Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most accessible, of them all?
Well, maybe that’s not exactly what the Evil Queen said in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but it’s a valid question to ask when shopping for a vanity mirror.
A mirror is just as important an accessibility feature as a bathing area and toilet. From a design stand-point a well-chosen mirror can also elevate your decor to the next level. Whether you have a pared-down minimalist style, an elegantly traditional, or a crazy funky one, you’ll be able to find a vanity mirror to suite every taste.
Increase Your Bathroom’s Accessibility
It’s important to ensure vanity mirrors are mounted at an appropriate height for wheelchairs or shorter people, or that they are tilted at enough of an angle for a seated person to be able to see themselves. Tilted mirrors can be stationary or adjustable for greater flexibility. Install mirrors as close as possible to the countertop or backsplash and ensure that those mounted over sinks have their lowest edge at maximum 40in/102cm above the floor. TIP: Mirroring the side wall(s) of the vanity if it’s in a niche, and/or installing a retractable magnifying mirror will increase functionality for every member of your household.
Types of Mirrors
Triptych Mirror – This traditional style has been re-designed to feel more modern. It’s a highly accessible design as you can adjust the sides to your personal preferences.
- Rounded or Oval Mirrors – They’ll soften the sharp angles of contemporary spaces and add a human element.
- Layering Mirrors – Mount a beautiful mirror on top of a mirrored wall. If you’ve found the perfect glitzy mirror but it won’t cut it as far as maximum accessibility goes, layering it on a mirrored background will up its usability factor as well as add depth and interest to your wall.
- Double Mirrors – A double vanity calls for two mirrors to add symmetry to the space. Hang two mirrors over a long single sink vanity to give the wall more impact without mirroring the whole thing. Try mixing and matching different mirrors to give the space some personality and style.
- Mirrored Wall – Don’t do well with too many choices? Skip the decisions and mirror the entire wall. Be daring and go all the way down to the floor and up to the ceiling! TIP: Your bathroom will feel bigger and brighter as a result.
Gilded Mirrors – Glam it up with a gilded frame. The gold will also add warmth and elegance to even the most low-key bathroom.
- Sculptural Mirrors – Make your mirror the focal point of the room by choosing an unusual shape or out-of-this-world frame. Channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor with a sparkling diamond frame. You can also play with scale and go for something oversized.
- Minimalist Mirrors – For contemporary bathrooms, you’ll want a mirror that fits with the streamlined design. Go for a simple frameless shape or one that has just a slim border.
- DIY Mirror Frame – If you’re handy and have a bathroom that’s sporting a typical boring frameless mirror that otherwise your’re happy with, you could frame it yourself using baseboard trim or a mirror framing kit. This is also a great time to add color or contrast into your bathroom.
Ensure you have bright dimmable lights around the vanity mirror. Consider installing side lights in addition to (or instead of) lights above because they don’t cast unflattering shadows. Look for mirrors with built-in LED (see tilted mirror above) integrated lighting for even distribution of light across your face.
Stop! Don’t just throw any old mirror up in your bathroom. You now have what you need to make a smart decision that will up the accessibility factor of your home. Plus it’ll ensure your vanity mirror is the envy of all who gaze into it.