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Mirrored Walls and Ceilings Are Making an Elegant Comeback

May 07, 2023

This reflective look was huge in the 1970s, but we’re seeing new spins on mirrored surfaces today, with superbly sophisticated results.

We’re only a few months into the year, but 2023 has already seen the revival of many trends from the past. One you might not have seen coming? The return of a 1970s staple: mirrored walls and ceilings.

Property listing site Zillow predicted that mirrored walls and ceilings will be a home trend to watch in 2023, reporting that there's been an increase in listings that feature mirrored walls or ceilings in their descriptions. While Parisian style—which often features mirrors—has been a popular look for years now, the rise in popularity of this specific, reflective aspect of it may come as a surprise, since most people's opinions on mirrored walls and ceilings range from thinking they’re definitely dated to seeing them as downright déclassé.

But these aren't the mirrored walls of the disco era. In their new incarnation, large-format mirrors are often antiqued and undeniably chic. Used correctly, large mirrored surfaces can create a bright, inviting space that feels sunny and sophisticated.

We spoke with an expert to see how he sees mirrors used as decor in high-end properties—and to give you some tips on translating this sometimes tricky trend into your home.

So first things first—are mirrored walls and ceilings really making a resurgence?

"Yes, absolutely," says Randy Baruh, a New York real estate agent and founder of The Randy Baruh Team. "I haven't seen many mirrored ceilings, but I’m seeing more mirrored walls in staged properties from townhouses to condos and coops."

While worries about dated-looking decor might make you hesitant to install a mirrored wall or ceiling, large mirrored surfaces have multiple benefits.

"Placed strategically to bring in light, [mirrored walls can] open up a room, giving the impression of more space, and can even make low ceilings seem taller," Baruh says. "I was recently at a listing …which cleverly used mirrors in the staging. The property was flooded with sunlight, and I thought the mirrors were windows until closer inspection. I also have a listing … which has a bathroom covered in mirrors. It creates a sleek modern look, and makes the bathroom look twice the size."

With property-enhancing perks like these, it's no wonder oversized mirrors are popping up in high-end listings. But it's not just about enlarging your space: Mirrors play well with several other high-profile trends and styles, serving as a dynamic piece of decor no matter your aesthetic. In maximalism, for example, mirrors can amplify patterns and collections to further spotlight your over-the-top decor, and antiqued mirrors look right at home with the bibliophile and old money aesthetics. Statement ceilings are also gaining popularity right now, and mirrored ceilings provide an unexpected new take on this look.

Using mirrored walls can show off a space's best features by reflecting a view or amplifying the light streaming through the windows, and even mask some flaws by making a small space feel bigger. But you also have to balance the trend with a bit of restraint.

"Don't go overboard," Baruh says. "Strategically placed mirrors can elevate a property, but in the wrong hands, the design can seem dated, or lacking in taste (see mirrors placed directly above your bed)."

And no one wants to feel like they’re living in a funhouse.

"Try to keep your mirrors down to two walls max in a room, more than that can feel creepy," Baruh says.

To make mirrors modern, instead of one expanse of glass, try a style that is broken up into geometric shapes or delineated with mullions to give them a window-like effect. Plain mirrors aren't your only options, either. A mirrored surface with antiqued or mercury glass gives a vintage Parisian feel that is glamorous and timeless.

And yes, even mirrors on ceilings can be beautiful and tasteful. Keep them in living spaces where they can create a dramatic design element and avoid the cliché of having them in a bedroom. Mirrors can create architectural interest inset into a coved ceiling or placed in a small narrow space, like an entry hall, to create a dramatic first impression. And you don't have to cover the whole area to make a big impact—if you want to test the trend out, try a circular mirror in place of a ceiling medallion to add extra sparkle to a chandelier.

Once you start to look at the possibilities modern mirrored walls and ceilings open up, you’ll see there's so much more potential for mirrors than just hanging above a bathroom vanity.