Gilded decor offers elegance and opulence to any space. The glimmer of gold against rich colors creates a luxurious aesthetic that uplifts the mood. When used thoughtfully, gilded accents can transform a room into a glowing, glamorous oasis. This article will explore how to incorporate gilded decor for maximum visual impact.

Selecting Gilded Decor Pieces

When selecting gilded decor, opt for a few statement pieces over many small accents. The goal is to create a bold first impression rather than clutter the space. Focus on bigger items like:

  • Mirrors with gilded frames
  • An ornate gilded chandelier
  • Gilded candlesticks or candelabras
  • A gilded table or chair
  • Large gilded vases or urns
  • Gilt-framed artwork

Quality matters more than quantity with gilded decor. Resist cheap items that may tarnish, flake, or feel lightweight. Opt for solid metals like brass, gold, and silver that will maintain their brilliance. Handcrafted and antique gilded pieces have more visual depth and interest.

When surveying options, pay attention to the level of detail. More intricate sculptural elements have greater visual impact. Simple silhouettes also let the gilding shine rather than compete with ornate shapes. Find the right balance based on your existing decor and palette.

Strategic Placement for Maximum Impact

Strategically place gilded accents in areas where they will catch and reflect the most light. Position near windows, mirrors, and pools of light from lamps and sconces. The glow and glimmer will make them feel more special.

Foyers, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms typically work well for gilded decor. Use accents like gilded mirrors or artwork to amplify the light in an entryway. An ornate gilded coffee table instantly elevates a living room. Centerpieces and candlesticks make dining rooms feel opulent. Luxe bed frames and vanities add glamour to bedrooms.

Group multiple gilded pieces together for a bolder impression, like a pair of gilded vases on an accent table flanking a gilded mirror. Repeat gilding on furniture, lighting, and accessories for a cohesive look.

Complementing Colors for Gilded Decor

Deep, saturated colors like emerald, ruby, and sapphire make gilded accents truly sing. The richness enhances the radiance of the gold. Neutrals like black, white, and silvery gray also create an elegant backdrop for gilding.

For a glamorous look, pair metallic gilded decor with velvety jewel tones like royal purple, deep teal, or burgundy. The combination feels luxe and sophisticated.

Soft pastels and pale neutrals can work well too. Blush pink, powder blue, and creamy ivory feel romantic and airy with gilded accents in a traditional style. Just take care that the gilding does not overpower the more subtle colors.

Styling A Gilded Decor Room


Opt for upholstered seating and tufting to complement ornate gilded furniture like benches, chairs or settees. Velvet, chenille, silk and brocade are fitting fabric choices that feel luxe. Avoid sleek or stark furnishings that will clash with gilded traditional pieces.

Carved wood furnishings also coordinate well with gilded accents, especially in darker stains like mahogany and espresso. If wood furniture lacks ornate details, give it a metallic kick with gold or silver leaf detailing. Distressed paint techniques over wood substrates work well too, letting some of the aged wood show through gilt paint.

For a cohesive look, search for bedroom sets or dining sets where the chairs, tables and other pieces share unified details. This enhances the elegant atmosphere. Mixing metals can work if done minimally and intentionally, like a silver mirror above a golden console table.


Use textiles to establish a glamorous color palette that flatters gilded accents. Look for patterned silks, velvets and brocades in rich jewel tones, metallic sheens, or gilded threads. Use them for upholstery, pillows, drapes and other accents. The lushness enhances the opulence.

When selecting carpets or rugs, stay away from busy patterns that compete with ornate gilded decor. Choose solid colors with subtle textures for a sophisticated look. Use sheepskins and faux fur pillows in neutral colors as cozy contrast.

Window treatments can provide beautiful framing for gilded mirrors and artwork. Opt for textured silk, velvet or brocade in coordinating colors. Aim for fullness and soft gathered shapes rather than stiff geometric panels.


Nothing is more complementary than pairing gilded decor with matching gilded lighting. Look for crystal chandeliers, sconces, table lamps and candelabras with brass, gold or silver finishes. Using all tones of metallic creates a harmonious glow.

For a traditional style, seek out lighting with elaborately carved bases, tapered shades, and extra detailing. Avoid minimalist fixtures that will detract from ornate gilded accents. Dim lighting casts a romantic glow on gilded decor when used alongside plenty of candles.

Art and Accessories

When selecting artwork, mirror the colors of your textiles and walls rather than directly matching gilded frames. Gold-framed artwork surrounded by ruby accent pillows and drapes has greater visual impact than neutral art. Floral imagery, classic portraiture, and scenic landscapes all suit traditional gilded decor.

Look for mirrors with thick, carved gilded frames to reflect and amplify light. Position them strategically near gilded sconces, chandeliers and furniture to create more radiance. Candles, vases, jars, trays and table lamps with gilded bases provide those perfect finishing touches.

Get Glowing With Gilded Decor

The overall effect of thoughtfully designed gilded decor is a glowing warmth and luxury. Follow these tips when planning your gilded aesthetic:

  • Prioritize a few special solid gilded furniture or lighting pieces as bold focal points
  • Flank mirrors and artwork with gilded sconces or candlesticks
  • Showcase gilded accents against jewel tones, or soft pastels and neutrals
  • Select richly textured fabrics like velvet, brocade and silk
  • Hang drapes, position rugs and use pillows to establish an elegant color palette
  • Choose traditional carved wood and tufted upholstered furnishings
  • Pair crystal chandeliers and sconces with matching gilded finishes
  • Reflect as much light as possible using mirrors and strategic placement
  • Finish the look with luxe gilded vases, trays, jars and table lamps

The glamour and aura of gilded decor stems from its timeless, ornate beauty. With careful selection and placement, gilded accents become dazzling works of art. They create a rich, regal ambience with a touch of opulence. Your space can glow with graceful, gilded style.

Gilding Techniques and Terms

Gilding refers to the application of gold, silver, metal leaf or powder to solid surfaces. There are several techniques that create different finishes and effects. Understanding the methods and terminology helps when shopping for gilded decor items.

Gold Leaf

Gold, silver and metal leaf comes in ultra-thin sheets. It is applied to substrates like wood, plaster, stone and terra cotta using adhesive size and sealants. Leaf gilding results in a shiny solid metal look. The finish is very durable.

Gold Foil

Gold foils consist of metal powder mixed with binders. They are thicker than leaf and mimics the look of leaf gilding for less cost and labor. Metallic foils can be used on furnishings, art glass, ceramics, metal and more.

Gold Vermeil

This refers to sterling silver plated with a thin layer of gold for added brilliance and value. The thickness of gold determines if the item is “gold vermeil” or “gold plated.” Solid vermeil resists tarnish better than other methods. It has richness similar to solid gold.

Water Gilding

Also called “gold gesso”, this method starts with a gesso base on the substrate, followed byLayers of bole clay and then gold leaf. It is polished to a glass-like finish. Water gilding is extremely durable and gives a luxurious effect.

Oil Gilding

Oil size and parchment glue are used to adhere gold leaf instead of water-based gesso. Oil gilding gives deeper color saturation and workability for detailed areas. It has medieval origins. The rich luster is ideal for picture frames and antiqued finishes.

Gilded Age

In architecture and interiors, the Gilded Age refers to the ornate opulence of the Victorian era, especially during a period of growth in the last quarter of the 19th century in America. The term “gilded” implies a shallow layer of gold, luxury and ostentatious display.

French Gilding

Also called “ormolu”, this 18th century French technique layers gold leaf over a mercury amalgam, then fired at high temperature. The result is porcelain-like brilliance with molded crisp details. Ormolu was popular for clocks, sconces, frames and furniture trim.

Get Glowing With Gilded Decor

Gilded decor brings timeless elegance and luxury to a space. By thoughtfully selecting quality solid gold pieces, positioning them strategically to reflect light, and complementing them with opulent colors and textures, any room can be transformed into a glamorous oasis glowing with gilded accents.

FAQs About Gilded Decor

What colors go well with gilded decor?

Deep jewel tones like emerald, ruby and sapphire make gilded decor shine. Metallic accents like silver and charcoal also complement. Soft pastels can work too in traditional spaces when done subtly. The colors should enhance gold’s radiance.

Where should gilded decor be placed in a room?

Near windows and light sources where the gilding can catch light. Foyers, living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms allow gilded accents to stand out. Group pieces for impact.

What furnishings work with gilded decor?

Tufted, ornate upholstered pieces feel luxe. Carved wood looks rich. Match metals for sets. Avoid stark and minimalist furnishings that clash with gilding.

What lighting pairs best with gilded decor?

Crystal chandeliers and sconces with coordinated metallic finishes. Candles and dim lighting cast a radiant glow. Avoid stark modern lighting that detracts.

What textiles complement a gilded aesthetic?

Velvet, brocade, silk and sheepskins create an elegant opulent backdrop. Neutral solids let gilding take center stage. Avoid busy patterns that compete.

Should all the gilded elements in a room match?

Having the same undertone (warm or cool) helps, but exact matching can feel monotonous. Repeating just a touch of the same metal in lighting and furniture keeps the look harmonious.

How do I make gilded decor feel glamorous?

Use it in substantial statement pieces like large mirrors versus many tiny accents. Dark luxe colors and metallics enhance shimmer. Textures like silk and brocade boost the elegance. Surround with crystal, candles, rich woods.

In Conclusion

The striking glow and patina of gold against contrasting rich colors is an elegant choice for interior decor. From French neoclassical to Victorian era opulence, gilded furnishings and accents add a touch of timeless glamour. Quality solid metals like brass, silver and gold maintain their radiance and become focal points with strategic placement and illumination. Complement with ornate carved woods, luxe upholstered furnishings, and textures like velvet and silk in jewel-toned hues. Then finish with striking gilded mirrors, lamps, frames and accessories. The result is a glowing, glamorous space with gilded decor as the star.