What to do if you can’t find what you want

As a designer, I run into this all the time. I see something in a magazine or I visualize something in my mind and then I cannot locate it ANYWHERE. Even with the vast internet options I sometimes have an issue finding an item that I need or the client wants. That’s exactly what happened with the “inspiration mirror” that my most recent client wanted.

The mirror in the picture was gorgeous and the client was in love with it but there were a few issues. First, it was exorbitantly expensive; second, it was too big for her fireplace; and third, we couldn’t find it anyway.

I set my mind to finding something similar that would evoke the same style and feel of the inspiration. That did not work, everything that was similar was way out of budget. Since I never give up, I decided to try and make this mirror in a smaller version. I thought this would be a lot easier than it was  (what a surprise).

The size was the first issue, it needed to be a very specific size, approximately 24X36. I did find a mirror close to that size in an antique shop so I was feeling pretty good. The second part, finding the oval insert, proved to be just about impossible and almost forced me to give up. I was just about at the end of my rope when I gave Amazon a shot and, lo and behold, they had something that would “sort of” work.

Then I had to find those rose swag appliques and pediment. I ordered MANY appliques and on the 3rd or 4th try I finally hit on ones that would work. The pediment was another story. Architectural salvage is super hot right now and commands a high price tag so that was out. That left me with trying to make one and after a few tries, I decided that I was wayyyyy outside my lane and improvised another option.

This is my final product, cross your fingers the client likes it!

PS:  I thought I’d include the mirror before its transformation.

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.