Metal Trends: What’s In, What’s Out, What’s On the Rise

Trying to keep up with the latest home decor trends can give you whiplash — it seems like right when you update your home, trends change yet again. Ahead, we’re diving into what’s timeless, what’s trendy, and how metal preferences have changed over time.

Brass

In 2020, brass definitely made a comeback. Brass has been on the back burner for the last decade or so, allowing shiny polished chrome, stainless steel and brushed nickel to take the spotlight. Brass definitely offers a certain warmth that many homeowners are drawn to. Blame its return on warm walls, tan palettes, and the growing popularity of “greige” — no matter how you slice it, brass has made a bold reemergence into mainstream design.

Gold

Around 2016-2017, gold hardware and fixtures started getting their moment in the sun once again. While some would argue that gold is on its way out, it’s one of those trends where “everything old is new again.” So while the gold rush may end in the next year or two, you can bet your bottom dollar that this look will be back again with a vengeance before too long. There is something timeless about gold — after all, there’s a reason why they call it the “gold standard!” Decorating with gold dates back to some of the earliest civilizations — and so if you just decorated your kitchen with all gold everything, rest assured that it’ll never truly go out of style.

Black

There’s something effortlessly simple about black hardware and accents. It certainly gives a more industrial, clean line than its gold or silver counterparts, and is even considered a more masuline tone. Black, especially matte black, is universally appealing — and that makes it a safe option if you’re updating hardware and considering your home’s resale value. From bathroom faucets to kitchen sinks, black finishes can add a modern touch to your home — just be conscious of how your wall color, rugs, and other decor interact with the dark touches to avoid an overly-dark outcome. 

Can’t commit to just one tone?

Mixed metals are definitely having a moment in the land of design. That’s right — just because your cabinet pulls are one tone, doesn’t mean your sconces and mirrors have to match. The key to mixing metals is to stick to two or three finishes instead of opting for every single option in the home improvement store. Additionally, try to keep the finish of each metal soft (think brushed instead of polished). Muted undertones will help the subtle differences work in harmony instead of against each other.

The good news is that it’s never been easier to makeover any mirror in your home with a frame and finish of your choosing! From customized mirror frames to decorative mirrors, we have what you need to give any room a refresh. 

7 Mother’s Day Gifts That Show Mom How Special She Is

Moms work hard — there’s no arguing that! This Mother’s Day, shower her with attention and praise (oh, and gifts!). Here are a few ideas to show Mom you’re thinking of her:

DIY Day

Play to your strengths! Are you super handy with a hammer? Build her an above-ground garden and help her plant for summer! Know your way around a car waxer? Give her car a good shine. Maybe you help her tackle those kitchen cabinets she’s been wanting to repaint for years. Whatever that at-home project is, she’ll be grateful to check it off her list. 

A Beautiful Coffee Table Book

A coffee table book is more than decoration or a place to set your wine glass — the right book can inspire, educate, and tell a lot about the person who displays it. Pretty and practical, just like Mom likes! We like this one by Frances Palmer, this one by Gray Malin, and this one from National Geographic.

TikiTunes … AND the set-up!

This product is a fun twist on the Bluetooth speaker. TikiTunes looks like a tiki light that adds awesome ambiance — and music — inside or out. It can connect to most smartphones so that Mom can use her favorite music streaming service as she entertains or hangs out. The warm, LED lights work with or without music. The key part of this gift, though, is doing the initial set-up for her! That way, it’s a hassle-free gift she can enjoy again and again.

Memory Journal

They say the greatest gifts are from the heart — and what could be more heartfelt than a collection of your favorite memories with Mom? Although formal versions of a memory journal are available to purchase, you don’t have to get too fancy with this. Find a pretty notebook at your nearest craft store or home goods store, and grab a pen! Whether you want to fill the pages slowly over time or pass the journal back and forth to each take a turn writing down a memory is up to you. 

A Unique Candle

Something that smells lovely is always a wonderful gift. These Candlefish candles are hand-poured in Charleston, South Carolina, and use 100% soy wax and the highest quality natural oils. Choose from a vast range of fragrances to find one that’s right for your mom. Whether she’s into spicy scents, warm earthy notes, or florals for spring, this shop has what you need.

A Framed Mirror

We may be partial, but a framed mirror adds a touch of elegance, light, and function to any room. A smaller decorative mirror may be just what your mom needs to complete her hallway or living space. Or, if you live near her, you could sneak over and measure any plain, unframed mirror in her home and create a custom gift for her with our Add A Frame® option. It can truly transform a space! (Not confident in your measurements? Don’t worry, we have an eGift Card available for you!)

Wine and Chocolate

… because she deserves to indulge a little on her special day!

 

No matter what lengths you typically go to on Mother’s Day, the most important thing is that Mom knows you’re thinking about her. After all, she already has the best gift ever: Getting to be your parent. Happy Mother’s Day!

A Brief Reflection on the History of Mirrors 

Mirror, mirror on the wall … what is your history? The answer is surprisingly storied. 

For much of history, mirrors were reserved for the extremely wealthy. These days, we walk around with compact mirrors in our pockets, check our lipstick in a rearview mirror, and have a framed mirror in several rooms of the house. 

How did that happen? Let’s go back to the beginning.  

“Mirror” is derived from the Latin mirari (“to wonder at, admire,”). That makes sense. But what is fascinating is that the earliest man-made mirrors weren’t what we think of as a mirror at all. As early as 6,000 and 8,000 years ago, mirrors were made from polished obsidian, a black volcanic stone.

Here’s the eerie part: These rudimentary mirrors were found in the graves of women in Turkey.  Some archaeologists conclude that people during this time period believed mirrors had something to do with predicting the future or understanding the spirit world. 

In fact, mirrors are also deeply woven into mythology and folklore in a wide range of cultures across the world. 

For example: 

  • In ancient Greece, people used mirrors to “catch” the light of the moon, by which they were supposedly able to see visions of the future.
  • The Olmec people viewed mirrors as religious items which were highly regarded for their ability to spark flames.
  • Ancient Mayans buried their “elite” dead with mirrors. They were believed to hold mystical powers, and reflections served as a form of window into an alternate dimension.

 

The art of creating mirrors from metal doesn’t appear in history until roughly 4,000 years ago. In China, bronze and mixed metals were highly polished to shine on one side and have intricate inscriptions on the other side. Similar copper mirrors have been discovered from around the same time period in Mesopotamia and Egypt. 

Mirrors were only owned by the rich and fabulous at that time, and were used for both utilitarian and religious purposes. Even now, mirror placement is important in the practice of feng sui. 

(Be sure to check out our tips on how to position mirrors in your space!)

Over time, rounded glass mirrors became more readily available. Leonardo da Vinci introduced a secret code for spies that involved writing in a way that could only be read with a mirror reflection. 

Fast forward to the 1400s: The first blown, polished, coated, flat glass mirror originated on the Italian island of Murano, located in the Venetian lagoon.

For several centuries, these Venetian mirrors were considered the absolute height of luxury. Of course, that made them incredibly desirable in places like Paris. So, in the 1660s, King Louis XIV had workers trying to replicate the ultra-secret formula of the Veneitan glass workers. The problem? His craftsmen were suddenly dying because of the exposure to dangerous heavy metals and toxins (like mercury). 

Ultimately, the French caught on and figured out how to create the mirrors from coated glass — but not without scandal along the way (spies! murdered glassmakers! so much money!).

These mirrors were the closest iteration of the mirrors we’d use today — but at that point, they were still extremely expensive and a mark of wealth. 

Over centuries, mirrors have shifted from magical symbols, to religious emblems, to objects of vanity, to practical use. Now, they’re an affordable way to add light and open up a space. And, you can even customize a framed mirror with just a few clicks on your keyboard. (No scandal required.) 

 

Create your custom mirror now!

Increase Your Home Value With This One Easy Upgrade

Each year as spring rolls around, many people start thinking about putting their home on the market and moving. This year is no different — in fact, residential real estate across the board is experiencing record surges. Timing-wise, this makes sense: Moving at the end of spring/beginning of summer allows families to get settled in before school starts up again in the fall. Think you’ll get in on the action? Keep reading for a real estate tip!

The Two Rooms Homebuyers Judge First

If you’re considering putting your house up for sale, there are two places to first focus on for renovations and upgrades. Kitchens and bathrooms are “the two rooms that really sell a home,” according to online real estate marketplace Trulia. These are the two rooms that homebuyers most critically judge, so zooming in on improvements in these spaces can help your home sell faster.

Home Upgrade Hack: Framing Mirrors

If you’re selling your home and moving out, it can be hard to convince yourself to spend the money on any upgrades. Luckily, there’s at least one hack to home improvements: Improve the frames in your bathroom!

The Best Way to Frame Bathroom Mirrors

Our Add A Frame® kit is a quick and inexpensive way to upgrade your bathrooms before you list your home. Framing your mirrors may seem like a relatively small upgrade to make (at least, it is compared to ripping out kitchen countertops!), but it’s an impactful step. 

Not only will you give your bathrooms a fresh, more finished look, but you’ll instantly add value to your house and impress potential buyers. Overall, it’s a cost effective solution for making your bathrooms more appealing. 

The best part? It couldn’t be easier! Simply select your favorite frame style, measure your existing mirror’s height and width, enter a few details about where it will hang, and we’ll send your custom mirror frame right to your front door. 

Upgrade your bathroom with an Add A Frame®!

3 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Home Gym

Over the last year, public spaces have looked different (to say the least). One side effect? The number of home gyms that have cropped up across the globe.

Whether it’s because your gym shut down, or because you simply started working out at home as something to do during the pandemic, it’s time to fully commit to making your home gym the best it can be. Exercise is important on so many different health levels, so why not create a space for that right at home?

Here are three reasons why an improved home gym is a good idea:

 

#1: Enjoy daily commitment, minus the commute.

One undeniable benefit of having a home gym is that it’s always open, 24/7. That lofty goal of moving your body and getting sweaty six days a week becomes much more attainable when the only commute is to walk a few steps. This becomes important when you’re trying to set a routine — and in a chaotic, unpredictable world, an easy-to-access daily workout routine can be a real sanity saver.

 

#2: Save money over time.

Though there may be some upfront costs of getting your home gym set up — such as investing in some free weights, buying a yoga mat and installing a mirror — you stand to save a significant amount of money in the long run. Based on the average monthly gym membership cost, you could save anywhere from $60-$300 per month by working out at home. And that adds up!

 

#3: You can make it entirely your own.

The best part of a home gym is that it’s all YOURS. After all, there’s plenty of space for social distancing when it’s just you. Enjoy plenty of elbow room, blast your music as loud as you’d like, and style the space exactly how you want.

 

Speaking of style, don’t forget to add a mirror to your gym! Think of it as a necessary piece of equipment to use for checking form, staying motivated throughout your workout, and making your space feel twice as big.

Frame My Mirror custom mirrors are ideal for unconventional spaces. For example, we have custom solutions for your garage-turned-flex-space, that wonky jut-out wall in your guest bedroom, or the strange ceiling height in the FROG — wherever your home gym winds up! Even if your workout zone lands somewhere without standard-sized walls, we have what you need.

Simply choose your style and enter your size, and we’ll create a framed mirror to your exact specifications.

Get started on your custom mirror now!