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posted: 11/10/2012 5:41 AM

Glass and mirrored surfaces personalize a home

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  • Artists use a variety of techniques at Creative Mirror and Shower's artistic design center in Addison.

      Artists use a variety of techniques at Creative Mirror and Shower's artistic design center in Addison.
    Photos Courtesy of Creative Mirror and Shower

  • This Chicago skyline was etched into a mirror for a customer.

      This Chicago skyline was etched into a mirror for a customer.

  • Frameless glass showers are easy to clean and showcase modern stone tile used in many of today's baths.

      Frameless glass showers are easy to clean and showcase modern stone tile used in many of today's baths.
    Photos Courtesy of Creative Mirror and Shower

  • Creative Mirror and Shower makes glass pocket doors and room dividers that slide open into the wall.

      Creative Mirror and Shower makes glass pocket doors and room dividers that slide open into the wall.

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

No one wants a cookie-cutter house. They want to inject their own personality into the place they call "home."

Some people do that by choosing the newest, trendiest items they see in European catalogs. Others choose to be ultratraditional, liking the look they knew when they were growing up.

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Still others do it by having their monogram, name or a special artwork or scene etched into glass to be a focal point.

No matter what a particular homeowner chooses to do to personalize their home, Creative Mirror and Shower in Addison, with showrooms in Plainfield and Chicago, too, is able to accommodate them.

In business since 1972, the family firm has grown by leaps and bounds over the years to the point that they now occupy a 20,000 square foot design center where they design and fabricate shower doors, mirrors, stairway railings, mirrored or glass doors, room partitions and even glass kitchen backsplashes.

"We are in our fourth Addison location because we keep growing," said Mark Pritikin, president and son of the founder. "All of our core products involve glass, which we fabricate in-house. But we also work in close conjunction with several longtime vendors of decorative hardware and they will custom manufacture items to our specifications."

Their largest product line is shower doors and today those are generally frameless.

"Homeowners today want a clean, open, spacious look and they want to see as little metal as possible. Doors without metal are easier to clean and people like to show off the nice tile that they are investing in. This has been the trend in shower doors for awhile and it began in Europe," he said.

Those who want a more artistic look or want added privacy are generally opting for sandblasted glass. Privacy bands can be etched into the center of the doors to give the person showering a modicum of privacy, or artistic designs can be etched into the doors with just about any design someone chooses. Pritikin said all of these doors are one-of-a-kind and both designed and etched in-house in the company's artistic design center.

"Our artists are Old World craftsmen who create their own personalized artwork and even hand-cut the graphics to insert into the sandblasting machine," he said. "It takes very special skills and we have really emphasized our artistic capabilities over the past decade or so. In fact, some of our work is now being exported for commercial applications. The new Hard Rock Café in Panama commissioned huge light cubes in which the glass sides were etched with special designs in our Addison plant."

The vast majority of its work, however, stays local with homeowners having their monogram or "Lee Family Pub" or some type of artwork etched into a mirror or a glass doors.

Bathroom mirrors today are generally framed and Creative Mirror has a huge selection of styles and sizes in its showroom, although some people still favor the large wall mirrors, Pritikin said. Wall mirrors are also popular in bar areas and exercise rooms.

Creative Mirror still makes plenty of mirrored doors, too, because "people still like to have a functional full-length mirror," Pritikin said. "Such doors also add an illusion of space in small rooms and we can make them in custom sizes."

A new take on this old tradition, however, is partitions between rooms that recede into the walls. These nouveau pocket doors are made of glass that can be clear, opaque, sand-etched with a design or even colored.

"It used to be that we could only apply silver color to the back of glass. Now we can use just about any color from white, to black, to bright red on any glass surface. It really gives the WOW effect," Pritikin said. "This is particularly huge overseas with people using colored glass as backsplashes in kitchens because it is much more hygienic and easier to clean than tile since it has no grout. In fact, in Australia they estimate that one-third of people have glass backsplashes in their homes."

Creative Mirror and Shower also makes glass stairway railings for commercial spaces and high-end, contemporary homes.

"We are a one-stop shop where we measure, manufacture and install products and because we take a project from start to finish, the customer saves money," Pritikin said. "In this economy people still want to buy, but they want a good deal and since we do great work and are competitively priced, we haven't had to lay off anyone. In fact, we have hired."

For more information on Creative Mirror and Shower, call 1-800-SHOWERS or visit www.creativemirror.com. Its showrooms are located at 2141 W. Army Trail Road, Addison; 1281 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago; and 16114 S. Route 59, Suite B, Plainfield.

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