretty much the same if you are using rough-cut lumber except you will need to plan on staining or painting the wood. Or, if you have a lot of space around the sides of your mirror you can mount shutters to give the room an outdoorsy, spring window feeling. Old shutters can often be found at flea markets or antique stores. New shutters can be purchased from most building supply stores or hardware stores.

Another look for your bathroom mirror is to finish it off with curtains. This is easier done with a flat mirror but can be used on a vanity, particularly if it is set into the wall. For a light, airy look use a floral or lace valance across the top with a hidden rod. For a more dramatic look drape a rich, heavy fabric across a decorative rod and let it hand down the sides of the mirror, framing it in elegance. Again, the sky is the limit with this idea. Keep in mind that due to the moisture in a bathroom, the fabric may need to be laundered more often than your living room drapes.

While we don't always see what we want to in our mirrors, perhaps these ideas will brighten our mirrors enough to improve what's reflected back. After all, when we are happy with our surroundings, we are happier with ourselves.

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