Since I work from home, I enjoy having a place where I feel comfortable and that also reflects my personal style. I’ve been slowly upgrading furniture and home decor items around my home for the past few years, but still have some work to do. For instance, my bedroom houses one of those cheap, pretty warped full body mirrors intended to hang on your door. I’ve been looking to upgrade it and decided on my current obsession: Regency Era gilded mirrors. The only problem is, they’re pretty pricy.
Decorating your home doesn’t have to be expensive
We’ve all spent a lot of time (likely more than usual) in our homes this past year. While I love decorating and rearranging items in my home, I don’t love paying a fortune to achieve the style I want.
I make it a point to thrift when I can and shop locally as much as possible. I’m willing to invest in pieces that will serve me for many years (a cat-proof couch, good cookware, and even a reading chair), but I’m pretty frugal when it comes to home decor. That’s why I set out to find the gilded mirror of my dreams, at a price I couldn’t turn down.
What are gilded mirrors?
Gilded mirrors were made popular in the 17th century, but are most often associated with the Regency Era of the 18th century. The term “gilded” refers to a technique for applying thin layers of gold to wood, stone, or even porcelain. As a result, you’re left with an ornate, rich, show-stopping design.
Blame it on my love of anything vintage and embellished, but I’ve wanted a slightly worn, guided mirror since I was a child. The one on my mind? You guessed it — the Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose Mirror. This gilded mirror is stunning and I’ve almost pulled the trigger and splurged on this more than once.
But ultimately, I didn’t because I just can’t justify the high price tag. So, if you’re not keen on paying nearly $500 for the smallest size or over $1,500 for the showstopping large floor option (my personal favorite), you can actually find a few great alternatives on Amazon.
Amazon’s gilded mirror dupes
This mirror is ideal if you don’t have the budget for anything too extreme, but still want to capture the allure of the Regency Era. It would also look great on a gallery wall. Best of all, for this price, you could even buy multiple mirrors and space them out along one wall or throughout your home.
While not quite as ornate as the others, this gold mirror still has vintage charm but would look stunning in a modern, art deco, or bohemian home. If you love the look of gilded mirrors but aren’t sure if they fit your aesthetic well, this is a great compromise.
This is my personal favorite dupe: the detailing is exquisite and it’s only a fraction of the cost of the Anthropologie counterpart. This would be ideal in an entryway, over a console or vanity, or in a bedroom.
This floor-length mirror is very minimal, but it still has a pop of gold and arched top which is very reminiscent of a more antique-style mirror. I love this pick, because it’s bound to fit into your home for a lifetime, no matter how often your style changes.
DIY your own gilded mirror
There are many tutorials out there about how to DIY a gilded mirror, and the premise is pretty simple. You’ll find a mirror in the size you’d like on Amazon or Facebook Marketplace. Maybe you already have one you’d like to enhance.
Once you have your mirror, here’s what you’ll need:
Here’s the process you’ll want to follow:
- Determine how many wood appliques you’ll need based on the size of your mirror. Lay them out along your mirror in the desired design and determine if you need to cut any with an Exacto knife. Mark your appliques and cut, if needed.
- Cover the mirror with painter’s tape. You could also use a drop cloth and painter’s tape around the edges.
- Once taped, begin painting the frame of your mirror with gold spray paint. You might need two coats, depending on the color of your mirror. Paint the appliques as well. You’ll want to paint the underside of the appliques if they’re hanging over the mirror (you’ll see the underside in the mirrored reflection).
- Once dry, you can further “antique” your mirror by going in with black paint and a paintbrush and rubbing off the excess. If you’ve never antiqued with paint before, I recommend practicing on one of the appliques that you cut off.
- After everything is fully dry, it’s time to begin assembling. Use your epoxy or glue gun and begin gluing everything in place. You can use gorilla glue or wood glue with caution; these glues might not hold well, depending on your frame shape and applique positioning.
- Wait for the glue to dry and then enjoy your brand new gilded mirror!
Let me know if you try making your own gilded mirror or if you opt for one of the dupes I selected. I’d love to see your photos!