At Home: Bathroom mirror makeovers are sheer magic

A boring, frameless, builder-grade bathroom mirror comes standard in almost every apartment and house. Your choices are live with it, or pull it off the wall and replace it with a decorative hanging mirror.

To be fair, these not-very-interesting sheets of mirrored glass  do the job. They help you shave, apply make-up and fix your fly. As for their aesthetic value, they have none.

Folks, you don’t have to live with this.

If more people knew about MirrorMate, a company based in North Carolina that makes custom-cut, do-it-yourself, mirror-framing kits, we could end this widespread bathroom plight.

When I discovered MirrorMate 13 years ago, it was too late. I had recently finished building a house and had told the builder not to install the basic bathroom mirrors because I planned to buy and hang my own nice ones, thank you. Which I did. It was expensive and time consuming. The mirrors were heavy, a hassle to hang and never fit flush the way attached mirrors do.

Soon after that painful process, I learned that homeowner Lisa Hunting had faced the same problem — only she came up with a better solution, which became a patented product and a company. It was genius. I vowed that next time I would use her product.

Last month, my mirrors got their frames.

Hustling me along was the impending visit of seven sorority sisters flying in for a long-weekend reunion at my house. Their approach detonated a dozen deferred home improvement projects, including fluffing up the bathrooms they would be using.

BEFORE: Dated light fixtures and a builder-grade mirror didn’t help this master bathroom any. (Courtesy Marni Jameson) 

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On the company’s website, I surfed through 67 frame styles and made my choices. Then, so I could have the full customer experience, I used the company’s free design consulting service. Kate Hart, an interior designer and professional home stager, looked at my photos, considered my selections and pointed me toward three better options.

She suggested I order frame samples to make sure. Because that would have been the smart and prudent thing to do, I skipped that step and went straight to “order now.”

When the frame kits arrived, I busted open the boxes and set to work. I built and mounted three frames in under three hours. I only bugged my husband twice to help me attach the two larger frames. The cost was around $200 each.

“Why isn’t everyone doing this?” I asked Kevin Button, who bought the company from Hunting last May.

“Good question,” he said. “Everyone can do it, and it’s green. You don’t throw old mirrors in the landfill. It’s simply a brilliant upgrade.”


How much? Prices range from $102 for a single (24-by-36-inch) vanity mirror in the least expensive frame style, to more than $200, depending on the style and size. The average runs $178, Button said.

How do you choose? Customers often ask if they should match their cabinets or their fixtures, Hart said. “While it’s always safe to coordinate frames with hardware, you can also think of framing your mirror as a piece …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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