By Debbie Watson
Metallic accents are a simple way of adding instant glamour to your interiors. Whether it’s a shimmer of silver or a glimmer of gold, a few shiny pieces will instantly breathe new life into your existing decor and brighten up the space. Both gold and silver convey wealth and glamour, but in very different ways. So which do you prefer: the timeless beauty of gold or the laid-back luxe of silver?
Adorning the walls, ceilings and furniture of every palace around the world, is it any wonder that gold is often seen as a little extravagant for the average home? Although usually synonymous with excess – as seen in the flashy art deco interiors of the roaring twenties and the very ornate Palace of Versailles – gold is currently experiencing a resurgence throughout modern-day interiors, but this time, it’s much more restrained thanks to distressed, vintage finishes.
If you’re considering a larger gold piece for your home such as a console table or statement mirror, an antiqued gold finish offers just a hint of opulence, bringing the warmth and beauty of polished gold without the flamboyance. Polished gold definitely makes more of an impression when used sparingly: smaller gold accessories, such as coasters, candleholders and lamps, are excellent for adding a touch of splendour. Of course, Christmas decor is the exception to this rule – it’s the only time when you can never have too much gold!
Cool and contemporary, silver is seen as the more reserved metallic counterpart. The gleaming finishes of chrome, nickel and stainless steel predominantly feature in the stylish interiors of modern luxury hotels, delivering laid-back glamour with a formal edge. With its pristine, polished finish, silver can always be relied on to bring shine and sparkle to a space, but remember when it comes to metallics, less is definitely more.
Whilst it's almost impossible to ‘dress down’ gold, silver possesses a unique chameleon-like quality, whereby it evokes a completely different look depending on what material it is paired with. For example, when combined with glass (as seen on our Park and Plaza range of tables) silver feels chic and immaculate, whereas when used with rustic, untreated wood (like our Parquet range), it appears much more industrial or urban.
There is no longer any need to choose between gold and silver in your interiors. Previously considered a design taboo, mixing metals in a room creates a sense of balance by blending opposites: traditional with modern; warm with cool; dullness with shine. Both metals have qualities that the other doesn’t: adding silver prevents a primarily gold space from becoming gaudy, whereas the introduction of gold to a room full of silver pieces adds much-needed warmth.
So which one would you choose for your interiors – gold, silver or a mixture of metallics?