This Old Trend is Back, and It’ll Make Your Space Instantly Look Bigger

published Apr 23, 2020
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Mirrored furniture, those gorgeous pieces that are all-too attractive to fingerprints and smudges, is coming back… and these pieces could be just what your home needs, especially if you live in a small space. Originally made popular in the 1920s and 1930s during the Art Deco movement, mirrored surfaces reared their reflective heads again in the ‘80s, and then had a resurgence about nine or 10 years ago, too.

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In the right silhouette and with the right details, mirrored furniture can look modern, as seen in the living room above. This time around, pieces are subdued and the mirroring is often mixed with another material, which makes them feel even more stylistically universal. Plus, they’re a perfect small space solution. Why, you ask? Well, three reasons.

First, reflective surfaces can be a sort of trompe l’oeil in that they expand the footprint of your home visually. Ever walked into a restaurant or store that looks like it goes on forever, only to quickly realize it’s actually super tiny? Yep, that’s the magic of mirrors, and they can work in your home, too. Second, reflective finishes take whatever available light there is and bounce it around, effectively creating a brighter space. And let’s be real—small rental apartments rarely offer enough natural light, making the floor plan feel even more compact. Mirrored pieces can help to offset this deficit.

And finally, even larger pieces like dressers and desks “disappear” into your room when they’re mirrored. Reflective finishes don’t create extra visual weight or mass for the eye to take in, which is key in smart small space design. Take the room above, for instance, from this “Hamilton” cast member’s house tour. Had that mirrored piece been a heavier wood, this corner might have felt cluttered. But instead, it feels light and bright. Moreover, because the piece has a simple Parsons shape, the mirrored finish feels less Louis XIV and more today.

Though this new, subtle iteration of the mirrored furniture trend isn’t fully mainstream yet, I’m really loving what Urban Outfitters is doing to bring mirrored pieces into 2020, and I’ve chosen a few favorites from them below. I wouldn’t be surprised if similar items started popping up more and more. Keeping things simple is the name of the game to avoid anything too cloying or glitzy.

Mirrored Room Divider Screen

This tri-fold room divider could have gone overboard with mirrored add-ons—little decorative starbursts, glass “molding.” But as-is, it’s essentially a privacy-providing light reflector. Simply place it opposite a window to really up the natural light factor and bring the outdoors in.

Buy: Amaia Mirrored Arc Room Divider Screen, $399

Mirrored Credenza

The wood frame of this credenza brings the luxe quotient down to earth, so this piece would be right at home in a room with more contemporary silhouettes or more natural decor. Mixing materials and finishes within a room has been such a big trend in the past couple of years, it’s fun to see a piece that riffs on this concept as well.

Buy: Amaia Credenza, $799

Credit: Urban Outfitters

Mirrored Pedestal Side Table

Forget smoky glass—these pedestal tables in a rosy finish kick things up a notch further and feel like the perfect blend of modern Parisian. In fact, a mirrored piece goes a long way to not just be functional, but it can also be a hushed statement maker in your room, no matter your style or square footage.