Brains and Beauty: Smart Mirrors for Your Bathroom
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Brains and Beauty: Smart Mirrors for Your Bathroom

Illuminating, informative and entertaining, these mirrors add an entirely new dimension to your vanity.

By John Elliot
Thu, Sep 2, 2021 11:32amGrey Clock 3 min

Want to make the most of your morning routine? Take a look in the mirror.

Reflective glass has not been immune from the integration of smart-home technology and the latest high-tech mirrors can keep you up to date and well lit while your hands are occupied with the important tasks of primping and polishing.

Here are a few smart mirrors worth hanging in your bathroom.

Kohler Verdera


Available in three sizes and with or without a medicine cabinet, the Verdera series from Kohler features vertical lighting strips integrated into the surface of the mirror, which can be activated by the user via voice control. That means effortless, instant and adjustable hands-free lighting at the drop of a phrase that frees users to focus on teeth brushing, hair combing and other beauty regimens—and that’s just the start. Kohler Verdera mirrors feature embedded speakers, allowing users to listen to music, check the weather or catch up on news. Plus, Kohler Konnect technology allows Verdera owners can use their mirror to control other Kohler devices in their home, like their shower.

Kohler Verdera Mirrors are available for approx. $1488  to $2500, depending on size and features.

Hilo Light


Round and robust, the Hilo smart mirror provides a ring of light (think of your favourite online content creators) available in a variety of modes, including a clean white light for skincare and makeup application. And speaking of applications, this mirror has all of them. Hilo owners can download their favourite apps directly onto their mirror, enabling them to watch YouTube, check stocks, send Tweets and more by using the Hilo’s touchscreen. Lest you be worried you’ll end up staring at a bunch of smudges, fear not—the Hilo Light is fingerprint resistant, fog resistant and waterproof.

The Hilo Light smart mirror is available for approx. $1628

Seura Vanity TV Mirrors


If you’re someone who wants an information download while you get made up, consider a Vanity TV Mirror from Seura. Seura Vanity TV mirrors seamlessly integrate—you guessed it—a TV mirror directly into your bathroom mirror. Seura offers an array of customization options, including screen size, screen placement and audio output, and when users are down catching up on traffic, weather, the latest news (or the latest episode of “White Lotus”), they can simply turn off the TV and the mirror reverts to a stylish reflective surface.

Seura Vanity TV Mirrors are available for approx. $4209 to $4750, depending on size.

HiMirror Slide


Lightweight and compact, the endlessly portable HiMirror Slide lets you bring your bathroom mirror with you wherever you go. But make no mistake—this is no simple surface. Half mirror, half tablet, the Wi-Fi equipped slide allows users to follow along with their favorite YouTube tutorials as they apply makeup or stream tunes from Spotify as they tackle tangles. And if you want lighting options, the Slide has got them. With two LED ambient light strips, Slide users can adjust color temperature and brightness to their exact liking—or choose from five presets to match the lighting conditions they may encounter throughout the day. The Slide also features Amazon Alexa and Google Duo built-in, allowing your vanity to double as a voice-controlled, video calling device.

The HiMirror Slide is available for $134


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The Fremantle cottage rewriting the blueprint for conjuring space

You’ll never guess where they found a little extra room when renovating this west coast house

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Mar 22, 2023 4 min

There was a time, not too long ago, when the most important must-have for would-be renovators was space. It was all about space to be together and space to be apart.

But as house prices increase across the country, the conversation has started to shift from size for the sake of it towards more flexible, well-designed spaces better suited to contemporary living.

For the owners of this 1920s weatherboard workers’ cottage in Fremantle, the emphasis was less on having an abundance of room and more about creating cohesive environments that could still maintain their own distinct moods. Key to achieving this was manipulating the floorplan in such a way that it could draw in light, giving the impression at least of a larger footprint. 

See more stories like this in the latest issue of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine. Order your copy here

Positioned on a site that fell three metres from street level, the humble four-room residence had been added to over the years. First order of business for local architect Philip Stejskal was to strip the house back to its original state.

“In this case, they were not quality additions,” Stejskal says. “Sometimes it is important to make sure later additions are not lean-tos.”

The decision to demolish was not taken lightly. 

“Sometimes they can be as historically significant as the original building and need to be considered — I wouldn’t want people to demolish our addition in 50 years’ time.”

Northern light hits the site diagonally, so the design solution was to open up the side of the house via a spacious courtyard to maximise opportunities to draw natural light in. However, this had a knock-on effect.

A central courtyard captures northern light. Image: Bo Wong

“We had to make space in the middle of the site to get light in,” Stejskal says. “That was one of the first moves, but that created another issue because we would be looking onto the back of the neighbouring building at less appealing things, like their aircon unit.”

To draw attention away from the undesirable view, Stejskal designed a modern-day ‘folly’.

“It’s a chimney and lookout and it was created to give us something nice to look at in the living space and in the kitchen,” Stejskal says. 

“With a growing family, the idea was to create a space where people could find a bit of solitude. It does have views to the wider locality but you can also see the port and you can connect to the street as well.”

A garden tap has also been installed to allow for a herb garden at the top of the steps.

“That’s the plan anyway,”  he says. 

A modern day ‘folly’ provides an unexpected breakout space with room for a rooftop herb garden. Image: Bo Wong

Conjuring up space has been at the core of this project, from the basement-style garaging to the use of the central courtyard to create a pavilion-like addition.

The original cottage now consists of two bedrooms, with a central hallway leading onto a spacious reception and living area. Here, the large kitchen and dining spaces wrap around the courtyard, offering easy access to outdoor spaces via large sliding doors.

Moments of solitude and privacy have been secreted throughout the floorplan, with clever placement of built-in window seats and the crow’s nest lookout on the roof, ideal for morning coffee and sunset drinks.

The house has three bedrooms, including a spacious master suite with walk-in robe and ensuite overlooking the back garden. Adjustable blades on the bedroom windows allow for the control of light, as well as privacy. Although the house was designed pre COVID, it offers the sensibility so many sought through that time — sanctuary, comfort and retreat.

Adjustable blades allow the owners to control light on the upper floor. Image: Bo Wong

“When the clients came to us, they wanted a house that was flexible enough to cater for the unknown and changes in the family into the future,” Stejskal says. “We gave the owners a series of spaces and a certain variety or moods, regardless of the occasion. We wanted it to be a space that would support that.”

Mood has also been manipulated through the choice of materials. Stejskal has used common materials such as timber and brick, but in unexpected ways to create spaces that are at once sumptuous but also in keeping with the origins of the existing building.

Externally, the brickwork has been finished in beaded pointing, a style of bricklaying that has a softening effect on the varied colours of bricks. For the flooring, crazy paving in the courtyard contrasts with the controlled lines of tiles laid in a stack bond pattern. Close attention has also been paid to the use of veneer on select joinery in the house, championing the beauty of Australian timbers with a lustrous finish. 

“The joinery is finished in spotted gum veneer that has been rotary cut,” says Stejskal. “It is peeled off the log like you peel an apple to give you this different grain.”

Rotary cut timber reveals the beauty of the natural grain in the kitchen joinery. Image: Bo Wong

Even the laundry has been carefully considered.

“The laundry is like a zen space with bare stone,” he says. “We wanted these different moods and the landscape of rooms. We wanted to create a rich tapestry in this house.”

The owners now each experience the house differently, highlighting separate aspects of the building as their favourite parts. It’s quite an achievement when the site is not enormous. Maybe it’s not size that matters so much after all.


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