MirrorMate inventor Lisa Huntting is a serial entrepreneur whose latest company, MirrorMate frames, is based around one of her personal passions -- making a home more beautiful. Inventing the MirrorMate frame has combined her love of interior design with her consumer products marketing background to create a new product category that is widely needed and accessible to homeowners nationwide. She recognized the necessity of the product when, after decorating her bathrooms, she felt the décor was just not complete. The raw edges of her big, plate glass mirrors looked unfinished – and the clips that attach the mirror to the wall were, gasp – exposed.
It’s been fifteen years since this single mom had the idea to make it easy for the average homeowner, without tools like routers and miter saws to frame their mirrors, and to give them a wider selection than the basic white primed trim found at a local hardware store. She started by creating frames for her own bathroom mirrors in her Charlotte, North Carolina home and then for friends.
The concept was to make a DIY kit that most anyone could install themselves, and one that would offer choice of styles and colors. She also desired to create a patentable product and the easy method of installation along with a recess on the back of the frame that covers right over clips, no matter where they are, was the ticket. Not only is it a feature unique enough to be patented, but it means no competitive frame can match this advantage - guaranteeing the easiest, most fool-proof installation available.
Initially, the small company fabricated much of the custom cut frame kit and shipped it from her garage, as many entrepreneurial efforts commence in the United States.
A lot has happened since that time both personally and professionally. Her son is now grown, married and living in New York City. Her business has blossomed and moved twice - now based on Monroe Road in Charlotte with 15 employees and a hard-working shop where hundreds of custom frames are cut and shipped daily.
The number of styles has grown too, from an initial 17 to over 65 and they come in a wide variety of widths and finishes – metallic, colors, wood finishes, and intricate, decorative designs. Initially, the concept was to sell only to homeowners. But just three months after the product debuted, it was filmed by HGTV at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the hotel chain Best Western was immediately interested. Now, designers, apartments and hotels use the framing kits to transform their bare (or damaged, ragged black-edged) mirrors into beautiful, upgraded, framed focal points.
While still working hard as President of MirrorMate, Lisa has downsized her original four-bath home where MirrorMate was born, to a brick townhouse on a gaslit street in the Eastover section of Charlotte. After six months of top-to- bottom renovations and interior design work by Lorraine Mulligan of LAM Studios Inc. based in Matthews, NC, Lisa is at home in a space as colorful and classy as she is. From the turquoise front door to the large, geometric focal wall in the great room, personality and energy exude from the space.
With a business based on creating beautiful bathrooms through the addition of mirror frames –the bathrooms were top priority and are nothing short of gorgeous. Each unique and thoughtful in its own right, the finishing touch in all is, of course, the mirror frames.
The powder room on the main floor is tucked beneath the stairs, a small space with an angled ceiling.
“We enveloped the space from the walls to ceiling with a wall covering that saturated the room with color, making the space feel like a jewel box,” explains designer Lorraine Mulligan.
The glam of the bath doesn’t stop with the wall covering. The glass sconces inset in the mirror add shimmer and drama, while the MirrorMate frame beautifully outlines the entire mirror which stretches from backsplash to ceiling and wall to wall. The frame style is Solana Modern Gold and showcases the frame’s ability to fit perfectly even in tight spaces with no clearance surrounding the mirror. Because the MirrorMate frame attaches by double-stick tape right onto the mirror itself, it can fit a mirror no matter how tight the space around it. The customer just needs to provide the mirror’s measurements. A second measurement required is details on how close the mirror is to walls, backsplash, lights or wall outlet. This ensures a perfect fit – every time, no matter the location of the mirror. If there is an “open” wall, i.e. one where the frame might be seen from the side, MirrorMate then extends the frame just slightly a bit beyond the mirror edge so it can’t be seen from the side.
In this powder room revamp, there was an intentional use of mixed metals and range of styles from vintage to contemporary to add an abundance of interest in the bath. It is a question often asked by frame customers – and one resounding like answered by a “Yes!” It is okay to mix metals – the frame does not have to match the bath hardware or fixtures.
The vessel sink was added to the powder room, in part to raise the short height of the original vanity to alleviate the need to purchase and install a new one. Turquoise paint updated the traditional vanity design, while a new honed marble counter tops the off look.
In the master bath, serenity was the goal. The walls are painted a soft blue-green called Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, while the space above the sink is tiled in mother-of-pearl discs for shine. The white vanity and marble tile floor continue the muted scheme.
Again, the finishing touch was the frame added atop the installed Robern medicine cabinets, giving a pretty finishing detail to these focal points, seen directly from the bedroom. The frame style on the mirrors is Bellemeade Vintage Silver, a style with ornate detailing and a vintage look, and a purposeful contrast to the more transitional, clean details in the bath.
The second-floor guest bed and bath ensuite have a more masculine vibe, specifically to welcome the owner’s son when he returns for a visit. The walls are painted a deep warm taupe, accompanied by sleek, modern lighting and hardware in silver, and a coordinating silver frame in Solana Modern silver was added to the pre-existing, wall-mounted mirror.
Though not pictured, one more ensuite bath on the third floor was not fully renovated, but brought up to date with a dark vanity bought online, and topped with a re-used piece of granite left from another vanity torn out in the house. The existing bathtub and shower combination was left intact, and the “new” shower curtain was repurposed form Lisa’s former house. She topped the dark vanity with a Venetian bronze frame on the small, existing bare mirror. The result is a bath that looks fully updated, but at a much-reduced cost.
Lisa constantly monitors design trends to say ahead of the curve and add new style collections to the MirrorMate frame offering as elements like rustic woods, farmhouse décor and more streamlined looks take hold. As well as a serial entrepreneur she is a serial decorator and will likely be refreshing her baths with new frame styles too!