A colour reminiscent of aged gilding, old gold in furnishings needs to have some of the life and light of the gold that became the gilding. Better when the colour leans more towards sand and warmth than the deeper tones of brown and sludge that can happen, and that many people describe as ‘old gold’.

Gilded furniture frames and picture frames, even old and worn, or perhaps especially when old and worn, add something to most environments; from those that are very contemporary and clean, to the elegant end of cottage style, and within any spectrum of shabby chic.

As a dye or pigment it’s a colour that needs to be very well done. In paint it can best be achieved with layers of colour or at least a warm, open glaze over a solid base coat. In textiles, fabric with a sheen such as satin, shot silk or silk damask can work well as long as the colour is soft and lively and light reflecting.

Linens, and other textured cloths such as cotton damask, even hessian can also look good in their original ‘wet sand’ or dyed old gold, reflecting soft warm light.

Old gold looks contemporary when it’s usd very simply, a single item perhaps and combined with oyster and other off-white tones. It balances turquoise and deep blue-greens, becomes lovely and light with soft fresco pinks and softer yellows, and genteel alongside old damasks and ancient tapestries.

Gold with a shaft of sunlight or the play of lamplight will bring a point of brightness into any environment, whether ostensibly light or dark.

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