Silver nanoparticles are well-known for their antibacterial properties. However, the detailed mechanism describing the interaction between the nanoparticles and a cell membrane is not fully understood, which can impede the use of the particles in biomedical applications. Here, a tethered bilayer lipid membrane has been used as a model system to mimic a natural membrane and to study the effect of exposure to small silver nanoparticles with diameters of about 2 nm. The solid supported membrane architecture allowed for the application of surface analytical techniques such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. Exposure of the membrane to solutions of the silver nanoparticles led to a small but completely reversible perturbation of the lipid bilayer.