Boiserie Mirrors

“Boiserie” – is a french term often used to describe ornate and intricately carved wood paneling and moldings in interiors. The panels were not confined just to the walls of a room but were also used to decorate doors, frames, cupboards and shelves. Often mirrors or pictures are set into the boiseries, with the carving, or molding, framing the picture like a conventional frame – creating a “built in”. Here are some great examples….

West Village Townhouse with mirror between windows

West Village Townhouse with Mirror Between Windows

When used between windows, the span of mirror opens up the wall visually with the feeling of another window. It creates a light, airy feel to a relaxing room.However, in some cases, the molding creates dramatic geometry and gives the room a sense of tradition and drama like the following….

Mirror Behind Headboard for Expansive Feel

Mirror Behind Headboard for Expansive Feel

Mirrored Wall & Doors Create Drama

Mirrored Wall & Doors Create Drama

Small contemporary Rectangle Mirrors with Thin Molding

Small Contemporary Rectangle Mirrors with Thin Molding

Traditional panel doors with mirror inserts make the door read as a glass door without sacrificing privacy. It also adds much-needed light to a dark corner.

Paneled Wood Door with Mirror Inserts

Paneled Wood Door with Mirror Inserts

In the below image, the natural wood doors become lighter, and more playful, with the addition of mirror “jewels”.

Custom Wood doors with Mirror Inserts

Custom Wood Doors with Mirror Inserts

To sum up, “boiserie” woodwork doesn’t have to mean a stuffy, 18th century vibe. It’s good for much, much more than a gentleman’s study. When done well, the addition of mirror can make molding pop, appear brighter, and feel modern and fun.

  • Note: Click on any of the above images to links of source blogs. They’re all fantastic!


  1. […] Marie Antoinette had style. Her boudoir was no different.  Two walls are actually composed of  boiserie mirrors that disappear into the floor via a hand crank to expose the window. When the mirror was needed […]

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