Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Gilt(y) Complex: Why Gold is Growing On Us

Barbra Streisand and the Bee Gees sang it best. We got nothing to be sorry for. And we got nothing to be gilty of. Not when it comes to a love of gold.

It may be a reflection of the current value of this precious metal (which continues to escalate), or it may just be that gold gives a shimmering, sexy edge to a room. Whatever the reason, gold is showing up everywhere in the the design world this year, from furniture to fabrics, paint effects, vintage mirrors, lighting and even bathtubs.

Many years ago I attended the launch of Christian Dior's J'Adore fragrance. It was the most spectacular launch I've ever been to. As we were standing around a swimming pool full of liquid gold, sipping Champagne from crystal glasses, the supermodel Carmen Kass suddenly emerged from the liquid gold pool, and then, with gold dripping from every perfect bone, walked up the steps of the pool and out the door, a trail of J'Adore wafting behind her. None of us could figure out how she got into the pool (obviously through a trap door in the bottom) and how she pulled off such am amazing entrance without drowning. In saying that, wouldn't be a fabulous way to go?

Here, in a tribute to the most glamorous, most fabulous colour sparkling in all the most glamorous, fabulous rooms at the moment, is a quick medley of Golden Hits for you. {Source for image at top unknown.}

No one does gold quite like the French. Just think of Versailles. Here, a grand Parisian apartment has been elevated to an even more sophisticated level with the addition of gold silk-taffeta drapes hung theatrically between the rooms. {From Taschen's Paris Interiors book.}

A gilded salon in the heart of Paris. You can rent this apartment for the week. Can you imagine the decadent time you could have here? {Voltaire apartment via}

Another gold-tinged treasure from Chez Vous. This one is also available to rent through this lovely company. {Via}

A marble garden table with dainty gold legs makes this artistic studio an elegant space in which to work. {Via Carolyn Quartermaine.}

A gilt armoire. How utterly glamorous. {Source unknown}

A vintage gold mirror and an ornate gilt chair add a touch of elegance to Carolyn Englefield's Parisian bedroom. {Source unknown}

A golden Louis chair upholstered in Carolyn Quartermaine fabric creates the perfect exclamation mark for the beautiful design narrative of this gilt-edged bedroom. Love those hot-pink silk-taffeta drapes. {Via Carolyn Quartermaine.}

Gold makes an entrance – literally – in this hallway. I just adore that antique light. {Via Veranda magazine, February 2012}

This image of Charles Spada's Normandy home has been EVERYWHERE these past few weeks, but it's not surprising. Doesn't it make you look twice? Even if you have an aversion to leopard print, you have to admit that this space is truly, heart-stoppingly glamorous. The Gustavian-grey walls, the unusual fabric on the sofa, those lovely black-and-white prints in antique gold frames... It's French and yet comfortable at the same time – two words you don't often hear in the same sentence... {Via Veranda magazine, February 2012)

A gilt bathroom from the palace of Versailles. Look at that panelling...

The most beautiful store in the world: Balmain in Paris. {Via The World of Interiors and Veranda magazine}

The inimitable style of Max Alto. {Via Max Alto and Space Furniture.}


  1. I adore Caroline Quartermaines style especially with gold and script. I hope to eventually use a script fabric. It also reminds me to get the louis chair I'd painted gold and finish it off. Fiona

  2. I am possibly not really a gold girl but I love your title!!!!!!
    Wish I had seen Carmen Kass' entrance though!!!

  3. Princes Boy will understand if you say 'Gold shoes, Burnside Village'. It's South Aussie code understood only by those of us lucky to be one!!! Have been hyperventilating since seeing that last image, it's too gorgeous for words. I need to go there before my Maker calls me to Bloggie Wonderland & you'd be the perfect companion.
    Millie xx

  4. Love a touch of gilt - especially in a mirror. And what a beautiful collection of images you have given us in this post Janelle. x


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