do it yourself

Copping the look of a mirrored console (on the (really really) cheap)

So this image has been on my Pinterest board “Stuff to DIY” for the longest time:

Image courtesy of alamodemaven.com

Why, you ask? Because that white console with the mirrored doors looks slightly similar to our wine/coffee bar, that’s why. The only problem with mine is that it has glass doors, ergo, everything inside can be seen.

Now that shouldn’t be a problem if I display its contents nicely, right? If only I could give up keeping these items in boxes. It’s very dusty where I live—that’s city living for you—plus I have too much stuff in there to be able to arrange in a more presentable manner. So, yeah, our console has been looking like this for the longest time:

HELLO, STUFF.
HELLO, STUFF.

{Before I proceed, I’d like to apologize for the weird lighting and coloring of my images. My dining room hardly receives sunlight, and our indoor lights are all warm white. Plus my nonexistent photography and Photoshop skills leave much to be desired. ANYWAY.}

More STVFFS.
More S T V F F.

And if you look at the items on top of it, the arrangement doesn’t exactly give off the wine-cum-coffee bar concept, does it? I thought so.

More like, confused, is what it is.
More like, confused, is what it is.

So I thought, I need to change the glass into mirrors. But when you’re a freelancing, work-from-home mom—emphasis on the word “freelancing,” meaning no regularly timed income—you gotta make budget priorities. And custom-made mirrors for the console ain’t one of ’em.

What do you do when you desperately want to make a change? YOU ACT ON IT. I’ve heard a dozen inspirational speeches along the same lines. So I made the desperate act of “copying the mirrored look”….

….with foil.

Yep, silver foil. Cost me more or less P20 per roll at National Book Store. Was it going to work? I desperately hoped so. And DID it work? Well, you’ll be the judge of that.

My materials:

  • 2 rolls of silver foil
  • measuring tape
  • T-square
  • scissors
  • cutter
  • 3M Scotch Magic Tape
  • paper tape
  • cutting board

First things first: I cleared out all the items on top of my console, then wiped it down with a rag and soapy water.

If I may plug this wonder product (okay, I admit, an uncle of mine came up with this formulation) which our family has been using for years: It’s an all-natural, multi-purpose solution made from banana leaf extract, and we use it for pretty much everything—disinfecting, cleaning, washing, laundering, deodorizing. Just mix one part solution to three parts water. Potent stuff.

P1030332

Cleaning should always come first whenever you’re refurbishing some old piece of furniture or equipment. That goes without saying.

Spray and wipe. No soapy residue.
Spray and wipe. No soapy residue.
I didn't forget to wipe down the glass, as it'll be covered up with foil later on, and I didn't want any dirt or smears to show.
I didn’t forget to wipe down the glass, as it’ll eventually be covered up with foil, and I didn’t want any dirt or smears to show.

Then, I measured the area to be covered with foil with my tape measure. I decided to divide the areas into smaller squares instead of a bigger rectangle, so it would be easier for me to smoothen down the foil later on. With my measurements, I then laid down my foil on the floor, and marked the boundaries with the help of a T-square and paper tape (marker ink would easily slide off the surface of foil, so paper tape made more sense).

Then, cut(ter) away.
Then, cut(ter) away.

Once I had my four squares of foil, I taped them up on the inside of the cabinet door using 3M Scotch Magic Tape. I specifically used this tape because I didn’t want my temporary upgrade to damage the paint. When I’m ready to use the real thing (erm, mirrors), it’ll be easy for me to just remove the tape without worrying about peeling the paint off.

Oooh, looks like a school project.
Oooh, looks like a school project.

I had a bit of difficulty smoothening down my foil though. To begin with, the foil was already slightly wrinkled (babycat spotted it from my wrapping paper bin and had a go at it), so there wasn’t anything I could do about that. I tried my best to pull and tape the corners and sides taut, to minimize “waves.”

And that was it. Voila!

How do I look?
Ehhh…how do I look?

Okay, so this isn’t top-grade stuff. You can easily see which corners I need to straighten and smoothen down some more. Or maybe it would be better if I just replace the foil with a newer, much smoother roll. Or maybe I should be patient and have a pro customize those mirrors for me.

Until then, this is what we’re all going to live with. It serves the function of covering up the mess inside, and if you’re, say, 20 feet away and you squint your eyes, you’d think it was just like the mirrored console in my peg. Right? Right?!

Alright, get over it. Now for the fun part: styling!

Clearly, I had fun with it.
Clearly, I had fun with it.
P1030360
Squint, squint, squint

It’s looking more like that wine-cum-coffee bar now, isn’t it? Finally, something we both agree on.

P1030368
When the image is cropped this way, the foil doesn’t look so bad……..
Drinking implements. Because we don't get to use them anymore.
Drinking implements. Because we don’t get to use them anymore.
A cocktail recipe book and wine guide to make us imbibe the Bacchanalian spirit, perhaps.
A cocktail recipe book and wine guide to make us imbibe the Bacchanalian spirit, perhaps.
That pretty plant in the slender vase is called Song of India, and I love how it adds that round-ish, star-ish element to a mostly vertical arrangement.
That pretty plant in the slender vase is called Song of India, and I love how it adds that round-ish, star-ish element to a mostly vertical arrangement.
Care for a homemade latte?
Care for a homemade latte?
Annnd, that's a wrap.
Annnd, that’s a wrap.

You’ll be happy to know that after I got buzzed with a bit of alcohol and joe for this little project (combined celebratory-sorrow-drowning exercise after that whole foil fiasco), I cleared out the top of that console once more.

Because, cats.

(At least I’ll know exactly how to fix it up when we decide to have guests over.)

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4 thoughts on “Copping the look of a mirrored console (on the (really really) cheap)”

    1. Haha thanks! Actually it looks bad in the photograph, but in “person”, the wrinkles aren’t as obvious. I did think about fabric, wrapping paper (I still have plenty of the Ito Kish Pinoy toile paper left over), or contact paper. But I guess I really like the mirrored look; it bounces off the light from our door, which our light-starved dining room needs! Someday, I will have those mirrors made haha

      Like

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