Standing mirrors, or mirrors that are neither part of another piece of furniture nor hung on a wall, can serve a utilitarian purpose, an aesthetic purpose, or both. They offer a practical solution for a room with limited wall space where a mirror is a necessity, such as a bedroom with wrap around windows or for a rental apartment where you want to limit the number of marks you leave on the walls. Smaller standing vanity mirrors made to rest on bathroom counters offer magnification for easy examination and cleaning of the skin or makeup application.
In additional to their practicality, many free standing mirrors are also beautiful pieces of furniture in their own right that not only enhance any room, but can also lend the room the illusion of more space and amplify natural light.
Before purchasing a free standing mirror, there are a few practicalities to consider. If you have young children, a standing mirror might not be the best idea, as a strong child could potentially tip one over, injuring himself or the mirror. Make sure you have an area for the mirror that is not only large enough for the mirror, but also offers you room to model in front of the mirror if the mirror is going to be used for practical rather than aesthetic purposes. You also want to place the mirror in an area where it will have adequate light. Without proper lighting, it works neither as an aesthetic nor a practical piece of furniture.
When you go to purchase a mirror, you also want to consider who will be using it. If you are particularly tall, you might need to purchase a mirror with an adjustable height, or one that is longer than the average standing mirror.
Varieties and prices.
There is an almost infinite variety of floor standing mirrors, from simple ones with wooden frames to antique silver mirrors with intricately worked metal frames.
Simple, inexpensive standing mirrors can be purchased from major discount retailers like Walmart and Target for as low as $75. More stylish mirrors at the same stores start at around $150. Standing bathroom vanity mirrors start as low as $15.
Standing mirrors at major national furniture retailers start at around $200, and just go up from there, depending on materials and design.
The price of antique standing mirrors can vary wildly, depending on age, condition, materials, and perceived value. It’s worth remembering that unless you value owning antiques, you can always find quality reproductions at much lower prices.
Some other considerations.
It’s worthwhile to remember that you can always re-finish or repaint a standing mirror’s frame to match your other furniture. Buying an inexpensive mirror with a simple wood frame and refinishing it yourself could save you hundreds of dollars compared to buying a mirror that matches your furniture exactly.
If you order a mirror online, try to buy when the retailer is offering free shipping. Otherwise, the cost to ship your mirror may end up being almost as much as the cost of your mirror. Also, make sure that you have the right to return the mirror without any return shipping costs if the mirror arrives broken or isn’t exactly what you ordered.
If you’re looking for a beautiful older mirror but don’t have the budget to go antiquing, it may be worth it to investigate local garage sales or swap meets. The abundance of mirrors in most modern bathrooms and attached to most modern furniture means that many people are looking to sell standing mirrors that they’ve inherited from friends or family. These mirrors are often priced well under value. Don’t be afraid to purchase one that looks a little worse for the wear. The frame can always be repaired or refinished, and antique silver mirrors can be re-silvered or replaced.
If you buy a mirror that has to be assembled, make sure you follow all directions accurately, or you risk breaking the mirror or damaging the joints when you try to tilt it.