The mirror wall is back

It’s one of the great design tricks: want to make a room feel more open and bright without removing a single wall? Just add a mirror wall. (Of course, a single mirror can produce similar results, but where’s the total fun in that?)

It’s not really a new thing. A few examples that come to mind are the mirrored veranda that reflected the verdant garden of Elsie de Wolfe’s French country house, the Villa Trianon, and the dazzling mirrored drawing room of the Parisian apartment by Valerian Rybar and Jean-François Daigre, who made the cover of AD in October 1989. But lately we’ve noticed a particular variant of the space-expanding solution: a grid of mirrors – often aged, rather than super-polished and reflective – that covers a wide swath of a wall. It opens up a room while achieving a certain decorative neutrality.

Custom Mercury Glass Panels by Stephane Cavallo line a wall in interior designer Bunny Williams’ Manhattan living room.

Photo: Francesco Lagnese

At first glance, you might not even notice it’s there, but “it doubles the width of the kitchen,” says AD100 interior designer Nate Berkus of the antique mirror he and husband Jeremiah Brent used to cover a wall they couldn’t remove (it houses ductwork for several apartments) in their New York pad. “The kitchen is one of the things we like the most in the apartment. Being able to see it no matter which direction you face makes us so happy.

For other examples, see Sienna Miller’s English cottage, Thatch, in which a similar rendition opens things up in the cozy dining room. Or Bunny Williams’ Manhattan apartment, where a grid of custom mercury glass panels by Stephane Cavallo wallpaper the living room wall. For a wilder riff, you might remember the mirrored wall-mounted living room (with a stripper-slash-fireman bar) in Alexander and Sofía Sanchez de Betak’s SoHo loft, which was featured on the cover of ADFebruary 2018 issue.

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