Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the vainest one of all? As if we needed more surfaces to catch our reflection in, a recent design trend (in various disciplines) has been putting mirrors on everything. Don’t ask me why, how, or who – I don’t know. Need a new dresser? Why not get one that has an entire front made of mirrors? Are you updating the exterior of your home? Why not put up mirrored panels on the entire East side?

All cynicism aside, when I first discovered this trend a few months ago, I was not impressed. It seemed gaudy and somewhat self-absorbed. Granted, I sometimes go all day without looking at myself in the mirror – but the thought of having to look at myself more often than I must isn’t a huge selling feature when looking for furniture.

Over time I began to see the use of these mirrors as creating an ethereal and mysterious feeling. Particularly, an architect’s use of mirrors to camouflage a building is amazing (photo below). These optical illusions make one rethink their schemas and re-establish basic foreground/background principles. Often, this exterior application of mirrors is used to hide the structure or assist it in blending in to the environment.


For interior applications (i.e. furniture, accent walls, vanities), it seems that the idea is to help make the space look bigger or more gaudy – I haven’t figured out which. In many spaces, a bureau with a mirrored exterior looks ultra fancy. Put that same furniture piece up against an accent wall that incorporates mirrored tiles, and that same piece helps to make the room look expansive. Small bathrooms could benefit from a mirror wall or wall of mirrored tiles considering that most bathrooms could use the extra square feet (even if only by illusion).


Regardless of the use or application, using mirrored surfaces in design is pretty hot right now. Following on the heels of this trend, paint manufacturers began selling mirror paint. There is no longer a need to buy high end, on trend furniture from Crate & Barrel; just head over to Home Depot for some mirror spray paint and some drop cloths. No matter what you paint, at least you’re on trend, right?

What say you on the mirror trend – yay or nay? Comment below or tweet at us here


  1. I’ve been intrigued with mirrors in design since an exhibition in London entitled “Reflections– Reality and Distortion” which took an historical to present day glimpse of mirrors in art and architecture. Not always a huge fan of mirrored surfaces in the wrong hands–for example the Newton housewife and owner of a million-dollar condo who wanted all kitchen cabinetry to be mirrored–so no one could expect to use it. But in the hands of a master such as interior designer Vincent Wolf, the seeming transparency creates balance and depth.

    • Vincent Wolf does a phenomenal job of making spaces seem larger by way of mirrors; I can definitely appreciate a sensible design choice like that. Thanks for your comments, I love hearing how people are loving (or loathing) the designs and trends that I find to write about.

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