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Rethinking the Vanity Mirror + a Roundup of New Faves



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As my team and I design, we really try to think about every single element that goes into a space to make sure that we aren’t missing an opportunity to do something more interesting. As you may have seen on social media, we were at the mountain house for two days last week trying to design EVERY.SINGLE.ROOM. It was a frenzy of ideas and creativity, and man did it bring me back to Design Star group challenge days. We brought a billion samples up with us and went room by room with them. I wouldn’t let us leave the space we were in until we had two solid plans with at least the general materials chosen (for two looks a la ‘I design, You decide’). We didn’t finish, but OH BOY was it productive. At one point, while in the master bathroom thinking through the vanity design, it really led me down a path of “are we missing a chance here for something special and amazing?” Yes, tiles and fixtures are obviously important to a bathroom’s design, but those secondary design elements – mirrors, lighting – that’s where the magic can really happen.

The vanity mirror, for instance, can be something super simple and basic, but it doesn’t have to be. Of course, if you need a medicine cabinet for storage, then you have less stylistic options (and that’s okay), but if you don’t…it’s a world of design-forward possibilities. I’m here to encourage you (and remind myself) to think outside the builder-grade wall-to-wall mirror for something far more unexpected. I’m not talking a big ornate frame or even anything insanely out of the box; even something as simple as a large round mirror instead of a rectangle can really shake things up.

I thought I’d give you a peek into some of the style options we’ve found in our research for the mountain house master bath that are exciting us SO MUCH right now. Take a look, and let me know what you think:

The Large, Round Mirror

Round Mirror One Vessel 1
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Duh. The round mirror is certainly not new, but the key is thinking up new ways to do it. We actually have double vanities in most of the mountain house bathrooms, which makes it hard to do a single round mirror because it means that if you are staring at yourself in front of the faucet, say, brushing your teeth, your face might be cut off (that could be a deal breaker for some). Over a single vessel like the room above, it’s great and fine, and we might go this route in the powder room. Putting it just off-center, though, definitely puts a new spin on things.

Round Mirror 2 Vessels 2
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But as you can see above, when a large circle is over a double sink situation, it can get tricky unless you have a ton of wall space to make the mirror HUGE. IS THIS OK????

I’m here to tell you that I personally think it’s fine. This was a huge debate at the office because I don’t think that Brian and I have ever brushed our teeth or gotten ready at the same time so to me, it didn’t seem like a big deal, whereas Sara and her boyfriend brush their teeth at the same moment morning and night, and she had quite the different perspective than I did on this not being a design red flag. To me, the solution is simple: just move your body in a few inches to the middle of the vanity if you want/need the view of your entire face and hair.

Round Mirror Over Two Vessels 1
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But you should know that going into it. When choosing fashion over function, you need it to be a choice, not a mistake. Do you value having a cool mirror more than being able to see yourself from every inch of the vanity? If so, then go for it. If not, keep reading.

The Circle 2.0

Modern Bathroom Hanging Round Mirrors
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A circle doesn’t have to be just a circle, though. Take this bathroom for example. Sure, this one isn’t for every house as it’s VERY modern, but it’s certainly cool and solves the partial-face dilemma discussed above. Imagine these double hanging circle mirrors in a 200-year-old hotel in Europe or in a restaurant (which I actually think this is). So, so cool.

Mirror With Shelf Q
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Or you shake it up with something like this that has a shelf going through it. Adding function and interest, just like that.

Sculptural 3

Oh, this one is GREAT. A slightly elongated circle hung on a wood peg…yup.

The Tall & Skinny Mirror

Modern Bathroom Marble Vanity With Tall Mirror
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We are VERY into tall mirrors right now, too. We have the height in the master bath to do something lengthy and more dramatic, and we just might. Playing with proportions is a way to do something interesting in a simple way and right now, the super skinny, vertical lines are enticing us. The key is to have the frame as thin as possible so it’s not this massive, distracting thing.

Tall Skinny Mirrors
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This are gorgeous and giving me LIFE.

Maroon Bathroom Vanity Double Oval Mirrors
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Wait, what’s that you said? You love BOTH round mirrors and tall and skinny mirrors? Well, man do I’ve got something for you.  The pill-shaped mirror combines both trends and is GENIUS!!

The Suspended Mirror

Suspending 1
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But why simply hang a mirror on the wall when you can have it welded to your ceiling? 🙂 We are into suspended mirrors hard right now because they add a sculptural detail that brings your eye up, and adds drama but again, in a way that’s pretty visually simple. This photo above is EXTREMELY inspiring to me for this house. It’s more glam than we will likely go, but that gorgeous tile, suspended mirror and marble is an intoxicating cocktail of deliciousness.

Tall Skinny Mirror 2
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Tall and skinny AND suspended. Wonders never cease.

Suspending 2
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Suspending 4
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I feel like a window behind the vanity would actually provide GREAT light (hello perfect face of makeup), so don’t close it up or rearrange the space. Instead, keep in mind that the suspended mirror is particularly genius for this instance.

Suspending 3
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Maybe your house is more traditional or glamorous? These attach to the wall and countertop and are in a more traditional shape and finish.

Pivoting 1
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Or you could be like this genius and customize these that come from the wall. I love those so much. It doesn’t make sense to do if you have actual room for a mirror, but maybe you have a tiny awkward powder bath or are trapped by an awkward floor plan and can only have your vanity facing the window…sometimes these kinds of problems (and their solutions) can become the reason that you love a room.

Backlit Mirror 2
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There is a little bit of an issue with suspended mirrors, and that’s the lighting situation. Where do you put your lights when the mirror isn’t flush to the wall? DON’T WORRY, because you can always light them from behind.

This is something that we actually considered. You don’t see the light source unless it’s on, but boy is it modern. Remember that our master bath has a lot of tech features, so I actually think this could work…

I’m currently in the process of coming up with our real plan and some of the considerations are risky, like a modern version of this recessed niche mirror – but DOUBLE and tall. EEK. But stay tuned…

Recessed 1
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There is so much more to come. This post could have been 3,600 pages and photos long because we truly are considering everything. For instance: how do you make a basic wall-to-wall mirror look custom and special? Or how can you add hidden storage behind mirrors that doesn’t scream medicine cabinet? Or maybe you are asking, “Hey Emily…tell me about the new shelf above vanity trend?” OH, I CAN. The whole team happens to be headed up to San Francisco today for a big Pinterest party, otherwise, I’d STILL be typing/showing you inspirations. For now, we rounded up some mirrors we’re loving if you’re considering a vanity refresh yourself and want to shake up your morning lipstick routine:

1. Roche Backlit LED Round Mirror | 2. Buckminster Tear 2 Accent Mirror | 3. Plymouth Sliding Storage Mirror | 4. Vintage Pivot Mirror | 5. Infinity Black Mantel Mirror | 6. Solace Mirror in Woven Strand | 7. Norm Oval Mirror | 8. Vinkel Mirror | 9. Industrial Rectangle Accent Wall Mirror | 10. Day Mirror | 11. Elroy Small Walnut Wall Mirror | 12. Sophia Mirror | 13. Fletcher Oversize Wall Mirror | 14. Allied Brass Frameless Ceiling Hung Mirror | 15. Caplet Oval Mirror with Shelf | 16. Arc Mirror Set | 17. Dot Brass Suspended Mirror | 18. Adnet Mirror | 19. Kensington Pivot Round Mirror | 20. Starting Point Mirror | 21. Round Metal Framed Mirror

#7 is a serious contender for our master bath if I can figure out where to put the lights. #13 just might grace the guest room. I’m intrigued by #14 a lot and would love to see it in person (it comes in different finishes, as well as in circle form) and, no surprise, really dig #17.

Before wrapping up for today, I want to circle back to something. I’m curious if any of you have been, both intentionally or accidentally, in the “single circle mirror over a double vanity” position where you technically couldn’t see your entire face when standing in front of the faucet? To remind you, like this:

Round Mirror 2 Vessels 2
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If you’ve dealt with this, please tell us in the comments if you like it, regret it or the limited vision doesn’t bother you at all. We’re itching to hear from people who actually live with this day in and day out. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here, but curious where you land. I’d say that if you are renovating from scratch like I am that it makes more sense to come up with a beautiful, exciting mirror plan that functions for both sinks equally. But if you have a built-in double vanity and really want that round mirror over the basic rectangles that do the job better but kinda bum you out, I say GO FOR IT. I have an antique mirror in our entry that is so old and shaky, it’s virtually impossible to use to even apply lipstick in, but I don’t care because it makes me happy every time I see it. Wouldn’t you rather see a smile in that reflection than a frown of compromise?

Now go forth, and rethink that standard vanity mirror…

Fin Mark


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I like all of the styles mentioned except the suspended mirror look, unless a window is involved, in which case it seems like a clever solution. The shape I was most interestered in was the pill shape which seems both organic and sculptural, though long rectangles was a close second.


I deal with the “sharing” of the not-quite-equal mirror daily. It’s fine until HE wants the mirror, then it’s all his with big man shoulders and body and elbows reflecting everywhere. Just sayin’.


It seems odd to be debating about the large round mirror over the double vanity if you’re one of those couples who never use the bathroom together – why have the double vanity in the first place? I don’t think it is so common in the UK apart from the more expensive hotels, probably because we often have teeny tiny bathrooms! I think one larger, more interesting sink would look amazing under the large mirror 🙂


I’m American and think the two sink trend is wasteful and unnecessary. I am not interesting in brushing my teeth next to anyone else. So weird!


It depends on how the homeowners use it and the size of the bath. Many American houses are 3,000 sq ft or more with bathrooms the size of bedrooms!


My parents have always (3 different houses) had their own sinks, in their own vanities, not sure-by-side.


Me too!!!! We took out doublesand put a single sink and gained tons of counter space. In 32 years of marriage we’ve never brushed our teeth at the same time.


I LOVE having double sinks. I can run my life on my side how I want to and he can run his how he wants. We’re always at the sink together before bed and it’s nice to wash my face, brush, floss, wash hands to remove contacts etc without being in his way. We have a small house and only a 60″ counter top but I love the double sinks! Just my 2 cents. ????. It doesn’t feel wasteful,it feels efficient/useful!


I agree! I take much longer than my husband in the morning (and night) and not having a sink of my own would be disasterous! NEED double sinks.


I love it too. Now it’s kids + husband. I have a lot of wasted space in my house, but the double sink is not one.


Maybe you are planning to address this in a future post, but do you have any advice as to scale? I have a rather long vanity (48″) with only one sink, and I’m wondering what size mirror to use.


Double vanities sort of make me ill. I know I could not tolerate seeing my husband brush his teeth while I brush my own. I have a hyperactive gag reflex and it would not put me in any mood to share a bed. We have two smallish bathrooms, each with its own sink and medicine cabinet. I also cannot fathom toothbrushes exposed to bathroom activity. They need to be behind closed doors where they are safe and protected from splashes and flushes and people that are not me using my bathroom.


You don’t have a water closet then? 😉


Well according to research even if you keep your toothbrush in a bedroom there will be s*** bacteria on it. Sorry to break your bubble 😛


Geez I don’t think my comment went through. I didn’t think it would be vulgar.
Anyway, according to research even if you keep your toothbrush in your bedroom there will be bacteria on it from your bowel.


On a slightly related note, for the last 2 years I’ve implemented a rule in our house that the toilet lid is always put down before flushing and kept down at all times when not in use. I’ve no hard data on it but I’m happier knowing that there are less germs being thrown in the air, especially since it’s also the room where toothbrushes are kept. Now that it’s the norm here, when visitors don’t do it, it really grosses me out, even though I used to leave the lid up a couple of years ago too! Then there… Read more »


We keep our lid down too. Hate it when visitors leave it up!!


Isn’t it THE WORST to see open toilets on real estate listing and in people selfies. ? Oh it grosses me out something awful!




Yes! I am currently trying to implement this at my office too & it is NOT working! One person actually said they prefer to walk in and see the lid up – what?!


I like the idea of two large round mirrors that overlap — think the look of a ven diagram. If they were minimal, I think it could look amazing. ????

Renee Griffith

Love all the ideas you’re considering, especially the elongated mirrors! We have a double vanity and I recently bought a very large, minimal octagonal mirror that I thought would be great for above our sinks. When I went to place it, it was because of this issue of not being able to see all of myself at once (cause I JUST NEED TO LOOK AT MYSELF AT ALL TIMES) without moving over that I decided against it. We aren’t often in the bathroom at the same time but I still felt like the form didn’t outweigh the function, even when… Read more »


Haha! Cute comment.


Those suspended mirrors are KILLING me because I love them but have low ceilings. I need a medicine cabinet in my tiny bathroom, but if I add a second bath, I plan to do a big round mirror (over a single vanity because I live in a small space).


What you choose for a vacation house can be less practical than your home where you are dealing with your daily work and responsibilities. I think the mountain house is for relaxing and vacationing, so sharing the mirror space with your spouse would be totally fine, even a bit intimate and sweet. And I LOVE those single big mirror swipes. So good.


I’m a Californian and if I were building or redoing a bathroom I would have one sink. We are never in the bathroom at the same time and I love the look of lots of counter space.


Your household must be far more disciplined than mine! I want a pedestal sink, because big counters attract clutter. Right now I have a pair of winter booties sitting on my bathroom counter, so I remember to clean them before I put them away for the season


I lived in an apartment with a beautifully designed bathroom with two individual mirrors above two individual free-standing sinks. I loved the look of the bathroom, but functionally, it sucked. No where to put our toiletries while we were using them (We kept them in a closet when we weren’t using them). But worst of all, the way the mirrors were situated, they were so close to the adjacent walls it was almost impossible to blow dry my hair in front of the mirror. There was no where for my arm to go! If I could have just stepped over… Read more »


Just in Paris and the hotel had a very interesting use of mirrors in bathroom. Over pedestal sink there were wto mirrors both arched but one shorter than the other and the mirrors overlapped just a bit. Also there was a marble shelf in front of them and then the pedestal sink. It was very modern but held onto the old world feeling.


Why not try a large horizontal oval mirror to solve the face-cutting issue? There are some really interesting vintage ones.


I’ve commented a few times before, but then I noticed I was using someone else’s nickname. The horror! Some of these definitely look like restaurants. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing, as long as it’s a classy eatery. Looking like a swanky hotel is definitely good, in my book. I would never be able to unsee the “eyeglasses” in some of those double mirrors. Now I put it in your head too, lol. “how can you add hidden storage behind mirrors that doesn’t scream medicine cabinet?” I am so looking forward to that discussion! My current plan is… Read more »


Oh no! I just read the Master Bathroom Design Process and you talked about bathtubs. Comments are closed. Does that mean the discussion is closed? You have exactly the same bathtub preferences I do, but a bigger budget. Could please explain what you meant about putting the drop into a thing so it could look sort of free standing? Would that be less expensive than the Sunstruck? Backing up a step, what even is it that makes a tub freestanding or drop in? The ones I like ;just like the ones you chose) don’t have legs. They just rest on… Read more »


I literally opened my laptop this morning before work to look up a new vanity mirror and decided instead to check the blog…. lo and behold! perfect timing. Love the concept of thinking outside the box with the mirror — we are doing a quick refresh of our bathroom until we can afford the full gut job, so I love the idea of investing in a mirror that will be a statement now and can be the star of the reno later.


What happened to my comments? I came back to see (fingers crossed) if y’all replied to it & it’s gone. I know it posted—I read through it again, cause that’s when I do my best proofreading. Also, I made a couple little comments on others ideas & they’re gone too. What’s up? Did I do a bad?


I wanted 17 for my bathroom really bad just too small. And I’m on team no to one large round mirror with double sinks. 🙂
Oh and regarding your weekend email, I have been wearing the nisolo hueraches for a year now, and love them. They took a while to break in but now super comfortable!


This was so timely for me as I am picking out some things for my own bathroom. Those ugly, builder-grade medicine cabinets from the big box stores are weirdly expensive and not at all stylish.


Run from the mirror that is not centered over your sink! Or more importantly, if you cannot see your full face in the mirror while using the sink. In our master bath we each have a counter and sink, with an off-center very large rectangular mirror. The mirror is centered over the counter, while the sink is to the side of the counter with a large counter area on the other side. I hate it. If I”m doing anything that causes me to look in the mirror, then whatever I’m using falls on the counter and not in the sink.… Read more »


would LOVE a round up or some more discussion on medicine cabinet mirrors. I have a crazy amount of products and would love to hide them all away in a really functional design.


Love the idea of a big round mirror, centered between 2 sinks. As long as it’s really big, I think that would look so cool. And as long as you can see some of your face, I would think it should be fine. I also love the idea of just one sink in a long vanity, but not if the extra counter space just gets filled with clutter!


We have one of those old medicine cabinets that have 3 doors, but it’s slightly of center from the sink. So there is always a line through my face. It drives me crazy.


Oops looks like somebody forgot to edit this post…still interesting and entertaining though.


I love that oversized mirror and in this case the two sinks – it just looks better! Having said that, we remodeled our bathroom last year and opted for one sink only and a round mirror above. Love it!!! We’re never using the sink at the same time, plus we’re both Europeans and are used to one sink only. Yet as I said, in the above case, the large mirror works perfectly with the 2 sinks – they’re just more in sync that way. I could see myself doing such a bathroom! It’s a statement, isn’t it?

Jagdish Kumar

No doubt you have shared a great collection of all home bathroom mirror. Also check my heart touching lines in english


I’m so surprised not to see any mention (in the post or comments) of tri-fold medicine cabinets! I personally use one every single day to do my hair. It makes seeing the back of my head while using a blow dryer, curling iron, or comb SO much easier. (In a past apartment I didn’t have one and switching between the styling tool and a small handheld mirror is such a pain!) Anyway, I’d love to see recommendations on stylish tri-fold medicine cabinets. I also love the storage they provide…so functionally, I need one but it’s a huge challenge to find… Read more »


Love that last line! The “frown of compromise” indeed.

My husband and I have basically never used our double vanity at the same time. However, that said, just for visual balance I much prefer two mirrors, either smaller round ones or preferably those gorgeous elongated tall rectangles. That first round mirror that’s slightly off center is making me slightly nuts.

Love you and I totally get why you need to take it up a notch but not everything has to be “interesting” though! That’s the road to contrived-ville, imho.


Love the round, off-centered mirror, but I’m also a fan of single sinks. We built our home with one sink on a long vanity. Two-thirds of the vanity has a huge window over it so I can look over the gorgeous rolling hills/cows/see the birds in the trees/view of garden and jacuzzi, etc. One-third – the sink area has a narrowish mirror over it and it works fine for us. I do have another small, round mirror on a stand in the window sill that I can pull down and use if needed. I based this off my brother’s home… Read more »


I love the look of the single large mirror between two sinks, and I think you could definitely get away with it in a vacation home. For every day use, though, I think two mirrors would be more functional (and can still be beautiful!). I used to have a very large master bathroom with two sinks (and a builder grade wall-to-wall mirror – talk about function over form!), and it was soooo helpful when my husband and I had to get ready to go to work at the same time every morning. The morning scramble was seriously hectic as we… Read more »


My husband and I get ready in the morning and at night at the same time, so sharing a round mirror that’s not big enough to see both of us at the same time would be undesirable. In our old house, we had one bathroom (5’x7′) with one mirror (18″ wide) shared between the whole family. I agree with some other posters that the dual vanity is a bit of an American indulgence, and when we recently moved a double vanity wasn’t a requirement, but we ended up with one and it has been nice. When we renovate we’ll probably… Read more »

Jillian Lare

I’m a little bit of a stick-in-the-mud on this topic. I believe in function in an often used bathroom above all else (powder rooms and guest baths are a different story). Unless there is a really good reason not to do sconces on either side of the mirror for optimal lighting and to avoid shadows on the face while shaving and putting on makeup, I do it every time. So that would automatically rule out the big round mirrors for me. Unless, of course, there was an adjacent wall where I could mount an LED makeup mirror. Poorly lit bathrooms… Read more »

Dorothy Lee

Absolutely love every example you shown! Thank you


The single mirror over 2 sinks is pretty but would drive me nuts daily. I wouldn’t choose something that I have to use every day that will require an awkward moment of sidestepping between sink and mirror. It’s just not comfortable to look at your half face when you brush teeth. I think the double vanity really serves its true purpose when you have 2 children brushing their teeth and they can each be at their own sinks because even with that space between them they can barely get it done with all the discussion and antics that go on… Read more »

john richard

Great Thought, thanks For your information.


Right when I need a new mirror for the bathroom. Love all the styles your shared, this trend is the best!


What would be a graceful way to use a backlit mirror?


Great Approach as well 🙂

navya ajit

West Elm (I think) had some great vertical mirrors (not as tall as what you have shown above) with metal frames and each had a little shelf at the bottom. They also had a rectangular mirror with the same little shelf detail. I have never wished more that I needed a mirror for my bathroom!

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