Mirrored upper kitchen cabinet doors anyone?

scrappy25January 23, 2014

Magnaverde's Rule 16 - Decorate for the life you really have, not the life you wish you had.

I LOVE the glass front kitchen cabinets and how they add lightness to a wall of cabinets, but realistically need my cabinet contents to be hidden. After looking at hundreds of glass front cabinet pictures I have realized the truth of Magnaverde's Rule 16 above. So, could mirrored fronts have a similar effect if placed strategically?

In 2010, there was a thread about mirrored cabinet doors with some now-broken links. I have also done a google search but there are not many kitchens with this. I have seen Beagles' beautiful mirror front refrigerators and also one by Mick de Giulio with antiqued mirrored inserts ($$$$$). Does anyone on this forum have or know of someone with mirrored upper wall cabinets and can you post a picture if possible? KD's, what are your thoughts on this?

PS I am favoring a white shaker kitchen style. Any glass or mirror fronts would probably have grids.

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Just after I posted, I found these links for diy antiqued mirrors.
This one shows a cabinet door originally clear glass (linked below as well)

One more, I like this one's finish better but I am sure there is a learning curve.

This one shows one in a frame.

Do you think this is better than a simple mirror or do you think that it would make the glass just look dirty?

Here is a link that might be useful: diy antiqued mirror in cabinet front

This post was edited by scrappy25 on Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 23:07

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:35PM
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE mirrored cabinets! I checked out those links you posted -- not a fan. Nice, beautiful regular mirrors look great on cabinet doors. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:01PM
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found another article. The shaker style cabinets are 1/3 down the page. However this is real antiqued mirror glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Antique glass in the kitchen

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Sorry, but no way would I want to scare myself by having mirrors on my kitchen cabs.

The thought that I might catch an unexpected glimpse of my bleary-eyed self in the morning fumbling for my juice glass, or frazzled, hot, and peavish when a recipe I'm struggling with is heading south, makes one tremble.

Maybe you're young enough, poised enough, competent enough to never be caught in such a regretable state, but pas moi!

I don't want my own cabinet doors to shatter my illusions


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:06PM
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Many pictures on Houzz. Search +mirror +kitchen +cabinet

Frankly, it would drive me berserk :-)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:18PM
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I think in a small space, on an accent piece or where there is a pleasant view to be reflected, it can work well.

Here's a few examples using the search sjhockeyfan outlined

On a hutch:

Traditional Kitchen by Birmingham Design-Build Firms Caden Design Group

Love it with a mullion detail -- but maybe not on the hood:

Contemporary Kitchen by Toronto Design-Build Firms Urban Development Inc

antiqued mirrors look really nice:

Transitional Kitchen by Sausalito Architects & Designers Heydt Designs

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:25AM
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I would not want to keep the spots, smears, and smudges off of mirrors in my kitchen, to me it sounds like the disadvantage of SS applinces X 12. Sorry.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:02AM
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What about glass that you can't see the contents? Frosted glass, reeded, etc. Lots of different kinds of glass where you don't see the contents.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:36AM
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Personally, I wouldn't do that in my kitchen. I would do the route of frosted glass or some other method of obscuring. But, if you love it, go for it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:55AM
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I think Beaglesdoitbetter's refrigerator doors are mirrored.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I couldn't deal with it unless they were on high upper cabinets. I really like the idea of obscure glass.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Great thoughts here thank you everyone. I have read all your comments and appreciate your input.
In pondering this I've thought about mirrored glass just in the upper 1/3 of selected cabinet doors. That would solve the "people reflection" problem. I see that debrak has posted this thought also, thanks.
I've thought of and looked at lots of frosted and seeded glass doors as well. The ones that are attractive to me are the ones that are translucent or antiquey but you can still see items clearly through those. Unfortunately my upper shelves hold the items that are not attractive- backup pantry items, backup mugs for parties, assorted stacked serving bowls. The more opaque glass just doesn't look as good to me.

Thanks for the pictures gooster. That helps! Also had not thought of Houzz, great resource.

In thinking about the divided doors, my cabinets are 30" height due to a soffit; would 1/3 the height be about right for the division between wood and glass? If I have three cabinets by themselves in one run together with these doors would doing the rest of the kitchen in simple shaker (not divided wood for the upper cabinets) be ok? The rest of the uppers would be separated by a window from the 1/3 glassed/mirrored cabinets.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:35AM
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You know, I've never seen mirrored cabinet doors, but I think that would be a really beautiful, contemporary look! And unlike clear glass, your cabinet interiors don't have to be pristine. I also have a lot of not so pretty stuff in my cabinets, such as tupperware, cookies, cereal, etc that I don't want to display. Although I do agree with some of the other posts, I spend so much time in the kitchen, I don't really want to look at myself first thing in the morning! If I was looking at glass, I might go for a seeded or frosted glass, but it really is just personal preference. The mirror glass will definitely make it appear larger, if that is something you want

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:44AM
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I have clear glass on a few of my upper cabinet doors. I use those cabinets to store my mother's dishes - sort of a way of keeping her memory alive. It's a great look. But I absolutely wouldn't want any more glass. And mirrors - no way! A mirror on the front of the fridge door might help me stick to my diet, but still - nope!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:10AM
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With only 30" cabinets it would look odd to have the doors divided IMO as it will just be a small strip due to the construction of the door as you need the top rail and then another rail to separate the standard panel part of the door and then the mirror.

How about clear or seeded glass with fabric behind it. That is a vintage look for sure.

Or you could do tin tiles or something that has a design to them.

However, ultimately it is your kitchen and you are the one that have to like it. Doesn't matter what we here think about it if it is something you like.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:13AM
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Here's my kitchen with antiqued mirror behind the mullions. There a soffit behind it that we were unable to remove, it would show if I used any kind of glass. Mirror was my only option, but I'm very happy with it.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:01PM
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Here's a straight on shot. You could use mirror that was plain, or less antiqued. Mine is a lot more antiqued than I thought it would be from the small sample I was shown. They were custom ordered so no way to return them. I've gotten used to them, but may have preferred some that we're lighter and a bit less antiqued.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Here's a shot where you can see the soffit. It's obvious that any glass would not have hidden that!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:09PM
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We did mirrored uppers a couple of years ago. We went from a small white beat-up kitchen to a rich deep color in the same blue print. We had originally planned on glass uppers but the cabinets were narrow (two cabinets, each 2' wide with two 1' doors- a 48" span altogether) and it just felt silly. So we decided to replace the glass with mirrors and it the first thing people comment on in the kitchen. The mirrors are directly opposite the 4' window over the sink and having the light pour in through that window and bounce off the mirrored doors really brightens up the space.
We are moving soon and I would absolutely do it again in a new kitchen!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:39PM
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Those examples of antique mirror doors are beautiful! I can see doing something like that in a bathroom, too :)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:57PM
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sanjuangirl, that is a brilliant way to cover a soffit and it looks wonderful! That true antiqued glass is lovely. And your cabinet! Your backsplash! Thank you for posting.

Debbie1031, good to hear about your experience. Might you be able to share a picture of yours?

Lots to think about. Thank you for the examples and throughts everyone. Love this board.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:10PM
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I love the idea. Not the most practicl, but I love anything old so would consider it as a backsplash if I had the right place. Even behind the stove.

sanjuangirl, your mirrors are perfect! where did you get them? Was it from a glass place?

This post was edited by bicyclegirl on Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 23:12

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:09PM
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Thanks Scrappy, it was difficult to work with the soffit but it really isn't an issue now. It's like it disappeared, which is what I wanted!

Bicyclegirl, I got the mirror from a mirror place. It's called granite oxide. It was very expensive but I shopped it extensively and got vendors to bid against one another so it ended up costing about 22% less than my initial quote.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:50AM
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sanjuangirl - you know I'm obsessed with your kitchen! sorry to go OT here, but can you tell me the paint color of your cabinets? Also, did you glaze at all, or is that straight-up paint?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Hi Carsonheim,

Thanks for the love! The color is Inside Passage by Dunn Edwards. MIT was one of the only warm true beige I could find. So many of the beiges had gray, pink, orange or green undertones. This one seemed the most neutral to my eye. Of course you always have to try a lot of samples since lighting makes all the difference. The closest second choice for me was Shaker Beige by Benjimin Moore.

There is glazing that was done by hand and rather lightly. This took the most time of everything since it ended up having to be done by one person. When they worked on in enmass, every bodies looked different so they had to wipe it off and start over. It was especially important on the crown detail.

If you look at the door closely in this picture, it's painted the same color but without the glaze.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Here's a close up

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Thanks SJG! :)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:18PM
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Hi, this is a kitchen I did in my old house a few years ago. One and a half sides to the kitchen was windows so although you can't see the outdoors from this angle it was the majority of the reflection. With skinny mirror you don't really notice yourself at all in the mirror as it's showing so many things.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:14PM
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thank you terrilynn, that's a great example of it working well, thank you!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:13PM
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scrappy25- I honestly have no idea how to upload the pictures I sent of the cabinets to my e-mail acct. And my teenagers are not home- lol!
If you want to e-mail me I can forward them to you from there!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:34PM
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This post was edited by debbie1031 on Sat, Feb 1, 14 at 19:41

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:39PM
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sure Deb, click on my name above and send me an email through the email link. thank you!

To post to gardenweb, I use a photobucket account (free).
Not sure where the instructions are in the kitchens forum but I found one in the hostas forum. It's a little involved but once you set it up it is easy. I especially like being able to email my pictures into photobucket.


Here is a link that might be useful: how to post a picture on gardenweb.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 7:52PM
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Debbie was kind enough to send me pictures of her mirrored cabinets by email and gave me permission to post them here. Her cabinets are 24" each with 12" doors. With the grilles in the narrrow doors, the "reflection" issue is minimized and they look great. Thank you, Debbie!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:18PM
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I love the mirrored doors, they look great!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 2:04PM
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