It’s time to update one of your oldest, most important bathroom fixtures

Radiant Frosted Back-Lit Mirror
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One of the simplest items found in nearly every bathroom and restroom today is usually the first thing we look at when we enter: the mirror. They’re so commonplace and familiar that if we walk in a restroom and don’t find one, it takes us a moment to process how odd that is. A restroom without a mirror even seems a little … suspect. And a restroom certainly isn’t as usable without one.

Nearly all of us depend on mirrors to show us ourselves as the world sees us. Architects and interior designers use mirrors strategically to add light and space to a room.
And at S2 Design, we created our Radiant Frosted Back-Lit Mirror to give both of them — users and designers — more than they ever hoped for in restroom fixtures.

The ancient origins of our back-lit mirror

For millennia, mirrors have been a symbol of elegance and opulence. The earliest examples we know of predate by far the coated glass technology we know today, and even the polished metal mirrors of 6,000 years ago. Examples survive of mirrors made of polished obsidian, or volcanic glass, that were handmade 2,000 years before polished metal was available.

During the Bronze Age, polished metal mirrors were highly prized. The metals used to make them — copper, bronze, and even silver — were expensive and the property of the wealthy (or of the raiders who took them from the wealthy). So mirrors themselves became signifiers of wealth. Particularly as metal mirrors required frequent polishing; something no doubt left to servants or slaves. Examples of pottery and frescoes from ancient Greece and Rome often show noblewomen (yes, almost exclusively women) tending their appearance holding mirrors — hand mirrors of the exact shape we know today.

Mirrors were also known as gateways to vanity. Greek mythology offers the story of Narcissus, a young man so beautiful that, after seeing his reflection while passing by a still pond, falls in love with himself, and eventually dies when he refuses to leave his own image. That appeal to vanity is also why wealthy ancients treasured mirrors: they could afford to be vain.

But all of these mirrors, from the deep black of obsidian to the high-maintenance sheen of copper or silver, still required light from an oil lamp or candle reflecting on the user.

Making mirrors bigger; much bigger

The first process for making mirrors from glass coated on the back with a reflective surface was invented in the early 1800s, and the industrial revolution made mass-produced mirrors affordable for everyone. Yet they retained an air of elegance that extended outside our bathrooms and bedrooms. They grew and grew, taking over entire walls, first inside modern buildings, then outside. Just look at how many skyscrapers built in the last 50 years have mirrored facades. Perhaps the most striking example (though made of metal, not glass) is Frank Gehry’s design for Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Some portions of this amazing structure were mirrored so well that the light they reflected was heating up condominiums in the neighborhood, and the finish had to be dulled in strategic places.

This unexpected (and, if you were one of the neighbors, unappreciated) aspect of Disney Hall demonstrated another challenge facing interior designers who want to make restroom mirrors both attractive and useful; the same challenge that had the Greeks and Romans reaching for their candles and lamps: a mirror needs a separate light source.

Unless it’s the Radiant Frosted Back-Lit Mirror from S2 Design.

Two problems solved by our back-lit mirrors

You’ve probably noticed when you use a mirror that you often have to move around to get the light to fall where you want it; tilting your face up or down, side to side. Just as often, you can’t get enough light to fall where you need it.

Interior designers know this. But just as you may get frustrated trying to get the light in the right place, they have the challenge of finding the right light fixtures and putting them in the  right place. There are extensive chapters in design textbooks on where and how to place a light source to get maximum functionality from a mirror. And frequently, the solution they arrive at requires a compromise between design and function.

But the simplest and most elegant answer is ours: make the mirror the light source.

Elegantly simple, exquisitely effective

We start with a clean, rimless sheet of mirrored glass with polished edges, then inlay frosted lighting in strips along the left and right outside edges — or, if you choose, all four. Soft light is emitted through the inlays so there are no dark spots to the image, no areas not visible to the user.

What isn’t visible to the user is the 22-gauge stainless steel wall-mounted panel behind and, if you choose the hard-wired option, the invisible power source that lights the inlays.

Our Radiant Frosted Back-Lit Mirror comes in your choice of sizes and blends with any decor — and it’s not just for restrooms. Any place you want to place a mirror, whether there is a light source there or not, back-lit mirrors can provide the solution. They can even brighten, and enlarge, a dim hallway with functional decor each visitor will appreciate.
The origins of our back-lit mirrors may have been in a deep-black plane of opaque obsidian eight millennia ago. But the Radiant Frosted Back-Lit Mirror from S2 Design, a floating, flawless reflection that emits its own soft light, is the ultimate, ultramodern evolution of mirror elegance.

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2250 W. Broadway Road, Ste. 105,
Mesa, AZ 85202

(480) 966-1250
help@s2design.com

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