Glossy, Reflective Glass Finishes Are Back—Here’s How to Try Them in Your Space

These expert-approved design tips prove there are more options for decorating with glass than just windows—and that glass decor doesn’t have to feel cold.

Cozy was the name of the interiors game for several seasons, but we’re now seeing a revival of sleeker design styles, topped with high-gloss finishes. If you’re picturing ultramodern, futuristic design, don’t fret—you don’t need metal to achieve this look. Glass finishes are a modern way to create high-end shine that feels sophisticated and unique. frosted glass

Glossy, Reflective Glass Finishes Are Back—Here’s How to Try Them in Your Space

Transparent window panes usually come to mind first when we think of glass finishes, but the material offers so much more than that—and in so many more places. With a plethora of colors, sizes, and details to boast, glass can help achieve interior design looks all the way from super modern to very vintage. To help you incorporate all kinds of glitzy details in your home design, no matter your decor style, we spoke to an expert for some tips on bringing glass into the mix. So, if you’re thinking of giving glass a go, read on for everything you need to know about the look.

Glass finishes offer something fresh, and a different look from the comfy and tactile trends that have reigned supreme for quite some time. This finish is a clear contrast to the lush textures and bright colors that are taking over many of this year’s maximalist-style design trends. Plus, it’s been around for quite some time, so you know it’s a material you can rely on (that also won’t go out of style in the months to come).

“Glass is having a moment as it’s a well-known and trusted material that works well in design schemes from traditional to modern,” says Jason Saft, an interior designer and award-winning home stager based in New York City. “Glass is versatile, affordable and easy to work with. Not to mention it can give a space the shine it needs to go from basic to eclectic.”

If you take windows into consideration, glass is already present in nearly every home, so it’s incredibly easy to seamlessly incorporate more of it into your home. If you really love the material, you can opt to redo your entire bathroom with glass tiles, but you can also repurpose what you have for an easy and economical take on this trend. For example, displaying the old decanters sitting at the back of your cabinet on a sideboard will give your kitchen an instant refresh.

This year, glass has made a big splash in large formats—think partition walls that help divide spaces while allowing light to flow through. We’ve also seen oversized mirrors take center stage, and glass tiles that create artful spaces in kitchens and baths. One thing’s for sure—the material’s not just for windows anymore.

If you want to go all in on this trend without the hassle of renovation, picking out a large piece of furniture like a coffee table or console can add a shiny touch to any space—and open up quite a bit of visual space. And while your bedroom might not be the most obvious place to add a sharp texture like glass, opting for glass nightstands will give your room an unexpectedly glamorous edge. Glass can also manipulate natural light, making a room feel larger and lighter with just a few reflective touches.

“I love to place glass accessories in the path of light so that it’s picked up and shines through the room,” says Saft. “Unlike porcelain, glass creates a dramatic presentation when hit by light. Large window ledges are an ideal spot for glass to catch the light.”

If you’re interested in adding color as well, try propping a secondhand piece of stained glass in your window or arrange colorful glass vases on your windowsill, where they can bask in the light and add a playful glow to the room. Colorful or not, small pops of glass can be added to any space without the need for any significant changes.

“The easiest and most affordable way to incorporate glass into your home is through accessories, art, and lighting,” says Saft. “You can bring a wide variety of items that don’t break the bank when you shop small.”

While we often think of glass interiors as having a modern feel, that’s not always true. Saft says that vintage glass is a great way to bring a comfortable feel to a space without springing for something new.

“You can also use smoked mirrors in a similar fashion to bounce light while giving a collected, antique appeal to a room,” says Saft.

If you’re worried about going too far with the trend or if you tend toward the more traditional, Saft has advice for introducing glass accessories while keeping your home looking more on the classic side. Add in organic materials and contrasting textures to balance out the sleek feel of glass with a warm, earthy look.

“I love to pair glass with fresh florals, oversized coffee table books to use as pedestals for pieces as well as sculptures and objects with a very different physical make up, that plays foil to glass and helps you to see it shine through,” says Saft.

Glossy, Reflective Glass Finishes Are Back—Here’s How to Try Them in Your Space

frosted glass Conversely, if this is a trend you aren’t afraid to go all in with, don’t be afraid to layer types and colors of glass throughout a space. Elegant cut glass in front of a glass tile back splash amplifies the sparkle, creating a multidimensional glass effect. A stained-glass window shining on a glass table could create a dynamic scene that changes throughout the day and seasons. And, most importantly, using layers ensures that you have a display that is uniquely yours!