Metallic gold accessories, gilded furnishings, gold-threaded fabrics, and shiny brass accents introduce a sense of luxury and drama to room designs. Happily, metallic gold tones, which fall on the warm side of the color wheel, have a place in most color palettes. They work especially well when set against deep-tone backdrops and when partnered with saturated sunset hues, rich jewel tones, and shadowy neutrals that allow their sparkle to really shine. Pay attention to the gold's tonal quality when using metallic shades in white-walled rooms or with pastel palettes; light gold accents may fade into the background. If you love pale rooms or if you like a casual, contemporary, or cottage look, opt for metallic gold and brass accents with tarnished patinas and chipped-paint finishes. The layers of wear give the pieces more visual weight, which lets them be seen, appreciated, and given the attention metallic gold deserves. Here's a look at the colors that highlight gold's precious-metal qualities.
Since gold naturally casts a warm glow, consider pairing it with hot-temp colors that neighbor it on the color wheel. Metallic gold makes a fantastic partner for all shades of reds, rusty oranges, and red-tone yellows, especially in rooms with formal features or global leanings. Think of golden silk pillows popping off a ruby red bedspread or metallic gold shelves advancing into view when placed against terracotta walls. In this bedroom, metallic gold-papered walls showcase intensely hued coral draperies and accent fabrics, while an off-white duvet and beige upholstered headboard provide calming counterweights to the glitzy wall covering.
Look across the color wheel for contrasting blue-tone hues that you can use to enhance metallic gold's presence in traditional and transitional room designs. Go over-the-top opulent by pairing navy-blue or royal purple paints or fabrics with gilded antique frames or furnishings. Or, do like the owner of this bedroom did. Soften the contrast by mixing metallic gold finishes with gray-tone lavender furniture finishes and red-tinted violet walls to create high-interest, serene spaces. When you're checking out the cool side of the color wheel, you'll also find a number of jewel tones, including turquoise, emerald green, cobalt, and sapphire blues, that make lush companions for metallic gold.
Though the finest of fine metals, gold is just an organic material mined from the earth. As such, metallic gold is a good choice for brightening neutral, nature-inspired color schemes. The trick is to pair metallic gold with warm, deep-tone neutrals, such as charcoal or slate gray, chocolate and coffee browns, dark sage and olive greens, and deep tan and beige. White works, as well, but it may create a too-cool contrast when paired with metallic gold. A better choice is off-white warmed with red, brown, or gray undertones, such as chamois, ivory, or ash white. Since your complementary color options are many and metallic gold colors vary in tone, take your favorite gilded accessories with when you shop to help you choose picture-perfect color companions.