One recent installation by Casey Design combined mirror and silver leaf to create a dynamic opening impression in a client’s foyer. The small space needed a boost, and we thought mirrors would be a bold way to add interest as well as to expand the space. We have used mirror extensively before, on feature walls, or by covering a fireplace wall, but never in conjunction with the silver leaf.
A similar Chicago project, featured in a 2011 issue of The New York Times Style Magazine, used gold leaf on the moulding in a combination with mirrors inside the panels. In our case, we wanted a more contemporary style so we chose to silver leaf the moulding of the panelled walls, and installed beveled mirrors onto the entire wall surface surrounding the moulding.
Gold leafing or gilding has been used historically for surface decoration to give objects the appearance of being solid gold or silver by covering the base with thin layers of foil or 'leaf'. Both silver and gold leaf are finicky materials to work with, and take expertise and patience to apply flawlessly. Thankfully we had our talented artist/designer, Kari Serrao, execute the silver leafing. Here are the steps undertaken for the foyer: a base clay coating was painted on the moulding, then a layer of clear glue was applied, then the leaf was carefully applied, and finally a finish lacquer coat sealed the surface. The next big step was to have our mirror installers do extensive measuring and calculating for the over 100 pieces of mirror. The final result: a transformed entryway and a vastly enhanced spacious foyer, with drama and depth. The clients were thrilled!