Return of the Golden Age
The 1980s were a time of wealth, greed and gold – lots and lots of gold. Gold faucets, gold fixtures and gold everything else filled homes across America. Well, break out the synthesizers and legwarmers, because much like other relics of the ’80s, gold is back.
This time, though, gold is much different. It isn’t bright, shiny or hard-edged. The modern take is satin and brushed, quiet and reflects our more subdued economic times.
“In the 1980s, we were living in a time of exuberance and celebration, of excess, which is not the state of mind of today’s consumer,” says Diana Schrage, a senior interior designer at the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wis.
Golds, including brass, now have more of a matte, worn finish that whispers, instead of screams, richness and sophistication.
The update is also much less ornate than it was in the ’80s.
“Back then, people used gold-toned metals with a lot of details, like fluting and leafing. Now it is streamlined,” says Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors in San Francisco.
Gold isn’t being splashed around a room anymore, either. Instead, it’s being applied in careful touches: a gold lamp here, a gold and glass-topped table there. And as people tiptoe away from furniture in matched sets, they are embracing the idea of two or more metals living happily in the same space.
“People are using a lot of imagination in their homes now,” Schrage says. “They are mixing chairs around a dining table or flanking a sofa with two different end tables.”
Just as few people purchase full matching sets of furniture anymore, metals are following this trend, too. It’s ok to add gold to a room with oil-rubbed bronze or mix it with brushed silver finishes. Just steer clear of using polished metals near brushed ones. It can be done, but requires an expert eye.
“Design is coming full circle,” Jones says. “Brushed silver and polished chrome have been around for so long, people are ready for a change. Gold is warm. Gold is fun. Just don’t fill your house with it.”
© CTW Features