Think of the word “gold” and images of glamour, luxury and opulence spring to mind – usually in the form of personal accessories such as jewellery, or possibly the odd item hanging in your wardrobe. Most people aren't afraid of wearing a little bit of this precious metal, but does this confidence translate to using the colour in their home? The simple answer is no, or at least not intentionally — there may be the odd gilt-framed mirror or trim on a lampshade, but using it deliberately and successfully requires confidence and decorating know-how.
Interior designer René Dekker believes there is never a wrong time to introduce gold to a scheme. And used correctly it can, and should be, a timeless classic.
Gold has all the benefits of other metals such as chrome and silver — a reflective surface to bounce light back into a room, the ability to add a touch of sparkle and opulence. But, unlike its shiny cousins, gold has one important decorative addition — it can add a depth of warmth like no other.
Just a touch of glimmering metal can make a space feel infinitely and instantly more glamorous. Too much, however, and a scheme could end up feeling like a hall of mirrors or a set from a Bond movie. Although there is a theory that there's no such thing as too much when it comes to incorporating metallics into your décor, there is an art to striking the right balance.
It's tempting, when considering gold, to simply introduce decorative touches through accessories. Adding items such as gilt picture frames, lamps, cushions or trimmings such as tassels can be a good place to start. Understanding how to create a considered composition in smaller areas will give you more confidence in using gold throughout the room or, indeed, a whole property. That is why it can be so beneficial to use a London interior designer like René Dekker!
It's also worth thinking about how to complement this precious metal. Gold is a glamorous product so when you're considering what textiles to team it with, look along similar luxury lines. Fabrics such as velvet, mohair, leather or suede are all good bedfellows for gold, and will also help soften an overall scheme. The aim is for this precious product to enhance and be enhanced by the other items in your room, not to eclipse or apologise for its less stately neighbours.
For a bolder statement, make gold a bigger part of your scheme by introducing large-scale furnishings or glamorous light fittings such as a chandelier. These will make an instant design statement and impact in a room.
In fact, lighting is key when it comes to making the most of gold and its extraordinary properties. When used near any light source, the warmth of its unique glow and the mood it creates is hard to beat. To maximise this, gilt wall sconces or lampshades with gold interiors are perfect. Alternatively, gold (leaf or tiles) on the back wall of a fireplace creates a uniquely sumptuous effect.
If you're introducing more than just a touch of gold into a scheme but want an aesthetic balance, keep the rest of the scheme's palette neutral – anything too fussy will “fight” with the colour and could create visual conflict and disharmony.
The next level up is making a commitment to the metal in terms of more permanent fixtures rather than accessories that can be moved around or swapped. Choose quality wallpapers for a feature wall, gold leaf for a dramatic ceiling, or beautiful mosaic tiles, which are the perfect choice for areas such as a shower wall or splashbacks.
With its connotations of money and wealth, the mellow yellow hue of gold is the absolute colour of happiness and warmth. So it's no wonder that luxury interior designer René Dekker, is such a proponent when it comes to incorporating the precious commodity into one's home. One could say, in fact, that he is setting a new gold standard.