Antique mirrors are a great way to enhance light, add visual interest, and make any space feel larger. When it comes to purchasing, though, should you go with the custom or ready-to-order option? Tim Casey, founder, and owner of Jockimo, is an expert glass manufacturer specializing in architectural glass products. He breaks down the pros and cons of both types of antique mirror.
Choosing an Antique Mirror? Consider Your Goals
“The question of custom versus ready to order isn’t a matter of one mirror type being better than the other,” says Casey. “It’s about what’s going to meet your overall design needs. That includes thinking through aesthetics, purchasing experience, and budget.”
Before making any decision, make sure you know where you stand on those three factors.
Custom Antique Mirrors: Pros and Cons
Benefits of a Custom Antique Mirror
- Design Guidance: A custom glass manufacturer can use his or her expertise to make your vision come to life. When you opt for a custom piece, you get a partner throughout the creation process who can offer guidance, insight, and design ideas.
- Matching Pieces: If you have an existing mirror or other antique pieces you want to match or to complement, a custom mirror is an ideal option. This can be especially helpful if one in a set was damaged.
- Custom Sizing: The ability to create a specific size and shape can be a compelling reason to go the custom route. If you’re looking to fill a particular area, standard sizes might not fit your needs exactly.
- Modern Manufacturing Practices: With a custom antique mirror, you get the vintage look but with all the safety benefits of modern materials and workmanship.
- Made in North America: Depending on the glass manufacturer you use, your custom mirror can be designed and fabricated exclusively in North America. This offers a level of certainty about quality and corporate responsibility.
- Handmade Product: A custom antique mirror is a handmade, one-of-a-kind work of art. Whether in a private or commercial setting, it can serve as a design focal point.
Downsides of Customized Antique Mirrors
- Price: To get an accurate estimate, you’d need to compare two specific mirrors against each other. In general, though, a custom mirror is going to cost more than a ready-to-order option.
- Design Overload: Starting your design from scratch can be overwhelming. If you don’t already have an idea in mind, it can be hard to get the custom design process started.
Ready-to-Order Antique Mirrors: Pros and Cons
Advantages of a Ready-to-Order Antique Mirror
- Convenience: A ready-to-order mirror is already designed, manufactured, and ready to purchase. You don’t have to make any design-related decisions. Simply choose the mirror you like best and purchase.
- Speed of Delivery: As the name implies, a ready-to-order mirror can be bought off the shelf. As soon as you purchase, it can be on its way to you. A custom piece requires more back-and-forth and collaboration. Then you have to account for the actual manufacturing time. If you need the mirror immediately, these factors do slow the custom process down.
- Authenticity: For collectors, no modern mirror (even a custom one) rivals the authenticity and history of a vintage or antique piece.
Cons of Ready-to-Order Vintage Mirrors
- Safety Hazards: If you’re choosing a mirror that’s actually an antique, it is likely not compliant with today’s safety and manufacturing standards. If it were to break, that could pose health and safety concerns for you and anyone who came in contact with it.
- Price: Again, if you’re opting for a mirror that’s truly an antique, the price could far outweigh a new mirror—even a custom creation.
- Less Control: If you’re not custom creating your piece, you don’t get to choose glass type, pattern, thickness, or shape. You have to take the mirror as is.
Where Do I Find a Custom Antique Mirror Near Me?
Are you interested in adding an antique mirror to your home or place of business? Check out these additional resources:
- 5 Ways Antique Mirrors Improve Design in a Commercial Space
- Antique Mirror FAQs
- All about MirrorUnique™ Antique Mirrors
Have any questions about how to get started? Need an estimate for a project you have in mind? Reach out today. We’re always happy to help!