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Date published: January 01 2017

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Gold is back this season and this time, it's anything but standard

Whether gold is providing the dominant note in a room or is playing a supporting role, this season’s gold hits the design sweet spot right between enduringly classic and refreshingly on-trend.

One caveat: the designation ‘gold’ covers a lot of ground, from muted leaf to brightly polished. This season’s stand-out gold pieces tend more toward the soft and textural and away from the glittery and glitzy - think gold leaf, brushed finishes and antiqued metals and you can’t go wrong. ‘Gold’ doesn’t have to just mean gold: other warm-toned metals such as brass, bronze and copper are very much in the mix this season.

Gold can go formal very fast. If formal isn’t your style, think about playing with the extremes: gold toned metals - especially in a soft finish - are a beautiful counterpoint to rough, natural and organic materials. Think of the sophistication of a gold-framed mirror against an exposed brick wall, gold tableware on a weathered antique dining table, a brushed gold coffee table in front of a sofa upholstered in natural linen, gold balls in a one-of-a-kind handmade ceramic bowl. Th ere’s a quiet self-confidence in that kind of contrast that brings a lot of energy into a room.

Designers have broadened their horizons and are literally shopping the world for fresh textiles and textile design inspiration. From the bright wovens of Central America to highly figured designs taken from aboriginal Australian Dreamtime paintings, some of this year’s freshest looks are also some of the world’s most traditional designs. Th e warmth and sophistication of gold pairs beautifully with global patterns and helps to bridge the gap between the familiar and the new.

At the other end of the design scale, gold really stands out against a neutral background. Remember that neutral doesn’t mean wishy-washy: this season’s neutrals are warm, complex and sophisticated. The stand-out neutrals this year include soft jade; pink (Pantone’s Rose Quartz); pale blue (Pantone broke with tradition this year and chose two colours of the year - Rose Quartz and Serenity blue); the many shades of grey that have dominated design for the last few seasons and show no sign of quitting; and white-on-white tones. A flash of gold against any one of those colours looks great.

There’s a reason the little black dress never goes out of style. Simple, elegant, sexy and easy to work with, the colour black fits into every room in the house and has a place in every
decorating style. Add gold and you’ve got a look that is both classic and warmly contemporary. The gold touches don’t need to be big or showy to have an impact: little things like the gold lining of a black lampshade or the gold legs of a side table next to a black leather chair add warmth and livability to a black-accented interior.

The rule is this: anything with glass looks better in gold. Think of a glass tabletop supported by a brushed-gold base; a glassshelved étagère with a brass frame; a statement starburst mirror in gold leaf - very much on point for today’s interiors. Taking the gold-and-glass pairing a step further, look for furnishings and accents with a touch of eglomise: gold leaf on the back of the glass.

Remember that you don’t have to go big to go gold. Simply swapping out some of that bright chrome that looked so trendy a couple of years ago will help to bring your home up to date. Where to begin: replace your silver-toned hanging lamps with new ones in gold, brass or copper; exchange your kitchen drawer-pulls for brass or gold-toned hardware; shop design stores for candle holders, throw pillows, picture frames and tabletop accents in warm gold, even a dish of gold-foil covered sweets adds a pleasing touch of gold - just don’t blame us if they get eaten! The bottom line on gold? Invest now. 

Author: Lynne McArdle

Company: Alden Parkes

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