Decorating with gold finishes is often times perceived as being fussy or formal.  Trust me when I tell you that my home is anything but formal.  With two kids who ride scooters through the house, eat snacks on the sofa {honestly, how do the Goldfish crackers get underneath the cushions?!} and a plethora of pets, we are very casual. Even so, I still like to use gold metallics here and there throughout my home to add elegance and dimension.

Here are five tips for decorating with gold.  Note that  the tips below refer specifically to gold metallics, not gold-colored items.


1. Think of Gold as a Neutral

While gold finishes technically have a yellow appearance to them, they act as neutrals that blend in with their surroundings.

Warm Toned Mixed Metals
{via Tempodadelicadeza}

2. Use Gold to Brighten

Because of its color and reflective surface, gold metallics can be used to brighten an otherwise dark corner or even to create a subtle “pop” in a room.

Gold Painted Sofa
{The gold frame adds an unexpected pop to this piece!  Image via Design House of the Hamptons}
Gold Ottomans
{Tufted metallic gold ottomans work well on this colorful rug.  Image via Andrea Brooks Interiors}

3. Dress it Up or Dress it Down

Just like a great pair of black jeans, gold finishes can make a room look formal if they are paired with other formal pieces and finishes.

{via Tumblr}
{via Tumblr}
Eclectic Living Room
{via Lonny}

Conversely, using aged gold or pairing it with casual elements gives it a more casual look.

{via Miss Mustard Seed}
{via Miss Mustard Seed}
Electic Gallery Wall
{via Tumblr}
Casual Living Room
{via KML Design}

4. Mix it Up!

Using a gold metallic in a room doesn’t limit you as to what finishes you can use.  In fact, for a collected look you want to mix and match!  For a subtle mixture, try mixing warm metallics like gold and bronze.  For something a bit more contemporary, mix warm and cool, like gold and nickel.

Pop of Gold
{via Tumblr}
Gold Pendants
{via Houzz}

5. Make it Bold or Make it Subtle

Depending on the amount of gold finish you use in a room, the look can vary from bold to barely there!

Additional Tips & Tidbits

  • If you use an item with a gold finish, be sure to use gold somewhere else in the room to create a cohesive look.
  • Used with other shiny finishes, including glass or hi-gloss items, gold looks more formal.  Paired with rough or dull textures, it looks more casual.
  • A little goes a long way!  Unless you are trying to create a formal or glamorous room, limit yourself to just a few gold items in one room.
  • You can always tone down the brightness of a gold item with a bit of stain, giving it a more aged look.

No matter how much or how little you use, gold has an elegant and timeless look to it, but you can tone down the formality depending on what you use with it in a room.

Will you be joining the gold rush?

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  1. I used to use a lot of gold but got tired of it. I seem to be drawn back to it now. BEAUTIFUL examples!!!

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Pinky – I go through phases, too. I suppose that’s what keeps things interesting! :)

  2. Embrace the “gold” goldfish…I have three teenagers and I still regularly find goldfish under the cushions.

  3. Hi Kim,
    I have never really thought of using gold in my decor. You have found some really pretty inspiration on using gold. Hmmmmmm I may have to think about this. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Kris – The gold in my home is left over from my Italian-style decorating phase, but I still love it because I think it adds a bit of warmth while still being neutral. Let me know if you ever decide to embrace the gold rush!! :)

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