Not Martha

making the stove a happier place

I needed to brighten up the wall behind my stove. I was going to have a mirror cut to just the right dimensions and hang it back there so it would look unobtrusive. After a few months not getting around to that I spotted the Zoe Circle Wall Mirror set over at Apartment Therapy. (I’ve seen similar things in past years, possibly at CB2?) It made me think of those individual round mirrors you can buy at craft stores, so I went and bought some along with some 3M Picture Hanging Strips, which act in a similar way to velcro but have the advantage of holding well and removing cleanly. (I love the Command line of 3M adhesive products.) Also if I should, say, ignore a pan of spitting hot tomato sauce that gets little tomato colored dots all over everything, I can simply pull the mirrors down to wipe off the wall and put them back up when I’m done.

I got one 10-inch mirror, three 7-inch mirrors, three 5-inch mirros and a package of five 3-inch mirrors. The total for the mirrors was just about $13. Now, they aren’t as nice as the pleasing 9-6-3 inch dimensions as the Zoe mirrors above, but they’ll do.

I spent some time (ok, like three hours) arranging paper cut outs artfully:

I liked that last on the best and attached the mirrors using the 3M strips.

It stayed up for just over 24 hours before I decided it wasn’t right. Maybe another, sleeker kichen could pull this off, but not mine. I pulled them off the walls – so simple! so cleanly removed! I decided to go with simply putting three 10-inch mirrors together back there:

When I returned to the store I was derailed briefly by the discovery of octagonal mirrors with beveled edges. I thought maybe those would look cute hung in a row behind my stove? Maybe? But I stayed with round ones, and Scott has voiced his preference for circles over octagons, decision made.

I like them as a temporary measure until I have the money to build the kitchen of my dreams. They pull over light from the front windows and make the stove sunnier.

· comments [38] · 08-14-2007 · categories:the home ·

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shawnee // Aug 14, 2007 at 6:39 am

    that’s a very clever idea! i think i may have to borrow that for my own kitchen.

  • 2 Shana // Aug 14, 2007 at 6:40 am

    I actually prefered your first try rather than the 3 circles all the same size – mind you I can’t see the rest of your kitchen so maybe that was too busy. Either way what a great idea – I want to run out and buy some mirrors and start sticking them up in our house!

  • 3 Miss Sassy // Aug 14, 2007 at 6:46 am

    What a clever idea. I may just try something like this as the light by our stove is very dim.

  • 4 Shea // Aug 14, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Fun idea! It also keeps people from sneaking up behind you when you are cooking. :)

  • 5 megan // Aug 14, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Shana – Yes, it was too busy for the rest of the kitchen. The kitchen is also open to the dining area so there is a lot going on.

  • 6 Jen // Aug 14, 2007 at 7:53 am

    What a great idea! It fills that space so nicely and I’ve always lamented not haveing a window in our kitchen.

  • 7 candice // Aug 14, 2007 at 7:58 am

    wait, which craft store? I don’t feel like i’ve ever seen mirrors so charming at my local michaels…

  • 8 Tara // Aug 14, 2007 at 8:44 am

    I love the circles! I discovered the square 6×6 mirrors at Ikea a couple years ago – a four-pack cost under $10. I put those up behind my stove in two rows with a half inch or so between each. It looks fantastic, bringing light to an otherwise gloomy area of the kitchen.

  • 9 Holly // Aug 14, 2007 at 9:47 am

    That looks great…stoves are so ugly anyway that you just have to do what you can to pretty them up (especially when you can’t get the stove of your dreams – flat shiny top or a beautiful gas stove…)

  • 10 kelly // Aug 14, 2007 at 9:57 am

    I am de-lurking to say THANK YOU! I’ve used the hooks with Command strips, but I’ve never seen these picture hangers before. What a life saver!

    We’ve got plaster walls and I *hate* to bang a hole into them for something small. This is just the ticket!

    Great blog — thanks for the inspiration!

  • 11 Cindi Ann // Aug 14, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Wow, I love the way that looks! I also like the first try with the multiple sized mirrors, too. Really adds alot of interest to the area behind the stove! :)

  • 12 Melissa A. // Aug 14, 2007 at 10:31 am

    What a great idea!

  • 13 Jamie // Aug 14, 2007 at 10:34 am

    I now have a date with my local craft store and the space over my stove tonight. Great idea!

  • 14 Jun // Aug 14, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Great! We did this a while back after reading about feng shui… not wanting to have our back to the door. We bought the square mirrors from ikea and placed them up.

  • 15 Erika // Aug 14, 2007 at 11:39 am

    What a great idea. Must buy mirrors! I second the request for where you found them.

  • 16 Brian // Aug 14, 2007 at 11:42 am

    When I got new counter tops I had them cover the entire wall from counter to bottom of the cabinets with matching laminate which included behind the range. It makes it very easy to clean! FYI you can get mirror laminate which is safer than glass mirrors. I have seen a picture of a small kitchen where they mirrored completely in that same space and it looks like windows under the cabinets.

  • 17 megan // Aug 14, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Brian – That effect of having a complete mirror was something I was thinking of, but with the cost of having a mirror cut to size, I figured eh. I’m hoping to redo the kitchen completely and these will do for now. Thanks for the info about the mirror laminate, does it create distorted images though?

  • 18 manda // Aug 14, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I love decorating with mirrors. I am in the process of covering the inside of a fireplace (that no long functions as such) with them. I think it will look really neat when I finish.

  • 19 megan // Aug 14, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Erika and Candice – I bought all these mirrors at Michaels craft store. They were in an aisle somewhere between beading and woodwork. I remember the aisle also had feather boas and doll parts. I know that Joanns sells the same mirrors as you can find them on the joann.com site (Darice brand mirrors, I think). I have also seen these at a local Seattle shop called Display & Costume.

    Joann.com mentions the blank mirrors would be good for etching, I think that would look fabulous. You could etch flowers or branches across your mirrors.

  • 20 paola // Aug 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Circles definitely better than octagons. Isn’t it scary watching yourself cook?

  • 21 splatgirl // Aug 14, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I like the first try best, too. And I think it looks great and is a great idea, but I think that wall needs to be painted a color for it to really work.

  • 22 megan // Aug 14, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Splatgirl – I agree about the wall really needing to be another color, but the cabinets are this hideous wood that don’t go well at all with the light wood laminate floors and you can see the orange dining room wall when you’re in the kitchen so the colors are further restricted by that — I get tired just thinking about it. Really, this is our starter home, we might sell in as few as three years so I’m being very hesitant to make dramatic changes, even ones as easy as painting the kitchen walls.

  • 23 MamaNoggin // Aug 14, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Neat idea. I actually looked at the photo before reading and thought the paper was cork board which would be awesome for pinning recipes.

  • 24 kelley // Aug 14, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    do you have to stare at yourself while cooking? i’d never make risotto again.

  • 25 megan // Aug 14, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Kelley – I can really only see my arms, and the light from the window behind someone standing at the stove is so much brighter than the person that you don’t focus on yourself.

  • 26 Lindsay // Aug 14, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Wow, I LOVE the first try you had with the mirrors (with the different sizes). I’m not sure it would go in my current kitchen (which has a distinctly 80′s vibe and some weirdo powder blue counter tops) either, but I’m definitely filing this idea away for my next place. Great idea. :)

  • 27 Petra // Aug 14, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Nope…doesn’t work for me.

  • 28 stef // Aug 14, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    i’m glad you picked the simplest design – it’s perfect :)

  • 29 splatgirl // Aug 14, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    Darling. Send me a picture of the whole space and I will help you find color that works and maybe even makes the floor and cabinets look GOOD together. You’d be surprised what I can do with ugly ;) Paint= cheap and easy, and if you have to live there for any length of time (longer, than, say a couple of months) you might as well try and make it loveable, IMO. If nothing else, this works to your advantage when it comes time to sell. Potential buyers pick up on all the good chi!

  • 30 cheila // Aug 15, 2007 at 4:24 am

    Did you know placing mirrors at the stove is actually a Feng shui practice? So now you’ve not only created something pleasing to the eye but enforced the concept of light reflecting in a very important area of your house (feng shui-wise) thereby increasing your wealth and blessings. nice huh?

  • 31 bibliogrrl // Aug 15, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Etching on mirrors is EASY!

    A tip about etching- don’t do it with masking tape. Spring a little extra money for something called Sandblast Resist. It’s basically like vinyl sticker without the printing on it. The stuff is about 2 bucks a sheet, but is really easy to work with. You can order it online, (google it, I’m not sure where… I have the luck of having a boyfriend who works in a glass shop :D)

    I reccomend it over tape because you can draw right onto it, cut out the design with an exacto rihght on the glass and it pulls off cleanly (more cleanly than with tape). It’s simple to use.

    You MIGHT be able to get it at your local craft store, but I’m not sure. They recently banned all sales of etching everything here in Chicago (after I started etching), so I have no idea what you can and can’t get at your LCS.

    Good luck! (and happy etching!)

  • 32 mary // Aug 15, 2007 at 5:17 am

    Great Idea! I love the configuration you decided on…simple and contemporary. What a great way to bring light into a dark area.

  • 33 ex.libris // Aug 16, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    What a great idea. I have been thinking for a long time about something for over my stove. There’s no room now, but my house came with a nasty microwave that we don’t use. It’s 80’s brown and hangs right over the stove. Not only is it too high for me to safely use with piping hot, heavy dishes, but it’s pretty nasty to look at, and frankly, since we have a nice microwave that I received as a shower present, I haven’t even cleaned the built-in one out since we moved in. We just have two microwaves in the kitchen.

    I have been reluctant to take it down without something to put up over the stove because that kitchen has been plenty of shades of hideous before we move in and I have no idea what condition the wall will be in. But these mirrors look super nice. Great idea!

  • 34 megan // Aug 17, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    splatgirl – Thanks, you are too sweet.

    bibliogrrl – Thank you for the tip.

  • 35 sarah // Aug 21, 2007 at 9:17 am

    that’s awesome! it’s so hard to keep kitchens feeling bright. and i think the bubbly design looked great, good design.

  • 36 Amy // Aug 26, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    This past weekend, I saw this idea applied in a seafood restaurant. The various round mirrors were the bubbles in the sea.

    Have you had any trouble with steam from a boiling pot taking these down?

  • 37 dolores // Nov 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    if anyone has anyother idea’s please send them to me. I have beige behind my stove and i wanted to put a metal piece behind it in white how do you think it would look. thanks

  • 38 dolores // Nov 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    love your idea, will definitely try it.

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