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equest17_gw

Mirror, Mirror; Where on the Wall?

equest17
9 years ago

We are currently working on a bathroom addition on the second floor of our 1924 bungalow. It will serve as the master bath essentially (but since it's just off the hall, it could technically be a "family bath", although it's just DH and me).

I have found two furniture pieces to convert into vanities, so we can have separate side-by-side 40" vanities, something like this:

My vanities will have to have the sinks off center, since that is the only place for the plumbing. The plan is for them to be mirror images of each other; one vanity with the sink to the right and one vanity with the sink to the left, although I could do them both on the right (just can't put the sink in the middle because of the divider). I'm fine with either one, and I actually like the idea of a larger uninterrupted counter space to one side of the sink instead of splitting it. The conundrum is, what do I do about mirrors and sconces?

All the photos I can find of separate master vanities show pretty vertical mirrors centered over the vanities with flanking sconces (like the inspiration picture above).

I really like a mirror like this (it measures 19 x 26):

But how would that look in my situation? I'd have to center the mirrors on the sinks, and then what? Would I fill the remaining wall space with pictures or shelving to balance it? How could I arrange sconces? Would I just use two; one to the outside of each mirror/vanity combo?

My ceiling is only 7' high, so I can't go with something too tall and I can't put the sconces over the mirrors. One option would be 40" framed mirrors hung horizontally to cover each whole vanity, but my DH doesn't really like the horizontal look and I'm afraid it will only emphasize the low ceilings.

If it helps, here's the upstairs floor plan showing the new bath and fixture layout. The vanity images clearly don't show the sinks correctly, but it's the best I could do. The tub under the window will be a vintage clawfoot, but my program didn't have an icon for that.

If anyone has any suggestions or inspiration pics for off center sinks and how to handle it, I would really appreciate it.

Comments (17)

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    9 years ago

    I would do 2 mirrors and 3 sconces

    [Traditional Bathroom design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/traditional-bathroom-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_712~s_2107) by Seattle Kitchen And Bath Kayron Brewer, CKD / Studio KB

    You could also consider putting the sconce through the mirror over the sink if the ceiling height is a concern....

    [Contemporary Bathroom design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary-bathroom-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_712~s_2103) by Other Metros Interior Designer Emily Hagerman Design

  • arcy_gw
    9 years ago

    We put in a ceiling mounted fixture meant for an island. Three small pendants was all we needed. We love the look and it makes our ceiling seem so much higher.

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  • Olychick
    9 years ago

    Is it possible to place them close enough to have a single countertop? if so, you might be able to put the sinks at the far ends then put a tower in the middle (not full counter depth so it leaves most of the counter space in front of it). You could then put the mirrors over the sinks and a sconce on each side of the mirrors. Kind of like this:

    [Contemporary Bathroom design[(https://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary-bathroom-ideas-phbr1-bp~t_712~s_2103) by San Francisco Interior Designer Dzignit, Patrice Greene

    or here's one with the vanities separated farther apart - although I'm picturing a smaller tower more like the one above:

  • equest17
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Annie, are you recommending the two mirrors each be the same width as the vanities, about 40" long? The first photo looks like the mirrors are quite large. I do really like that pic, though, and maybe some sort of custom framing around and between two mirrors would make my husband happier. The beefy molding between the two mirrors could span the gap between vanities and still give me a place for a middle sconce.

    I have seen the sconce mounted on the mirror before, but it seems to work best in contemporary decor, IMHO.

    Arcy, what a great idea. Did you mount the lights hanging down over the mirror, or on each side? I just noticed that my first inspiration picture actually has hanging pendants instead of sconces, also. What height ceiling do you have and how long are your pendants?

    Olychick, I have toyed with the idea of a single countertop. I hadn't thought about a tower, but it would give more storage. I really like the look of two separate "furniture" like vanities, but perhaps it would be a good compromise. I think I would still have the same problem if I tried to use the vertical pivot mirrors I like, because my vanity is not like the ones in the picture. Each one is actually a changer, like this:

    I got a great deal on two and I'm planning to put a sink on the side with the open shelves (the divider is right down the middle, so I believe I can swap the drawers and shelves on the other vanity to make a mirroring version by just drilling a few new holes). But even if I put them next to each other or connected them via a single counter, I still don't know how to deal with a mirror unless it spans the whole length of each.

  • Olychick
    9 years ago

    If you put the drawers toward the middle, straddle the tower on them, then center the mirror over the sink above the shelves, doesn't that solve your problem? Like in the second picture I posted, but put the vanities closer together so the tower unites them, then the only space left for the sinks is above the shelves and center the mirror over that.

    I wonder if your great deal isn't going to be creating even more expenses trying to make them work? Might be more cost effective in the long run to get vanities that you want and sell the great deal on CL and make some $$.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
    9 years ago

    I would not like two separate vanities unless the sinks were centered in each. I think it would always look 'off' to me and I would end up hating them. I agree that maybe your deal will end up not being so great after all. Maybe you need to rearrange the plan.

  • dilly_ny
    9 years ago

    I would center the mirror over the cabinets or get one large mirror that spans for both cabinets.

  • les917
    9 years ago

    I would also suggest a single countertop. The space between the two vanities on your drawing appears to be less than a foot. The single counter would create a great space between them for a wastebasket. You could add a shelf or two above the basket for more storage, perhaps towels.

    Or, you could pull out the two drawers from each changer, and set them in that space between the vanities, and have all open shelving in the changers. Of course, that would take away the sense of two separate vanities.

    With one counter, it would then be easy to do the two mirrors and three lights.

    The other thing you could consider for the mirrors is lighted mirrors, so that you don't need to worry about sconces. It would depend on the style you want, but here is one example, on the contemporary side. Although I wonder if this could be framed to match your changing tables?

    4-light mirror

  • equest17
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thanks for the additional ideas. I found a photo of a repurposed dresser with an offset sink. I like the look, but I think it would be frustrating not to see the mirror from straight on at the sink. I think the pretty accessories on the right help balance the sink and the fact that the faucet isn't centered on the mirror, but maybe that defeats the purpose of having extra counter space! What do you think?

    My plan is an undermount sink, so the rim is not noticeable, and my faucet is a single handle pump style in chrome:

    I had thought about semi-recessed vessel sinks with the faucet mounted off to one side, but that might draw more attention to the asymmetry of the whole situation, and I don't know that it would change my mirror choices. Any thoughts or opinions on that?

  • Delilah66
    9 years ago

    Think about what you do at the sink that requires water AND looking in the mirror at the same time. For me, that would be nothing. Teeth brushing or face washing - I don't need a mirror as I know where all the parts are and the results are not visually dependent. Makeup - I need a mirror because the results ARE visually dependent, but I don't need water. So the off center sink would work for me from a function perspective and your picture (very attractive!)works from a form perspective. However, you could just use larger mirrors that extend to/past the sinks.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago

    Consider three mirrors -- one over each sink and one in the center -- or an art piece in the center. Two larger mirrors would also work -- or the tower and a single countertop.

    But first, I would caution you to make sure your "great deal" really works. I think you need to do more than move the drawers -- the shelf is not showing at the same height as the drawer so that has to be moved, you are going to have exposed plumbing unless you add something to the open area, regardless of what side it is on, and the top is going to have to be modified for a countertop (the wood surround for a baby is not a good fit for a wet area) -- and that's assuming that the height is good. Changing tables tend to be lower than counter heights, so I suspect they would be better suited to vessel sinks than undermount. All of the changes risk damage to the cabinet (weakening it or requiring refinishing).

    I'm not so sure these are going to be the bargain you want them to be. Double check everything. If they don't work, it would be better to discover that before you start changing them so you can still resell them and recoup what you spent.

  • equest17
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Javachik, your observations are probably true. I might feel like I need a mirror at the sink, but perhaps I rarely do. My husband, however, needs both the mirror and sink when shaving!

    Lascatx, thanks for pointing those things out. I did my due diligence (I think), and have thought through all those concerns. I already planned on replacing the top (it's designed to be removable so the unit can be used as a simple dresser later). I'm going to store small baskets and rolled towels on the open shelves to mask the plumbing. The top will be 35" tall, which is perfect for us as a vanity.

    For a wood piece in the 36-40" width with the furniture look I want, I felt it was a reasonable $80 apiece to spend. I have searched CL for months and never found a vanity the right size or something I could repurpose without at least as much work. The budget is tight, so this is the best I've come up with. Perhaps mirrors will just have to wait until I get the vanities in place and see how it looks.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago

    The height would be short for me, but you have a plan. Not everyone would have thought through all those things. Glad the top is removable -- that had refinish written all over it if not. Good luck with the transition. I think getting them in place and then deciding on the mirrors might be a good approach.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    9 years ago

    A number of thoughts for you.

    First, light through mirror is not necessarily modern. We did it in our bath....

    I like the idea of separate vanities and would not connect them with a counter. However, I don't like the idea of trying to hide the plumbing with stuff on the shelves. You may want to consider adding a hinged door to the plumbing side of the vanity.

    Depending on how tall you are, a lower vanity can be nice. I wish ours was much lower...it was in the old house and I didn't have the problem of water dripping off my elbows every time I rinse my face like I do now.

    I would place the vanities each with the sink toward the center and the surface on the far side. I would then use a framed mirror centered over the sink with a sconce over the nonsink area and a matching sconce centered between the vanities. I need a mirror in front of the sink. I've been in baths where they weren't there and it was annoying.

    I would use the sconces on the sides to balance the arrangement over the vanities and use the sconce in the middle to balance the total arrangement.

  • equest17
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Thanks for the ideas and pictures Annie. I do like your sconce and mirror set up. Does the light ever glare due to the reflection? I could always use a lower wattage bulb, I suppose, just for diffuse lighting.

    I like your diagram. I had been assuming the sinks would go toward the outside of each vanity, but you've proposed an interesting idea. I'll have to see how much space we have once the room is framed. If I have more than a foot between the vanities, I could certainly consider it. Otherwise, I'm afraid my DH and I would be bumping elbows.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    9 years ago

    No glare, but it does double the light from the fixture as there are 2 of them...just make sure if you do that, that the fixture looks nice from all sides ad you will see the backside in the mirror.

  • madtown_2006_gw
    9 years ago

    I don't have anything new to offer, just wanted to chime in and say that I like the set up in Annie's diagram with the sinks on the "inside". I think the evenly spaced sconces tie everything together.