Bathroom vanities come in all sizes, shapes, and styles, but the vast majority are made of wood, or at least made to look like wood. Other materials – either used for the body of the vanity or as accents – are almost unheard of, and tend to have a very assertive, distinctive, and usually modern look, like vanities with textured leather panels or ones made of metal. Mirrored bathroom vanities are one of the rarest variations, but are surprisingly much more versatile, with designs that pair equally well with a modern and very traditional bathroom style.
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The biggest appeal of mirrored bathroom vanities is that by their very nature, they integrate well into almost any bathroom space. Small to medium sized mirrored panels pick out and reflect details of your bathroom, essentially patterning the vanity with the rest of your decor. Because the mirrored pieces are usually either small, oddly shaped, placed at a slight angle, or slightly antiqued, the effect is less like walking up to a full length mirror and more like having a vanity with a living finish.
Mirrored bathroom vanities can add depth to your bathroom, too, if a bit more subtly than a large full length mirror. While a big mirror can visually double a small bathroom, or create a doorway-like impression in a larger space, the reflective quality of mirrored bathroom vanities diminishes visual impact of the vanity rather than making the room itself feel larger or deeper. Instead of feeling like you’re looking through the mirror into a different room, it’s more like you’re looking through the vanity to the wall beyond. The effect is similar, though: the bathroom winds up looking larger than it really is.
Not all mirrored bathroom vanities use bright, shiny new mirrors. In fact, I’d venture to say that most of them don’t. Antique mirrors are much more common for the simple reason that they don’t reflect as well – spots and haze in the mirror surface cloud and alter the reflection, retaining the impression of added depth without actually duplicating the rest of the room. In a very ornate, traditional design, that prevents mirrored bathroom vanities from making the bathroom look too busy. The big exception are mirrors used on very modern bathroom vanities, where you want a crystal clear mirror to reflect the sharp, simple lines throughout the rest of the bathroom.
The size and shape of the mirror pieces used contributes significantly to the overall appearance of the vanity, too. Large, plain mirrored panels produce a vastly different appearance than small shapes or slivers that only give a hint of a reflection. The smaller the pieces, the more they feel like cutouts or peepholes, giving little glimpses “through” the vanity rather than a more cohesive reflection. Smaller pieces can also be angled more easily, again subtly distorting the reflection to give the vanity a texture of its own. As a rule of thumb, the larger the mirror, the more clouded the surface will be, while smaller glass chips tend to be clearer.
That said, for a vanity that’s more or less covered in mirrors, the biggest determining factor in the overall style isn’t the size or quality of the mirrored pieces. Rather, it’s the design of the wood pieces that frame it. Simple square frames have a subtle, modern feel, while intricately patterned frames (like the Jali-style latticework on this Grace Hall vanity) look much more traditional. The wood itself matters, too; even if only a little of the wood is showing, wood finished in a weathered antique white looks very different than one in a sleek modern espresso, and each will set off the mirror differently, too.
Mirrored bathroom vanities are definitely a bold choice, but one that offers a twist on the same-old traditional bathroom vanity by combining a formal look with a hint of something more modern and unusual. Mirrored bathroom vanities work particularly well for people who change up their bathroom decor often – swapping out linens, paint, furniture, or tile to keep your bathroom up to date, on trend, or even seasonally appropriate. Since mirrored vanities have very little color of their own, you won’t have to worry about coordinating your new design choices with the same old wood tone – the vanity will pick up the color of the new pieces and blend right into your updated decor.
What do you think of these mirrored bathroom vanities? Let me know in the comments below!