Seven years ago, I was walking to my share house from the bus stop when I noticed a full-length mirror on the side of the road. It was with a few other items that looked like they were being thrown out, and outside a home I knew was undergoing renovation.
Where I live, it’s not that unusual to find intact furniture, waiting to be picked up by the council. Still, though, I thought, “Surely, it’s faulty.” Even an IKEA full-length mirror is more than $200. But there wasn’t a crack on it.
It was lighter than it looked, too, so I carried it to my apartment where I put it in my lounge room, leaning it against the wall, with a fiddle-leaf fig in front of it. It completely changed the look of the room, making it seem larger and more thought-out, rather than the reality of it being a mash-up of my housemates’ furniture and home décor.
A couple years later, a friend over at my share house said, “You know that’s a wardrobe door, right?”. I hadn’t known. But then it clicked. That’s why it was being chucked out. It wasn’t a full-length mirror — it was a sliding wardrobe door, with an aluminium frame, vinyl backing and reflective surface. No wonder it had been so light.
Since then, I’ve moved two times and now live on my own in a one-bed apartment. I ended up selling the wardrobe door I’d found on the street (for $50 more than I bought it for!) and upgraded to a much bigger one that I found on Facebook Marketplace, sized 240cm tall, nearly the length of my current apartment’s floor-to-ceiling height, and 340cm wide. I bought two of these wardrobe doors for a mere $200, knowing I could easily sell the second, which I did.
The “mirror” is a statement piece in my lounge room, like before, making it look much larger than it is. It leans against my lounge room wall and is one of the first things you see when you walk through the front door. Plus, it’s ideal for Instagram-worthy mirror selfies — I can’t even tell you how many I’ve used it for. Anyone who comes over comments on it, “Where is that from?”, “How did you get it in here?” and “I love your mirror!”.
If you’re looking to get a mirrored door like mine, so you too can make your home look larger and seriously up your selfie game, I thought I’d share two tips that’ll help you introduce it to your home. Now, having acquired three and sold two, I consider myself quite the pro, not to mention that I’m clearly obsessed with them, and so am eager to share what I’ve learned.
Search For “Mirror Wardrobe Door”
If you aren’t lucky enough to find a wardrobe mirror on the street like the first one I did, have a look on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. I had a look on Marketplace now, just out of curiosity, searching “mirror wardrobe doors” in my area.
There is a handful! There’s even a listing for two doors for $80 total and another listing for three doors for a total of $20. “It’s yours if you can disassemble and take it,” writes the Facebook user. “Happy to help with lifting and carrying, but no tools available.”
Again, because whoever is selling the wardrobe doors is likely doing a renovation, they likely just want to get rid of the pieces asap — so you can score a serious bargain.
Check You Can Transport It
Next up is to ensure you can transport the wardrobe door to your home. In the case of the doors I bought, sized 240x340cm, I had to arrange for a removalist with a truck wide enough. The door only just fit. Also, the removalist had brought padding big enough to cover the entire mirrored area of the first door to protect it, before he laid down the second door.
Share all the details you have with the removalist before you arrange for pick-up, so they can bring anything they might need to help transport it.
Once we arrived at my apartment, the removalist didn’t think he’d be able to get the door up the stairs to my top-floor apartment — something I’d never considered. Fortunately, he was able to manoeuvre it up the stairwell (cue Ross’ “Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!”), but I’d recommend you measure your stairwell’s ceiling heights and widths before organising the delivery of a wardrobe door.
Nearly every morning when I step out of my bedroom and into my lounge room, with my “mirror” beautifully reflecting my white couch, plants and the blue sky, I feel grateful that I picked up that wardrobe door on the side of the road all those years ago, and discovered what’s now become my best home styling hack.