Gauri Rao’s living room in Dubai is a sight to behold. From the curtains and the sofa, to the ceiling and the dining table, everything exudes a warm golden hue. Nevertheless, the whole place has a nice modern feel to it. “If you look closely, I haven’t used gold in any of my furniture,” she says.
“I have only picked colours with an underlying golden tint. So, my upholstery is a bright apple-green, with a few golden threads. The table is dark wood, but the cutlery stand on it has rose gold edges. The lamp has a dark wood base too, with a shade of pink and gold fabric,” Rao explains.
Is gold trendy?
“High-end clients prefer gold,” informs Milind Pai, Mumbai-based architect and interior designer.
“The trend of using of gold in décor, started almost 30 years ago. It was associated with opulence and luxury. Eventually, minimalist décor trends emerged and the interest in gold declined. Now, gold is back, but in a new ‘fusion’ avatar,” he says.
How to get golden
Pai offers a few quick ways, to introduce gold into your home décor:
- Old: Fabric with jari. New: Two-toned fabrics or fabrics with just a touch of golden shimmer
- Unless you are going for an antique look, ditch ornate fabrics and styles. Look for new-age patterns and modern cut-out designs, instead
- Use gold in ceilings and mouldings, mainly as sleek, narrow borders. PVC mouldings incorporating ivory with gold, or wood with gold are cost-effective and easily available
- Do not use gold for door handles or bedposts or anything that will be touched and handled frequently
- Gold wall panelling and gold trim or gold borders, work well with almost any other non-metallic colour
- Gold leafing on furniture, champagne gold that combines elements of gold and silver, and rose gold that has a pink shade, are all very trendy
- If possible, choose rose gold over any other shade of gold, as this attractive colour works well for tableware, cutlery, lamps and even wallpaper
- Chromium-and-gold plating and gold plating on hardware, are great ways to introduce the colour into your décor
- Artefacts play a big role. If you like gold but are not ready for a major expense, look for lamps with a golden base or a lampshade that mixes gold with other colours, such as hot pink, white, black, green, beige, blue or yellow
- Paintings with a golden frame or a regular wood/ ivory frame with a sleek golden line painted on, are interesting options
- Textured paints and wallpapers with golden print, offer options to experiment with the colour, in a fairly inexpensive manner. Use these to your advantage
The cost of gold
Genuine gold plating, obviously, costs a lot. However, there’s no need to spend that much. You get equally good-quality material at a fraction of the cost. That said, do be prepared to pay 1.5 times the usual price, for any elements that include metal plating (be it gold, silver, copper or any other colour) or for paint that bears a metallic tinge. “For all practical purposes, gold isn’t any more expensive than using any other metallic colour, but is definitely richer to look at,” maintains Pai.
Balance it out
“If you use gold, it should neither be too glaring, nor too subtle. Try to look at things from an outsider’s point of view and balance gold with other hues in your décor,” recommends Pai.
The key to using gold in décor, lies in the proportion in which it is used, he concludes.