...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Remember this mood board for our master bathroom?

Master BathroomTo keep the bathroom from feeling too sterile with all the hard, shiny surfaces {tile, gloss vanity, galvanized wall sconce, etc.} I wanted to incorporate a few natural elements in the form of warm wood tones. I thought that bringing in a small woven ottoman and/or a mirror with a wooden frame would help balance out the harshness of the other very bathroom-y elements. And if the ottoman and mirror were round, they’d also break up the strong rectangular lines {vanity, tub, overall shape of the room, shower tile, etc.}¬†of the bathroom.

The bathroom is openly visible from the master bedroom. In fact, I plan on placing the bed so that when lying in it the bathroom is directly across the room. So, I’m going for more of a dressing room effect in the small bathroom vignette {sconce, mirror, vanity, sink} that will be seen from the bed. It helps that the toilet placement is off center from the bathroom doorway! Otherwise, I’d just close the door and call it a day.

I featured the Jules Mirror from Home Decorators in the original bathroom mood board. But with a price tag of $300, it was more than I was willing to spend. So, like I typically do, I used my mood board as a jumping off point to search for another mirror that was cheaper but still retained the two elements I was wanting – warm wood tones and round shape.

I create mood boards for my own home not to pick exact items but rather to create an overall look for a room. So, if an item that I use in a mood board is not at my price point {or if I simply think I can do better}, I have no problem straying away from the mood board and finding something different. I would say normally I end up buying maybe 60% of the mood board items and finding practical replacements for the other 40%. That’s just a rough estimate and every room is a different experience, of course. Still, it’s a process that has worked well for me so I continue to use it.

Now, back to my mirror search…

Somewhere along the way, it crossed my mind that hanging a wood-framed mirror might not be the best option for a bathroom. What about all the moisture? But I really wanted to make it work if I could. I searched everywhere for a round, wooden mirror – online and offline – to no avail. I decided to take a break from my mirror hunt. After all, it wasn’t pressing. We don’t even live in the Underdog yet. I thought I’d give it some time and eventually ‘the mirror’ would come to me.

And that’s exactly what happened. Weeks ago, on a trip to a local salvage/closeout store while looking for rugs, ‘the mirror’ found me.

Round? Check. Warm wood tones? Check. Budget-friendly price? At $79, check. I called Handy Hubby back at the homestead {Surprise! HH was at the Underdog working.} to make sure the mirror’s diameter wasn’t too big/too small for what we needed in our master bath. Wouldn’t you know? The size was just right. Another big check for the salvaged mirror. Then the “do I put a wooden mirror in a wet bathroom?” question popped into my mind again. That’s when I saw it. The mirror’s description tag. It read ’round teak mirror.’

I was sold. Why? Because teak has natural oils that make it ideal for wet conditions. It’s commonly used to make outdoor furniture, boat decks, exterior architectural elements and cutting boards. It doesn’t matter if the wood is treated or not. This round teak mirror was the perfect solution for our master bathroom! It came home with me. FYI – I didn’t find any buy-worthy rugs. You win some; you lose some.

Yeah, I know it’s just sitting on the floor leaning against the wall up there but can you picture it hanging? It’s gonna be fab. I don’t think I’m going to mind staring at it from my bed across the room. Not at all.

I especially like the wedged design of the frame. It gives the mirror interest, pattern and variation.

The wide frame does take away from the surface area of the mirror but HH and I only use the bathroom mirror to wash our faces, brush our teeth, put on a little makeup {me not HH} and fix our hair. So the size of the actual mirrored surface is plenty for us. A leaning floor mirror in the master bedroom has always been a part of the design in my head and we’ll use that larger mirror for full-length once overs.

And that’s the story of how a round teak mirror found me when I wasn’t even looking. That’s usually how true love starts, right? It is how HH and I met. And here we are 14 years later happily living in an apartment, renovating a house, raising two healthy kiddos and expecting another! I expect just as many fulfilling experiences from this mirror. ;)

In other bathroom news {ew, that sounds gross, sorry}, HH has started work on prepping the master bath for tile!!

He picked up supplies from The Tile Shop this past holiday Monday for all of our tiling projects to come {master bathroom, kids’ bathroom, mudroom/dining room} and there was some concern that his Danger Ranger was going to lose an axel. Luckily, the Danger Ranger held in there and pulled through.

Even with it in the box, I couldn’t stop googling over the shower surround tile. It’s so sparkly! HH has been busy throughout the week {after his long day job hours} prepping the master bath for tile. That’s the first room we’re going to tackle with tile. Should be fun!

So how about you? Ever found love for someone/something when you were least expecting it? Ever put off searching for that perfect piece only to have it find you later? I have a feeling when baby #3 arrives, it will be a similar experience as we definitely weren’t expecting to have more children. Sometimes you just have to let things come to you, huh?

images: 1&2, 4-9) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 3) Home Decorators Collection



I think the mirror is going to look great with that light.

I’ve really enjoyed following your progress, and learning from you on the way. Keep up the good work (but take plenty of breaks!).


That mirror is beautiful! I have a feeling it and the entire house is going to look amazing, can’t wait! I have similar experiences (in both the decorating and finding love areas of life ;) that you usually find what you are looking for, when you definitely least expect it.


I absolutely love everything about that mirror! Keep in mind that you will need to maintain it if you don’t want it to turn gray, as teak naturally does. I mention this only because you said you chose it for it’s warm color.


Lisa – Good point! I was reading up on teak maintenance and read that teak can be sealed to protect the warm wood finish. I may have to resort to that!

The mirror is great. I love the warm wood tone and I think you’re right to choose a round mirror to break up the sharp angles elsewhere. In my experience, whenever I’m searching for something, I can’t find what I’m looking for. When I’m NOT looking, I find EVERYTHING. I was just reminded of this while looking for table lamps: http://ourhumbleabowed.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/teal-table-lamps/ Not perfect, because I was looking for lamps. Gah.


Gorgeous mirror. I love, love, love mirrors. I (and then we) have always lived in small spaces and I use them to bounce the light around and make the rooms/cottage feel and look bigger. And unexpected love? Finding my soulmate after living next door to him for 5 years – we’ve been married for 19 blissful years so far ….


What a perfect {and perfectly priced} mirror! I love it!


I actually did a little bit of fake teak myself in my bathroom ! We had seen a solid piece of teak priced 120 euros, which was way beyond what we had planned on spending. So I did it myself … and I’m pretty happy with the result ! And we are also considering a light fixture close to what you have (except with shiny metal).
Take care !

Love it! Where are you shopping that you find such deals all the time? We don’t have any stores like that around here. Jealous.


And a little Feng Shui going with that round mirror!


Seeing your mirror and mood board is making me desperately want to re-do things in my house! #1 being take down the stupid builder mirror on the bathroom wall…I hate it…but I’m waiting to find a diamond in the rough somewhere too…and as far as wandering into love that I wasn’t expecting–I got stood up (not technically, he did call about an hour before we were supposed to go out) and decided to go have my first dinner alone…after trying not to feel like I giant nerd sitting by myself at dinner, the couple next to me asked why the manager was giving me so much tequila (I guess he felt bad for me!) and that led to them introducing me to the cute guy sitting at the table next to them! 2 years later and I’m still thankful for being stood up!


I like your new mirror better than the one on your mood board. Great find!

I had been stalking curtains at Target for a YEAR, waiting for them to go on clearance. When they finally did a month ago, I dragged hubby to get his buy off on then… only he didn’t like them.

Dejected, the next night I was surfing JCP’s site — which I’d been on several times — and found ones I LOVE for half the price the clearance ones would have been, and the color I wanted was ONLY available in the size I needed. So yeah, I totally believe that if you know what you’re looking for, it will find you.


did they have any more of those mirrors?


You know, I actually get excited when a new post pops up on FB. I’ve been enjoying the updates, and I like your sense of style – I could actually use your input concerning an object. I’ve been scouring the internet for a chandelier as I want to cozy up/glamorize our bedroom. I came across a chandelier similar to the one you had in your bedroom in your previous home. However, I’m not sure about the color – it’s a brownish/copper kind of color. Our bedroom is two shades of grays with beige linen curtains (West Elm), light wooden floors and brown furniture (IKEA). Yeah, it may sound too dark or too monochromatic, but our bedroom is soothing and I’m not sure if the chandelier would enhance the overall look? Otherwise, my search will continue or not…in hopes that the object will find me!


That mirror couldn’t be any more perfect! And your belly looks so sweet reflected in it.


I’m crazy about that mirror. Really beautiful!


Do you mind sharing the name of the place you found the mirror? I live in your neck of the woods and always love to find new sources – thanks!


I love the mirror and can totally picture it hanging. Love seeing your mood board come alive too!


LOVE it! AND the tile, too. Congrats on your brilliant find!


Don’t know if you’ve heard about it but there is a great website to make your own digital mood boards. It’s called olioboard.com. There are tons of products by categories or you can add your own photos. You can also shop for the items you pick. It is free and really it was plenty for me, but you can also pay 8.99 a month to add a few more features.


My goodness, what a great find!! Lovin’ your mood board. Can’t wait to see it come together!


Ellen – Found the mirror at Home Emporium in Tri-County. We also purchased the pine tongue & groove for our great room’s ceiling there. Some friends of ours recently turned us on to the salvage store. Their inventory changes frequently so it’s always fun to go check out what they have in stock.


Marcy – The chandy I hung in our previous master was a light-less fixture from World Market. Here’s the link…


It’s about $70 but you would have to purchase a lighting kit or come up with a way to mount it over an existing lightbulb. Still, it’s a great price. I loved it so much in our previous house! I’ve contemplated buying another one {as our first one stayed with the sale of our home} for our next master but I would like to try something different. It’s in the running though!


Meredith – It was the only one of its kind! As soon as I saw it I stuck it in my cart even though I hadn’t confirmed its measurements with HH yet. I knew it’d be perfect it the diameter was right and didn’t want to risk losing it to another shopper.


totally true…. you don’t have to let things happen as they should and just embrace what comes along. I really like the mirror too :)


I LOVE the palette for the master bath! and what a find on that mirror! We’re in the process of finishing our basement and I love your inspiration!


The mirror is great…but the best part of the post had to be “Danger Ranger!”


Jason – Oh yes, we name our vehicles. Always have since my first car when I was 16.


Love your mirror! Truly a great find, just wow! I had a very similar experience, with ironically a mirror. The day I was going to write about it, a good friend sent me your post and I laughed. Serendipity. Again, totally great find!


Your bathroom came out great and I love your mirror. I have been eyeing the Jules mirror but I think it’s to huge for our bathroom. We also have a small master bathroom. What are the measurements of your mirror?


Dana, I’ve been thinking about trying to diy a version of your mirror. Wanting to get the proportions right; would you tell me the dimensions of the frame and mirror?


The entire piece has a 30″ diameter. The visible mirror is 18″ in diameter. The wood frame is 6″ wide. The little tapered wood pieces that make up the entire mirror are 1 1/4″ wide nearest the mirror and then flare out to 2″ wide at the edge of the entire piece. Make sense? Hope all this helps. Your DIY project sounds fun!


Wow! Thanks for all that info! Now I just need to get working on it.

[…] when she was pregnant with her 3rd, very surprise baby and a friend sent me a link to her bathroom mirror which I instantly fell in love with. You know, aside from everything else in her stunning home and […]