Create a color scheme that beautifully highlights gold's stylish sheen.

By BH&G Editors
Updated September 11, 2020
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Metallic gold accessories, gilded furnishings, gold-threaded fabrics, and shiny brass accents introduce a sense of luxury and drama to a room. Metallic gold tones, which fall on the warm side of the color wheel, easily mix with most color palettes. They work especially well when set against deep-tone backdrops or 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 in white-walled rooms or with pastel palettes, as light gold accents might fade into the background. If you're wondering what colors go with gold for a casual or cottage look, opt for metallic gold and brass accents with tarnished patinas and chipped-paint finishes. Layers of wear give the pieces more visual weight, which helps them draw attention. Here's a look at the colors that go with gold and best highlight its precious-metal qualities.

Credit: Robert Brinson

How to Decorate with Gold and Analogous Colors

Since gold naturally casts a warm glow, consider pairing it with hot-temp colors that neighbor it on the color wheel. Gold makes a fantastic partner for all shades of reds, rusty oranges, and reddish-tone yellows, especially in rooms with formal features or global leanings. Think of golden silk pillows popping off a ruby red bedspread or gold metal shelves advancing into view when placed against terra cotta walls. In this bedroom, metallic gold stools at the end of the bed stand out against mustard-yellow bedding, while a warmed-up shade of purple provides a contrast to the gold color scheme.

Credit: Edmund Barr

Decorate with Gold and Complementary Colors

Look across the color wheel for contrasting blue-tone hues that you can use to enhance metallic gold's presence in your color scheme. Go glam by pairing navy blue or royal purple paint or fabrics with gilded antique frames and furnishings. Soften the contrast by mixing metallic gold finishes with gray-tone lavender or powder blue to create high-interest yet serene spaces. On 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 gold.

Credit: Jason Donnelly

How to Pair Gold and Neutral Colors

Although considered a fine metal, gold is simply an organic material mined from the earth. As such, metallic gold is a good choice for brightening neutral, nature-inspired color schemes. So which neutral colors go with gold? The trick is to pair metallic gold with warm, deep-tone neutrals, such as charcoal or slate gray, chocolate brown, rich olive green, and dark tan or beige. White works, too, but be sure to choose a warmer shade so the contrast doesn't appear too cool when paired with gold. An off-white warmed with red, brown, or gray undertones, such as chamois, ivory, or ash white, provides an ideal backdrop for gold accessories. Metallic gold finishes can vary widely in color, so carefully consider the undertone as you shop for furniture, fabrics, and wall colors to complete your gold color scheme.

Credit: Scott Little

Choose Colors That Go with Rose Gold

Rose gold has a warm pink undertone that veers more toward copper than yellow. The metallic color is a natural fit for shades of pink, including pale blush, dusty rose, and maroon, which combine to create an elegant monochromatic color scheme. Mix in neutrals like gray, white, and wood tones to balance the metal's brilliance. Rose gold also pairs well with cool pastels, such as mint green or light aqua, which counter its warmth with refreshing contrast. To bring out the metal's rosy tones even further, pair rose gold with rich, saturated colors such as deep teal, navy blue, or even black. Among these dark colors, rose gold will stand out as a warm, radiant accent.

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