Why I LOVE ActiveRain

Home Stager with A1A Home Staging LLC

I am just amazed at the advice, ideas, and inspiration I get from the postings on the staging groups on ActiveRain. 

A few weeks ago, I learned about MirrorMate frames, a wonderful way to update a plain bathroom mirror.  I checked out the MirrorMate website and found examples of beautiful frames decorating plain and bare mirrors.  Unfortunately, as was mentioned in the blog, the custom order frames are pretty expensive. 

I had a small mirror in a small bathroom that really needed dressing up.  The cost to order a custom frame from MirrorMate was between $122.00 and $192.00 depending on the style of frame I ordered.  Unfortunately, the cost was just not in the budget.  I went to the framing department of a local hobby store that was advertising custom frames at 50% off.  The price for the custom frame would be $62.00 - better, but still too high.  So, I went to a home store and purchased unfinished molding and some stain.  I measured, made the miter cuts, connected the corners, applied two coats of stain and had a beautiful frame to use in this bathroom.  I applied the frame directly to the mirror with silicone adhesive.  

This was my first frame, my prototype, and they will only get better with practice (I am now working on two white frames), but for less than $15.00 I think it looks pretty darn good.  I hope you will agree.

unframed mirror before BeforeMirror with Frame - After After

Stagers, please keep posting all those wonderful tips - this stager REALLY REALLY appreciates them.


Comments (21)

Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Anita, great job, it looks fantastic.  Now get out there and convince your home sellers to do the same.  Add this to your portfolio!  But be careful you may get more carpentry work along with your stagings. 

Jul 15, 2008 07:58 AM
Jared Pomranky ~ Detroit Foreclosures
Urban Detroit Wholesalers - Detroit, MI

That looks really nice.  Definitely made a big difference and makes it look much more expensive.

Jul 15, 2008 07:59 AM
Chris & Maria Skrip
RE/MAX 1st Advantage - Beaufort, SC
Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Sun City SC

Wonderful job with the frame - your work looks like a pro already!

Jul 15, 2008 07:59 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


I have to agree with Active Rain offers great information, people sharing ideals, and it can be both inspirational and motivational. 

Good luck and keep on selling


Jul 15, 2008 08:07 AM
LS Rogers Realty
LS Rogers Realty - Richardson, TX

$15! Get out! I think it's great. You did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing.

Jul 15, 2008 08:39 AM
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Anita, that frame looks fantastic and what a difference in that bathroom.. I keep planning to do this, I need to get a miter box and try it.. You are so right - Active Rain is the best!! God bless,


Jul 15, 2008 10:04 AM
Barbara Cluck-Miksits
BCM Home Staging LLC - Ridgewood, NJ
Home Staging - New Jersey

Anite, you are right it looks great. What a great way to finish of a mirror. Thanks for sharing.

Jul 15, 2008 11:48 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

EVERYONE - THANKS for the positive response! 

Anne, I loved your "wohhhhh"!  Jared, I think so too, thanks!  Sea Island, I must admit the photo hides a few small flaws, but nothing that can't be fixed.  I totally agree Lou.  I KNOW Trunda, and the next one will be even less because I already have the stain!  Thanks Barbara, I can't wait to get the white one installed.

Ginger, I'm trying, believe me!  Even doing carpentry I'd be happy because at least I would still be helping people make their homes more beautiful.  The market is really bad in my area.  It seems like 8 out of 10 new listings each day is a short sale...

Cheryl, if you get that miter box, here is what I learned:  You have to paint or stain both sides (the mirror reflects the back; Don't worry too much about joining the corners - I had a difficult time using those little squiggly things that you are supposed to use to connect mitered corners and almost split my wood - I could have used something less substantial because the frame is glued to the mirror anyways; Don't use liquid nails to join the corners (the stain dissolved the liquid nails); Use clamps to hold the corners together when you join them (I didn't have any clamps and that was a real problem).

Thanks again,


Jul 16, 2008 11:51 AM
Joyce Zdenek
Hallmark Sotheby's International Realty & Joyce's Interiors - Hopkinton, MA

I'm impressed with your creativity and ability.  I would have gone to Homegoods and found a new one.


Jul 16, 2008 12:20 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Hi Joyce.  I've not been to a Homegoods store (I don't have one near me) but here is what I found with ready made frames.  I was unable to find any ready made frames at the home stores that I went to.  This mirror was glued to the wall and the frame had to glue to the mirror.  Ready made frames have a gap to allow for the glass and backing and won't sit flush on the mirror.  Believe me, if I could have done it that way, I would have (although now that it is over with I have learned that it can easily be done and for less money).



Jul 16, 2008 12:35 PM
Kathy Hyatt ~Plantation, Davie, Sunrise REALTOR
Remax in Motion - Plantation, FL
Broward Realtor Selling Plantation,Davie & Sunrise

1The MirrorMate website sounds great.  I am going to check it out.  Love seeing the comparison you posted.  It makes all the difference between For Sale and Sold.

Kathy Hyatt, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Jul 17, 2008 01:21 AM
Christina Rougerie
Christina Rougerie Interiors + Staging - Kingwood, TX

YES!! Thank you! I heard about this however forgot to ask how they glued the frame to the mirror..yes i guess i could have run down to lowes and ask them; however you saved me a trip..THANKS!!!! Great post and job! Kuddos..Christina

Jul 17, 2008 09:46 AM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Kathy, thanks for the post, I am thrilled you found the info useful.  MirrorMate has a very clever thing going.

Christina, my neighbor advised me to use the silicone instead of the liquid nails I planned to use (I use liquid nails for everything!).  It is a silicone caulk but you can get it in a tube so you don't have to use a caulk gun.  Be sure to get CLEAR.  Have fun!


Jul 18, 2008 08:46 AM
Alexandra Fletcher
Vancouver, BC

Anita, you did a great job on the mirror. We have 5 units that we are renovating for a developer and we are doing this exact same treatment for all the bathroom mirrors. I also looked into the pre-fab kits but the expense is crazy and the more mirrors our carpenters did the better they got at it!! ~Cheers, Emily, Celebrate Staging

Jul 19, 2008 06:50 PM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Emily, WOW!  How exciting!  I have a neighbor that is a carpenter and has a garage full of all the perfect tools.  I invited him and his wife over for dinner last weekend and now he is making two frames for me!  I feel a little guilty after bragging so much about making them myself, but he can put a frame together in 5 minutes and it took me a LOT longer!  I will still do the stain or painting though.  I'd love to see photos of your finished projects.


Jul 20, 2008 11:16 AM
Alexandra Fletcher
Vancouver, BC

Anita, here is the suite that started the renovation ball rolling for the developer..it's featured in my blog Vancouver Home Stagers Flip for this Condo!! the pictures of the bathroom mirrors are towards the bottom but here is a quick look. ~ Emily


Jul 21, 2008 05:11 PM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Looks really good Anita. Thanks for sharing!  AR is such a wealth of information and resources.

Jul 21, 2008 05:41 PM
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

Great idea!  Your's turned out great.  I believe they sell them premade at Home Depot or Lowes - you just have to cut to size - already stained.  I am guessing your version would be still be better priced.  Way to be creative!

Jul 21, 2008 11:36 PM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

I feel the same way about ActiveRain. I have learned so much about my profession....go figure. But information here is endless!

Great job on the mirror. A light-bulb had gone off in my head because I have a plain mirror in my bathroom and hate it...never thought to re-frame it myself.

Thanks for the idea and how to.

Jul 22, 2008 09:36 AM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Hi Everyone.  Sorry to take so long to get back to you.  Just returned from the land of no computers and no television in the NC mountains. 

Emily, that CANNOT be the same bathroom.  Awesome renovation.  I am sure your developer is thrilled he found you guys.

Thanks Cathy - I love sharing - I just wish I had more to share!

Michele, I didn't know they had them premade at HD or Lowes.  I bought my moulding at one of those stores, I could have bought primed but not stained.  I just wish they had miter saws available at the stores.  Thanks for the tip!

Terrie, be sure to share if you go ahead and do your mirror too.  I must warn you though, I was so excited over this project that I was ready to frame everything!  The sense of accomplishment was a great bonus.  Good luck!


Aug 08, 2008 06:20 AM