Looking for simple ideas on how to create a mirrored staircase wall? Here’s how I created my very own wall going up my staircase.

mirrored staircase

I can’t decide if this is going to be a mirrored staircase wall post or a little design encouragement to start your Monday.

Or maybe both.

Raise your hand if you think every project works out perfectly here over here at thistlewood.

Umm.

Not even close.

Truth? Shhhh.

Here’s the thing. Here’s the encouragement. I’m not perfect. My projects aren’t perfect. My house isn’t perfect. My life isn’t perfect.

NOT EVEN CLOSE.

I’m always taking two steps forward and then the random step back.

Sometimes days don’t work out like they are planned. Sometimes hairstyles don’t work out like they are planned. And sometimes? Design projects don’t work out exactly as they are planned.

But none of that truly matters because the joy is in the journey.

Okay. Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me go all Julie Andrews and start at the very beginning.

mirrored staircase

This is what the staircase looked like when we bought back the house.

The walls were white.

The stairs didn’t have a runner.

There wasn’t any artwork on the wall.

mirrored staircase

So we started by painting the walls Sandbar SW 7547.

mirrored staircase

Then we added this runner.

mirrored staircase stairway

Then we added brass stair rods to the runner.

And roman shades to the windows and pillows to the window seat.

And artwork on the walls.

And then?

The staircase was done and I had tons of extra time to start on a zillion other projects.

Or so I thought.

(total aside: remember the journey? Remember the joy? Are you ever really done?)

I had the idea for a wall full of mirrors.

I could see it in my mind. There would be brass mirrors of all different shapes and sizes. Layers and layers of mirrors that brought in the sunlight and made the space feel larger and the staircase dance with twinkling sunbeams.

It was a brilliant plan.

BRILLIANT.

Except.

Except I TOTALLY underestimated the amount of money that mirrors like this cost.

YIKES.

I am in the wrong business. I need to go into the vintage mirror business. A small vintage mirror costs about $50 and large vintage mirrors can run into hundreds of dollars. And it’s not yard sale season yet, so I couldn’t find bargain mirrors for my mirror wall. So instead, I compromised. I bought a few older mirrors and mixed in some newer mirrors and then I figured out THAT I NEED MORE MIRRORS.

Remember that joy that’s in the journey?

I have extra joy because this journey is going to take a lot longer than I thought.

So after than rather random lengthy explanation, here is my DIY mirrored staircase wall.

Truth?

It’s fine for now.

There are mirrors and they are up and they do reflect the sunlight and when the sun sets through that back window, the room is a cacophony of light and sunbeams and sparkles.

But…..

(total aside: don’t you love a decorating project with a really good but.)

But….

….I need to find more mirrors.

I need to find amazing, incredible, chippy, vintage mirrors that I can layer on the wall.

Here’s my vision. See those blank spaces?

I want to layer in mirrors so the mirrors are kind of on top of each other. Does that make sense? I want the entire wall to be layers of vintage chippy mirrors. I can’t really find picture risers right now. Pottery Barn had some amazing ones, but they went out of stock. So I’m on the hunt to find picture risers, so I can layer in the mirrors on the wall.

Does that make sense?

But for now we have our start.

Here’s the beginning of the wall.

Here’s the beginning of the journey.

And the reminder that not every design project turns out perfectly at the beginning and that’s OKAY. There’s no design rule that says that every project has to be perfect from the very first step. Sometimes you take two steps forward and one design step back. The important thing is that it’s fun. The important thing is that it’s your home and your process and your project.

And your journey.

Here’s to finding joy with every step. 🙂

Comments

  1. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I totally get it! Last week I had an amazing wreath project planned....it turned out nothing like I envisioned!!! Maybe next time!! The mirrors look great! The nice thing is people can’t see into our minds to know how wonderful it really could be!!

  2. Image for Liz Liz

    I think the wall of mirrors looks lovely! I wonder who was the brave person to stand on the ladder on the stair steps to hang them all! And who gets to clean these later on! And standing on a ladder on stairs is scary to do! I always think decorating the wall of the stairs is hard, so my wall is empty! Plus folks just seem to gravitate to running into the items in the wall! But, with a couple of mirrors I have, plus some artwork, perhaps I’ll give it a go!

  3. Image for Diane Diane

    My friend Louise did this same treatment in her bathroom on the adjacent tub walls...#1 took many many more mirrors than she thought, .....#2 mirror upon mirror around the bathtub...what are you thinking? Hundreds of naked people reflected back to you. We had quite the laugh over that and the mirror project got moved to another location, pronto. Not a fail, a lesson in thinking these ideas through first.

    1. Image for Julie Julie

      Diane, I smile in what you share.........considering the size of our bathroom, I thought of placing a nice large mirror above the toilet, and after further thoughts decided against it. =)

  4. Image for Julie Julie

    Karianne, looking good as it is...........as I was reading this, I was thinking my hubby would wonder what am I doing? He already says there are too many mirrors around the house and asking if I've become vain? lol Suggestion - tis true not yard/garage sale season, and yet what about resale and thrift stores? Some of mine have come from there and at great prices too. I was in this one New 2 You store with no plans to buy a mirror, and yet there it was! Long, wide and artsy looking ......and only $25. MINE! and it's hanging in the living room and I smile knowing all my mirrors have a story......... =) you'll make it happen and part of decorating is the thrill of the hunt, right? =)

  5. Image for Lori Lori

    I too love the old mirrors and feel as you do...Why are they so costly? argh! I love the ones from Anthropologie but gee OMG! $$$$...so I've been looking at our neighborhood Marketplace online daily. I did find one for $20 but it's not as ornate as I'd like but I plan to do some fancy sconces around it and see where that takes me. Your chandelier is lovely as well. I'm working on adding some fancy to my cottage/coastal farmhouse..hmmm does that go together? French Country, Cottage, Coastal? Oh well...we shall see. Warm and homey that's all that matters. Your wall looks great! Perfect idea for using that sunshine! 1 degree F here!

  6. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    How terrific that the wall looks wonderful already, and you know it'll only get better! My favorite mirror find was at Goodwill for $4. Good luck accumulating more lovelies!

  7. Image for Gina Gina

    I cant get rid of any mirrors! Big fan of wall of mirrors. Alas, i still have a mirroed wall!!! I just love the reflection of my backyard while sitting at the dining room table.

  8. Image for Toni Toni

    And certainly teenage daughters will enjoy primping and preening as they descend the stairs to that special date one day!

  9. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    What a fun project and it’s already looking good!! The base mirrors with their chippy friends will look amazing 😊

  10. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    It will be fun to see what you find and so worth the wait. I love estate sales and sometimes i find treasures that become beautiful decor in my home. Have a good time hunting!!

  11. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

    Well, I'm pretty sure we are sisters separated at birth since this was in my mind to do over my long buffet with the garganchun wall behind it. But, like you too, the cost of those old chippy, history filled, charming, swoon worth mirrors, sort of squelches the dream wall you envision that swirls around in your head and is magazine worthy. So, what I'm thinking may be something that helps you too....I think I'm going to try mirrors mixed with vintage frames. You know the kind that a mirror used to be in, but somewhere through the decades was broken in a move when your great Uncle Charlie packed it in the trunk in a percarious place. Some look to have the original wiring across the back, which could be a cool architectural feature, and some do not. So if you laid a frame, much smaller and a different shape, over a mirror, or several, you would probably need to figure out some command hook type of attachment. I've seen some gorgeous oval shapes with carvings at a local store by me. They usually run a lot less than when they have a mirror in them. Of course, then the empty frame has the other mirror shining behind it. It would need to be carefully drawn out in order to get it just right. I'm not sure I explained what I have in my mind clearly, but if anything this has given you a good chuckle! I totally get the "try" of decor. Some comes so easily and wonderfully, and others are so close to amazing😉!

  12. Image for Karen J Karen J

    Our house is not large, so I use mirrors to help bounce light and make it appear larger. I have a mirror in every room except the kitchen! What I have done is when I find a unique frame I really like, I have a mirror cut for it. It is usually way cheaper than buying a mirror, and you get the size, shape, style you want!

  13. Image for Shawn Herbert Shawn Herbert

    I wanted a mirror on my landing where the stairs turned and a two more, T-shaped flights of stairs began - just one extra large mirror. Even one was hard to find. I found a vintage chippy one! not large enough. After much looking and looking, I found a very large, 7 ft x 3+ ft one with a very substantial, 8 inch, very rustic frame at Homesense. After some consternation and fretting by my husband how to hang such a large mirror securely, it was up and I loved it! But. (You know there's always a but.). The chandelier on the landing reflected in the mirror was definitely sub par - too small, not sparkly enough, out of date. So then the search began for the perfect chandelier that gave off lots of light to be reflected in that amazing mirror. And then came the domino effect- there were three ceiling lights in the hallway upstairs and down that sub par chandelier. Wait, wait, wait for a Pottery Barn good sale. Finally, enter three new ceiling lights that match the new chandelier which I love. And don't even get me started on choosing light bulbs. It's overwhelming - cool and warm, relaxing, sunlight and daylight. So I do understand your mirror journey. LOL

  14. Image for Mary @ The Handcrafted Haven Mary @ The Handcrafted Haven

    It's looking beautiful! I'm planning to do a wall of old windows in my dining room. I'm debating whether to layer them or not. I'd like to but am worried that they might fall down if they are layered (which of course would be awful!). Do you have a plan for how you'll layer them without the one farthest from the wall falling down? Hopefully that question makes sense 🙂 Hanging something heavy right against a wall - easy. Hanging something heavy a few inches out from a wall - not as easy. Thank you in advance for your advice!!

  15. Image for Mary C Mary C

    I find them at the thrift stores! They might be wood-framed, but nothing a coat of paint won't fix. My whole living room wall is lined with these. Ikea also has some cheaper options in frameless styles. Now I want a floor mirror with a gold frame and about 6 ft tall and I don't want to pay a thousand dollars. Wish you lived closer, my mom and I hoard mirrors and always have some in the closets waiting for a place.

  16. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I love the mirror idea - we are downsizing in the next year, and I have already been thinking of ideas how to bring in more light. Several years ago I actually paid a small commission to my then 12 year old nephew, who loved going to garage sales with his mom, to buy picture frames for me. My husband takes photos from our travels, and we like to mat and frame them. I painted all of the best ones white. Fun for my nephew, and it worked for me too.

  17. Image for Debbie jacobs Debbie jacobs

    I love your vintage mirror wall. We used vintage mirrors on two walls in our last home and loved them. A few have found places of honor in our forever home. The rest unfortunately are gathering dust while in storage.

  18. Image for Mah Mah

    Well, there are times we need to rethink a project. Just because we think of something it doesn't mean we have to do it.

  19. Image for Brenda Brenda

    I was going to suggest some vintage frames to mix or even put around other mirrors, but someone beat me to the punch! I had also considered putting hand mirrors and mirrored dressing table trays in the bath. After reading some of the comments above.......perhaps not. Maybe with the decorative side out....and trays with roses or petit point. That's the ticket! ;) Have you been to the flea market at Canton Tx.? It's supposed to be an awesome place! I know they have a website plus it's the first (?) weekend of the month. I'm not sure it's going in the winter, but it seems to have some venders all year. Might be worth checking out. Happy hunting! Sometimes that's the best part!

  20. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    I loved loved loved the way you had decorated before you hung the mirrors. To me it’s to busy. Sorry but each has their own ideas.

  21. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Well for "not quite there" it certainly seems right to me. I honestly wouldn't change a thing- I think you nailed it....but then I have always been a "less is more" kinda decorator. Love all that light it reflects - you, my dear KA, have the best stairway ever. I wouldn't mind going up and down those stairs - and I really hate going up and down stairs. Just ask any room in our north wing - I am nearly never upstairs unless it is cleaning day or guests are comin to stay.

  22. Image for linda linda

    I used to live on a second floor condo and the entrance door and hallway was dark to me. I lined the whole wall with many mirrors of all sizes, even little ones to fill in spaces. They were all different styles and shapes. I found a few really good deals at resale shops, but furniture stores backrooms, where they put all the decorating pieces for their showrooms are really discounted. I found many great pieces there and really inexpensive. When I moved I had about 50 mirrors, some were around the condo, to pack up and try to fit in my smaller one story condo. I love mirrors, they make everything bigger and brighter. Hope this helps you on you mirror journey.

  23. Image for Patti Patti

    It is beautiful. I always love your sense of humor. I currently have collected seven Vintage wood gold mirrors fOr the wall in my family room. And I also have started a frameless vintage mirror project for my bathroom! And I have given thought to what I will see in the reflection but it’s the way it is! I think the mirrors will be so pretty that I won’t be looking at the reflection. LOL. Thank you for always making me smile.

    1. Image for Patti Patti

      It is beautiful. I always love your sense of humor. I currently have collected seven Vintage wood gold mirrors fOr the wall in my family room. And I also have started a frameless vintage mirror project for my bathroom! And I have given thought to what I will see in the reflection but it’s the way it is! I think the mirrors will be so pretty that I won’t be looking at the reflection. LOL. Thank you for always making me smile.

  24. Image for TERESA GONZALES TERESA GONZALES

    I love the way the light is reflected with mirrors. I have always had more mirrors in my house than most people think is acceptable-no I am not looking at myself all the time- it has to do with the amount of light that is reflected in to dark areas. So I LOVE the mirrors going up the staircase!

  25. Image for Rachel Rachel

    KariAnne, it is beautiful!!!!! I LOVE it. I can picture exactly what you mean about layering the mirrors. One by one you'll find them and they'll all have a wonderful story. In the old historic home that we had for 22 years and we moved out of that my first blog was based on (goodnes that sentence was weird) my staircase was full of mirrors. When we moved I saved every one in case we went back... sigh... I'm about to let them all go... you're wall will be glorious. I can't wait to see the next addition. Maybe I need to come see you and bring a load of mirrors!

  26. Image for Karen Karen

    You can antique mirrors ( see Natalie @Vintageporch ) if you dare — its another project, but hers looked good . She had frames and made “old” mirrors to go in them. Good job so far !! ❤️

  27. Image for Beth Y Beth Y

    This is so pretty, sparkly and light!! I love it and can't wait to see its progression!! I always tell my husband that the projects and redos never seem to end at our house. By the time I am like...OK, I think that is it and dusting off my hands, I have to go back and redo a room we "redid" 10 years ago (even though it feels like just a couple of years ago). Lol!!

  28. Image for Der Der

    Well I think I totally understand because, as I've mentioned before; I have a wall of vintage etched frameless mirrors dating from the 30s through the 50s in my living room/family room, 17 to be exact,, all curated over time and I would put a couple more up if I could 😄 so I love your ideas of what you're wanting to do! lt Iooks so pretty going up the stairs, and it'll airing them would be wonderful. I am bet in Texas you can find vintage mirrors a whole lot easier than you can hear in CA. Extremely pricey if you do find them but hopefully the hunt is part of the fun 😄

  29. Image for Kay Kay

    Love, love, love this idea. Try putting blocks of wood of varying thicknesses on the wall between the mirrors, paint them the same color as the wall, then hang the mirrors on them. I would try this with pictures first because they are lighter weight.

  30. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Love the mirrors!!! That was an awesome idea! I know what you mean about the price of mirrors My daughter and her husband just moved in to a new house and she wants to layer mirrors on her mantle and maybe over her dresser. However, she is having difficulty finding in her price range-but we have all of our friends on the lookout!! If fact, a fellow teacher just sold her one that was gathering dust at her house for $20! PS. Love your blog!

  31. Image for Rosemarie Rosemarie

    I know there's a DIY process you can do to the back of a new mirror to make it look like a vintage mirror (chippy and discolored), This might save you some $$$.

  32. Image for Tori Tori

    Layla at The Lettered Cottage has a great way to layer frames! Check out how she does it - no buying expensive “picture risers”.🙂

  33. Image for PJ PJ

    That first step is often the hardest to take. I can get stuck at the planning stage, afraid of making mistakes. What a beautiful, bright and sparkly space you have created! I can imagine your girls heading down that staircase in their prom gowns.

  34. Image for cindy@countyroad407 cindy@countyroad407

    I like big "buts" and I cannot lie! LOL. I totally get where you are going with this fabulous mirrored wall and even though it looks beautiful now, it will look amazing when you are finished! I really can hardly wait for the riser DIY. I need that in my life.

  35. Image for Kim Kim

    So beautiful! Just finished a gallery room in my living room. It's a small awkward space without much natural light. Have been collecting vintage mirrors for about two years. Found them at estate sales, restores, Goodwill and more. Keep an eye out, they're out there and don't have to cost a fortune. Happy Hunting!

  36. Image for Lori G Lori G

    This mirror wall is pretty, it suits the staircase. Layering mirrors on the stairs terrifies me, I think people will bump them and they will fall. I love this the way it is but the mirrors could be hung a little closer together if you don't like the spaces.

  37. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, what an amazing idea you had to hang mirrors on the staircase wall. This looks so lovely in your home! I know that, in time, you will find the mirrors you are looking for to complete your project! Sure would be nice to have a staircase that I could line with mirrors! I love your idea and you have done a wonderful job with this project! Thanks for sharing this idea with us! Bless you!

  38. Image for Ann C Ann C

    Oh KariAnne what fun you will have looking for those mirrors! I have collected old vanity sets especially the hand mirrors. I have some hung in my bathroom, but... (See what I did there?) but I hung them so you can see the ornate silver backs. I like the simplicity of the wall as it is but know it will be awesome when you are finished.

Comments are closed.