Gold is a color associated with luxury, affluence, and prestige. It is considered the ultimate goal, with gold medals being the highest achievement you can get in competitive sports.
The meaning of gold and its link to glamor and decadence makes it a good choice for creating a luxurious style in fashion and home decor. Here, we explore the psychology and meaning of gold and look at how this can be implemented into interior design color schemes to achieve a sense of wealth.
The Meaning of Gold
Gold can have different meanings depending on how it is used and who is perceiving it. Most commonly, gold is associated with:
The color gold is linked to success in many ways. If you are successful in business, then you’ll be rewarded with money, which is often signified by gold coins or gold bars.
If you are successful in sport, then you might be rewarded with a gold medal or gold trophy; indeed the gold medal is the highest award you can achieve in the Olympics. Even in war, success and bravery can be rewarded with gold medals.
Wealth and prestige
Gold is universally linked to money and wealth, whether that be in the form of gold bars, gold coins, or gold jewelry. As such, the color gold is closely associated with prestige and high status. Wearing a gold watch or gold earrings is an outward display of wealth and prosperity, showing that you are proud of your financial status and accomplishments.
The link between gold and wealth is age-old, with ancient civilizations using gold as a means of trade. Todd Holland from Project Muse at John Hopkins University explains, “Since different civilizations and cultures could easily recognize the metal and negotiate its value, gold facilitated trade and the movement of goods around the known world. Gold’s value was first formally codified as superior to that of silver, by a 2–1 margin in the Egyptian code of Menes.
The kingdom of Lydia was the first to coin gold around 643–630 B.C., and gold quickly became a key element in the wide acceptance of the idea of money. Gold was still considered the most powerful representation of wealth in the 19th and 20th centuries when many nations adopted the gold standard.”
Egotism and pretentiousness
While gold is most commonly associated with positive meanings, it can also be linked to egotistical and pretentious personalities. Gold can come across as gaudy or flashy, and in excess, it can make you appear vain or boastful.
Gold is a bright and warm color that is associated with the sun. As a result, gold can be used to create illuminating energy, lighting up a space with bright and positive vibes.
Wisdom and divinity
For centuries gold has been a significant color in religion, representing wisdom and divinity. It is a color used heavily in religious buildings for Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, especially when depicting idols and saints. Gold is a majestic color that has associations with power, virtue, and strength.
The Effect of Gold on Home Decor
Gold is effectively a metallic shade of yellow, making it a warm color that can make a space feel cozy and inviting. Changing all of your silver metal fixtures and fittings in a room to gold fixtures and fittings would transform the atmosphere from cool and slick to warm and welcoming.
The power of gold as a warm color can be harnessed in so many ways in interior design, making it a really versatile choice. In a neutral room, create a subtle warmth by using gold metallic accessories for lamps, cabinet hardware, and door handles.
As a metallic surface, gold reflects light. This means it can help to create depth in a room, making light bounce around the space. The way gold objects can reflect light adds a touch of sparkle, which can have the effect of making a room feel glamorous and captivating.
To achieve this effect using gold in home decor, opt for metallic, high-shine surfaces such as glossy gold metal knobs and handles, gold metal chairs and table legs, and pots or vases in a metallic gold finish.
Gold is closely associated with all things luxurious and prestigious, so it makes sense that using this color within the home will achieve an opulent style. You can transform bland pieces into elegant and opulent items by covering them in gold, for example, use gold spray paint to make an old coffee table appear regal and charming or cover a dull fireplace in gold mosaic tiles.
Small touches of gold will look more opulent than overwhelming a room with gold, which can look gaudy, so opt for subtle pieces like gold candle holders, a gold tray at the dining table, or gold hairpin legs on nightstands.
How to Use Gold in Home Decor
Hardware for interior doors, kitchen cabinets, and closets can be found in a huge number of styles, colors, and materials, and since gold is a very popular finish in home decor right now, there is no shortage of golden-colored hardware.
Using gold hardware adds a subtle glamor to a room, maintaining a classy yet prestigious feel. Choose brushed gold handles or drawer pulls for a more muted effect or shiny gold hardware to draw more attention.
Fixtures and fittings
There are fixtures and fittings all over the home that you probably don’t put a lot of thought into, but upgrading these to a gold finish can have a dazzling effect.
Light switches, plug sockets, door hinges and locks, taps, towel rails, and any other fixtures and fittings made from metal can be bought in a gold colorway. Paying attention to these details adds finesse to the interior design of a room, elevating it to the next level.
Accessories are always a fun way to introduce personality or color into a room, which can also help you insert gold accents into the space. There are so many different types of gold accessories you could choose from depending on your style and taste.
Consider gold table lamps with accent color lamps to match your color scheme, gold vases displaying dried flower arrangements, or gold photo frames hanging on the wall.
You can upcycle furniture and give it a new look to add gold to your home decor while using unwanted objects and saving money. If you have plant pots in a color that no longer suits your color palette- use spray paint to turn them gold. Wooden shelving units can be sprayed gold or add a hint of gold to metal chairs by just painting the legs in metallic paint.
Soft furnishings in silky, metallic-style fabrics can add more subtle touches of gold to a space. Consider satin gold curtains for a luxurious look, or opt for cushions with gold embroidery to hint at a gold accent.
Gold lampshades can be a nice, opulent addition to a room, while a thick, shaggy cream rug with gold thread running through it will add subtle hints of luxury.