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Choosing the Best Mirror for your Bathroom Vanity

collective studio

Whether you're looking to renovate your bathroom or powder room, or are wanting to just update the aesthetic of these rooms, this post is for you. There are key points to consider when choosing vanity mirrors such as functionality or aesthetics. In addition, there are also various configurations for your mirrors and lighting. All of which, if done correctly, can enhance the look, feel, and tasks for your bathrooms and powder rooms. We all want to avoid a mirror that is too small or mounted at the wrong height. Keep reading for some helpful tips, as well as inspiration for your own bathrooms and powder rooms!

3 Key Points to Consider

Pictured: minimalistic bathroom vanity mirrors in a powder room and ensuite

collective studio

1. Functionality (besides checking yourself out)

When choosing a wall-mounted mirror for your bathroom, the first thing you need to consider is whether you need something that offers extra storage (such as a medicine cabinet mounted over a pedestal sink) or something that just purely looks good! Ensuites and main bathrooms require storage for your toiletries and daily grooming accessories while powder rooms generally don't. If you don't have storage beneath the sink in your main bathroom or ensuite, consider a bathroom mirror with storage like a medicine cabinet mirror. However, if you have enough storage already then you'll have a variety of wall-mounted mirrors to choose from!

2. Lighting

Next, decide on what type of lighting you want to have. Lighting arrangement options can include:

  • Wall-mounted sconces on either side of the mirror.

  • Wall-mounted sconces above the mirror.

  • A single pendant light or two on either side of the mirror.

  • Integrated led lighting in your mirror.

The configuration of your mirror and lighting will help to determine the shape or dimensions of your mirror. For sconces on either side of your mirror, you can go for a taller narrow mirror, and If you would like the sconce above your mirror, a wide rectangular shape would provide enough space for a sconce above. Pendant lights however willy just vary in size depending on the overall room height. Continue reading for more on lighting in the 'Mirror and Sconce Arrangements' section below.

3. Style

Lastly, what design style are you aiming for? Modern, minimalistic, traditional, or maybe something more playful? The mirror can be one of the focal points of the bathroom some personality into it that will complement the style of the entire room.

Keeping these key points in mind when updating or planning your bathroom will be really helpful when it comes to choosing the correct size mirror. It can be overwhelming standing in a shop without a plan, so taking some time to consider the points above will help keep you on track. We've got more on style later, so keep reading ;)

Remember, if you want the task off your hands completely you can leave it to the experts. We've planned and designed many gorgeous bathrooms so you can feel confident that your needs will be taken care of. Book your free consultation call to get started.

Pictured: Medicine cabinets above pedestal sinks for hidden storage

Sarah Vaille Design

Lighting Placement

Lynde Galloway Interiors I Shelter Interior Design

In a previous post, we talk about the importance of proper lighting in a room. Powder rooms and ensuites are often neglected, usually only offering one single light source for the whole room. It's important to layer lighting in these rooms, especially since these are the rooms where we do our personal grooming. We definitely don't want to be putting ourselves together under terrible lighting so getting the right lighting and lighting placement is crucial.

Pictured: lighting layers (sconces, ceiling chandelier), large vanity mirror


That being said, layering lights in the bathroom can be functional as well as improve the look and feel of your bathroom. Sconces on either side or above of the mirror are great for not only enhancing the design of your vanity but also help to cast even light across the face in addition to the central ceiling light. Having even lighting across your face is really important for the mirror you use to get ready in front of every day.

Pictured: vanity mirror with lights

White Dahlia Design

Pictured: Exact sconce and mirror in the bathroom design above

Wayfair I Restoration Hardware

Placement Planning Recap:

  1. Dimensions Knowing your sink, faucet, and vanity dimensions, as well as the ceiling height, is important when planning the lighting placement. This will help determine the correct mounting height of your lighting and the most suitable-sized mirror. The general rule of thumb is to hang the center of the mirror at eye level or 57"-60" from the centre to the floor.

  2. Lighting Design Lighting placement above or on either side of the mirror will also help define the mirror size. Sconces help to cast even shadows on the face vs. having a single light source. Sconces above the mirror should be hung 75”-80" off the finished floor depending on mirror size. Sconces mounted on either side of the mirror should be hung 60"-65" above the finished floor, or centred on the square and circular mirrors and at about eye level.

  3. Balance Ensure the sink, mirror, sconce, and faucet are all centred together if the lighting is mounted above the mirror. Sconces mounted on either side should be 36"-40" apart.

Mirror Size

The width and height of the mirror will depend on the size (width) of the vanity (including the countertop). A good rule of thumb is to have the mirror a few inches shorter than the overall width of the countertop whether you are using a single mirror or double mirrors for a double sink vanity. For how high to hang the bathroom mirror remember to mount the center of the mirror at eye level 57"-60" from the finished floor which is especially important for all you taller folks.

Below listed are common mirror sizes for common bathroom vanity widths. Note that not all vanity sizes will be the same, but here is a simple guide to get you started. Again, remember that the height of the mirror will vary depending on the lighting types you select and the overall ceiling height.

  • 24-inch vanity - 22” to 23” Width Mirrors

  • 30-inch vanity - 28” to 29” Width Mirrors

  • 36-inch vanity - 34” to 35” Width Mirrors

  • 48-inch vanity - 46” to 47” Width Mirrors

  • 60-inch vanity - 58” to 59” Width Mirrors

  • 72-inch vanity - 70” to 71” Width Mirrors

The Creativity Exchange

These tall simple black framed mirrors are perfect for these high ceilings and A-framed roof as it further enhances the space. If your vanity is recessed into the wall consider side-mounted sconces just like the image above.

Have Fun with Different Styles

Most homeowners will often go with the safer style when it comes to the overall styles and placement of their vanity, mirrors, and lighting. Our bathrooms and powder rooms are often the smaller rooms in the home that don't take up much square footage so why not have a little more fun in these rooms and opt for a stylish vanity mirror. Consider getting a little creative with different shaped mirrors, lighting styles, and finish the room off with bolder paint and countertop finishes. Below are some stunning powder rooms for creative inspiration.

Pictured: Curved mirrors

Pinterest I Claire Heffer

Round mirrors bring an organic feel to the room. The curved edges help to bring softness and contrast to the other straighter edges. Bring contrast and creativity by stepping away from your standard square or rectangular mirror.

Pictured: Large wall mirrors vs. decorative

decor pad I dwell

If you have a long vanity which is typically anywhere between 60"-72" and want the room to feel larger, opt for a large mirror. A smaller powder room, however, can get away with a smaller mirror since we tend to not do any grooming in these rooms. Have fun with lighting placement such as a pendant versus a sconce, or choose a decorative mirror to enhance the aesthetic of the room.

Pictured: Backlit LED mirror


Pictured: Traditionally shaped mirrors

scout and nimble I home bunch

As mentioned earlier, tall and narrow mirrors paired with side sconces bring balance to taller ceilings and suit a classic modern design style. Vice versa, you could pair rectangular mirrors with ceiling pendants above for an overall modern take just like the image above (right), which pairs minimalistic black framed mirrors with black and white pendants.

You can easily enhance your bathroom decor by using these simple tips. And don't be afraid to get creative with unique mirrors and lighting styles! If you're planning on updating or renovating your bathroom make sure to reach out or book a free consultation call for a little more guidance. Stay in the loop and subscribe down below for more decor DIY friendly tips and tricks!

With Love,

White Dahlia Design Team



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