What is a Pier Glass?

A large mirror that is typically set into a wall panel above a pier table in a drawing room or salon.


Pier glass refers to a tall, often ornate, mirror designed to occupy the wall space between two windows in a drawing room or salon. Originating in the late 17th century, this decorative element was a hallmark of the opulent Baroque and Rococo interior design styles, adding both light and a sense of grandeur to the room. Its placement above a matching or complementary pier table helped to visually balance the space and create a harmonious interior. Over time, the design and use of pier glasses have evolved, but they continue to be a statement piece in both traditional and contemporary settings.

Traditionally, pier glasses are decorated with intricate frames, often gilded or made from luxurious materials, making them not just mirrors but pieces of art. These mirrors are not only functional, serving to reflect light and add depth to a room, but also serve as focal points, around which the rest of the room's design can be centered. Modern pier glasses might forgo the elaborate ornamentation for sleeker, simpler designs, fitting well into minimalist or modern decor schemes. Regardless of style, pier glasses add elegance and the illusion of more space to any room they are placed in.


Pier glasses are commonly found in formal living spaces, such as drawing rooms, salons, and dining rooms. In historic homes or buildings, they might still occupy their traditional spot between windows, often paired with a pier table beneath. In contemporary design, pier glasses can be used more flexibly, including in entryways, bedrooms, or any space that would benefit from added light and visual expansiveness.


  • Can pier glass be used in modern interior designs?

    Yes, pier glasses can be incorporated into modern design schemes. Modern versions might feature less ornate frames and cleaner lines, fitting well with minimalist or contemporary aesthetics.

  • Are pier glasses only found between windows?

    Traditionally, pier glasses were placed between windows, but today they can be used in various locations throughout a home or space, wherever the addition of a decorative mirror would enhance the room's ambiance and design.

  • Do pier glasses come in different sizes?

    Yes, while traditionally large to fill the space between windows and above a pier table, pier glasses now come in various sizes to accommodate different spaces and design needs.

Practical Application

When incorporating a pier glass into your design, consider the scale and style of the mirror in relation to the rest of the room. A large, ornate pier glass can serve as a stunning focal point in a traditional or opulent setting, while a simpler, sleeker design might be more appropriate for modern spaces. Ensure the mirror's placement maximizes light reflection and enhances the overall ambiance of the room.