Ideas + Advice


Gold Color Guide: Raise Your Decorating Standards

Your be-all, end-all guide to gold color meaning.

What Is Gold Color?

In interior design, fashion, art and anywhere else color are expressed, gold is a warm yellow color made to resemble the eponymous precious metal (Au on the Periodic Table of Elements). It’s a warm color, and when incorporated into metallic designs, radiates a subtle shine.
Oftentimes, brass, copper and even dark yellow are confused with gold (and vice versa). Although these colors share the same similar warm yellow undertones, it is in fact easy to tell them apart; whereas the other colors are darker, muted and often matte, gold leans brighter and, often, shinier.

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What Is the Gold Color Meaning?

Because the color resembles gold metal, it is shares the same associations as gold metal – namely, prosperity, wealth and power. In the home, gold color exudes elegance and even festivity.
One of the fascinating things about gold in the home is that it blends in beautifully with both rustic and glam decor – two styles that couldn’t be more different. This fascinating versatility is actually not inherent in the color itself, but rather, the levels of texture, shine and/or brightness into which the color is incorporated.
Imagine, for example an accent table painted gold, and then covered with a clear, high-gloss coating. The end result will feel luxurious and ornate – and fit right in with “glam.” Now, imagine the same table, but instead of a gloss coating, it’s been sanded down until it looks weathered – and the brown wood underneath begins to show through. This latter table, though painted in the same shade of gold paint as the first, will feel simple and quaint – fitting right in with “rustic!”

What Colors Go with Gold?

Gold has a warm, yellow undertone, so you can’t go wrong by pairing it with colors of similar undertones, such as red, pink and green. However, that’s not to say that other hues are off-limits! Some of the most classic “Gold-and-" color combinations have included blue, purple and black.

When pairing colors with gold, just keep in mind that gold, especially in home decorating, is meant to stand out. So, steer clear of pairing it with yellow, and avoid a too-busy palette – one color complement is more than enough!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.