The bathroom window is now a mirror

Just two-plus years after gutting and renovating the bathroom top to bottom, the lone window in there is now a beautiful feature of the space.

I.e., definitely not in this picture above, taken before we closed on the house.

As long as we’ve been working in this sole bathroom upstairs in our house, we’ve been trying to figure out how to handle this window. While it once looked (sorta) to the outside on the sleeping porch that was semi-open to the elements, that porch is now closed in and part of the house.

Over the years — before and after we renovated the bathroom in February of 2013, we’ve mostly kept it covered in some way. We’ve kept a curtain over it and even used a random red fleece blanket for a couple years to cover it from the porch side, both for privacy and to keep light from leaking into our porch and therefore our bedroom when folks would use the bathroom in the night.

During renovations in February 2013

I had been imagining some way to turn this window into a mirror, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it. After turning the porch side of the window into some new built-in bookshelves a few months ago, I first installed that fake tin backsplash stuff on the porch side behind the shelves, but neither of us thought it looked very attractive

The new upstairs sleeping porch bookshelves.

My mother-in-law left us a can of mirror spray paint at some point and suggested we try that to see how it would work. We used that a few months ago and while it looked pretty good on the porch side (at least when the bathroom lights were off), it still wasn’t quite cutting it and definitely looked worse on the bathroom side.

After taking stock of the opening and noticing the flush, trimmed edges all the way around, I had an idea: Let’s just get a mirror custom cut and fill the entire opening with it. 

After measuring it weeks ago and continually forgetting to order the mirror, I finally pulled the trigger on ordering the mirror (and one for a second job, to be revealed soon!) The glass place I used, Chevy Chase Glass Company up in Bethesda, told me it would be ready in a couple of days, and then called two hours later to say it was done. (That’s some serious under-promising and over-delivering!)

Monday night, after the kids were in bed, I went to work on the quick job. I added in a couple of “artifacts” with notes on the back to leave inside — as we’ve done on all of these types of projects around the house. I also left the old sash pulls inside there as well.

I removed the old window pulls (to make the sash level behind the mirror), added a single 1-by piece at the top to give the mirror something to rest against up there, and then carefully placed the mirror in the opening.

It fit perfectly.

For now, I temporarily screwed a little block of wood into the side trim up near the top to hold the mirror in place, but I’m thinking of finding a little decorative trim (to match the beaded tile accent around the room) to build a frame around it and hold it in place that way.

But I think it also looks pretty good frameless, as-is.

It’s going to take some getting used to, to have an enormous reflection staring at you where there once was nothing, but it sure makes this tiny bathroom of ours look a whole lot bigger.

I also ordered the last few pieces of tile that we ran out of to finish the tile baseboard over the weekend…which means just a short 28 months after we started the job, I will finally wrap it up soon. That’s how it goes….get things 95 percent done right away, and then the last 5 percent takes a few years to finish.

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