Old gold is emerging as one of the most popular neutral colors in interior design. With its warm, rich hue, old gold provides a soothing and elegant backdrop in any room. In recent years, old gold has reclaimed its place as a sophisticated neutral after falling out of favor for decades.
Why Old Gold is a Fantastic Neutral
Old gold flatters everydecor style from traditional to modern. It pairs well with other neutrals like cream, tan, and warm grays. Old gold is versatile enough to stand on its own in a monochromatic scheme. It also livens up bold accent colors like navy blue, emerald, and burgundy.
The color psychology of old gold is uplifting yet peaceful. It evokes opulence and luxury in a subtle way. Old gold is associated with wisdom, quality, and timelessness. This rich neutral creates an ambiance of stability and comfort.
Compared to stark whites and cool grays, old gold has more personality. It is much softer and more vibrant than beiges. Old gold is ideal for those seeking a warm, mellow, and slightly glamorous neutral.
The History Behind Old Gold as a Neutral
Old gold has gone through many phases in interior design. During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, old gold symbolized prosperity and prestige. Kings and nobles adorned their homes in old gold fabrics, furnishings, and art.
In the Victorian era, old gold fell out of favor as color palettes shifted to richer jewel tones. Then old gold had a revival in the late 1800s and early 1900s. During the Art Nouveau movement, designers embraced old gold along with other softer hues like sage green and cream.
Old gold remained a popular neutral color through the 1930s. It was often used in elegant Art Deco styles. But after World War II, old gold disappeared from mainstream decor. Mid-century modern style favored bright, clear colors like orange, turquoise, pink, and yellow. For decades, old gold was relegated to grandmother’s homes.
The 1980s and 90s saw old gold return as a trendy retro hue. But it was usually paired with “Miami Vice” colors in flashy schemes. Old gold struggled to stand on its own as a refined neutral again.
Finally, in the early 2000s, old gold made its full comeback in modern and traditional rooms alike. Interior designers realized how flexible and versatile old gold could be.
Today old gold is appreciated for its antique origins yet contemporary appeal. It is now firmly re-established as a warm, welcoming, and very wearable neutral.
Choosing the Right Undertone of Old Gold
Old gold spans a range of undertones from bronze to peach to olive. Choosing the right undertone helps old gold complement the other colors in your space. Here are some of the most popular types of old gold for decor:
Bronze Old Gold
Bronze old gold has a brownish tint that resembles glowing antique metal. Some names for bronze old gold include copper, Tuscan, and cinnamon. This undertone enhances autumnal color palettes with burgundies, olives, and rusty oranges. It brings out the richness of wood furnishings. Bronze old gold is stunning with terracotta, lemon yellow, sage, and periwinkle blue.
Peachy Old Gold
Peachy old gold has a hint of apricot that makes this neutral vibrant yet soft. It leans towards pale orange tones. Peach old gold goes well with creams, corals, sky blue, and mint green. It has a cheerful spring and summer vibe. Use peachy old gold with painted wood furniture and white trim for a casual cottage look. Pair it with cherry red and navy for a nautical feel.
Olive Old Gold
Olive old gold has subtle greenish-gray undertones. It resembles aged metal or weathered leather. Olive old gold works beautifully with other muted earthy hues like moss green, brown, and beige. It has an earthy autumnal feel but also gives rooms a sophisticated vintage look. Olive old gold is perfect for libraries, studies, and traditional dining rooms.
Using Old Gold in a Monochromatic Scheme
One of the best ways to highlight old gold is to use it alone in a monochromatic color palette. Combining various depths and tones of old gold creates a rich, elegant space. Here are some tips for working with old gold monochromatically:
Choose dark old gold hues for walls and ceilings
Deep old gold paint or paneling gives rooms an intimate, enveloping feel. Use a dramatic dark old gold like Sherwin Williams Popular Bronze on accent walls. Or opt for a rich camel hue like Behr Camel Back on ceiling beams. Dark old gold grounds the space beautifully.
Use medium old gold tones on larger surfaces
Medium old gold works well on furniture, cabinetry, curtains, and upholstery. Try a cafe au lait old gold like Duron Etruscan on shelving and side tables. Or select a coppery mid-tone old gold like Valspar Cameo Copper for sofa fabric. Medium old gold nicely fills bigger decorative elements.
Incorporate light old gold accents
Creamy vintage gold shades add interest and luminosity. Use a pale gold like Behr Linden Branch on throw pillows and lampshades. Try Farrow & Ball Light Gold on ceiling molding or chair rail trim. Lighter old gold accents keep the room from feeling too somber.
Add metallic sheens for extra glamour
Metallic finishes like shimmery gold leaf wallpaper or gilded mirrors make old gold shine. Incorporate brass detailing and antique gold finishes on frames, sconces, and table legs. Metallics boost the elegance and help old gold feel contemporary.
Complementary Color Schemes with Old Gold
Old gold also pairs splendidly with other colors. It is incredibly versatile as a neutral while still making a statement. Here are some winning color combinations to consider:
Old Gold and Navy Blue
Navy blue is a classic complement to old gold. The rich neutral warms up cool navy for a look that is both striking and soothing. Use bronze old gold with bright navy on trim and furniture for a bold nautical vibe. Or try olive old gold with soft powder blue for a relaxed coastal feel.
Old Gold and Emerald Green
Vibrant emerald green and lush old gold create an eye-catching yet balanced color scheme. Olive old gold works nicely with jewel-toned greens. Peachy old gold pairs well with minty seafoam greens. Use emerald and old gold together in formal living spaces or powder rooms.
Old Gold and Wine Red
Deep wine reds like burgundy and merlot make a gorgeous match for old gold. Bronze old gold fits nicely with oxblood red. Lighter peachy gold complements cherry red. Use this rich combo in dining rooms, bedrooms, and reading nooks. Red old gold schemes feel romantic, sophisticated, and timeless.
Old Gold and Pumpkin Orange
Pumpkin orange and old gold are perfect partners for an autumnal look year-round. Try lighter peach gold with terra cotta, rust, and amber orange tones. Use olive old gold with deeper burnt oranges. An orange and old gold palette feels warm, inviting, and naturally cozy.
Old Gold for the Perfect Accent Wall
Accent walls remain popular in home decor. An accent wall done in old gold makes a stunning focal point in any room. Here are some accent wall ideas to inspire you:
Metallic Old Gold Wallpaper Accent Wall
Choose a glimmering old gold metallic wallpaper for dramatic impact. This works well in a dining room, powder room, or as the backdrop for a credenza. Opt for a distressed textured wallpaper with a hand-rubbed Florentine gold leaf design for loads of visual interest.
Textured Painted Accent Wall
Texture takes painted old gold walls to the next level. Try a Venetian plaster finish in a coppery old gold shade for contour and depth. Or go for vertical reclaimed wood planks in a bronze old gold hue. Use texture and tone to make old gold into the star attraction.
Faux Taxidermy Golden Accent Wall
For an eye-catching accent wall unlike any other, try faux taxidermy in old gold hues. Wall mounts of golden faux deer heads, butterflies, and exotic birds make a seriously bold statement. Choose lifelike specimens or modern graphic versions for contemporary flair.
Murano Old Gold Glass Tile Accent Wall
Add major wow factor with a Murano glass tile accent wall in golden yellow, amber and bronze. The handmade glass tiles have luminous depth and visual interest. Use them in kitchens, bathrooms or as a fireplace surround. Amber and bronze Murano tiles paired with white are especially striking.
Using Old Gold in Traditional Rooms
Old gold feels right at home in traditional decors like French Country and Victorian. Here are some tips for incorporating old gold into period style rooms:
Select dark old gold paint for traditional wainscoting, moldings and trimwork. The deep dramatic hues play up the architectural details.
Upholster wingback chairs or tufted loveseats in a tapestry fabric featuring old gold, navy and crimson. Choose a classically ornate print.
Hang wooden shutters in a camel old gold hue to flank windows for a vintage look. Coordinate with antique-finished hardware and lighting fixtures.
Use oil-rubbed bronze finishes mixed with old gold tones on sconces, chandeliers and metal table bases for a timeworn industrial vibe.
Incorporate wallpaper with a William Morris style design in olive old gold, ebony and ivory. Vintage floral patterns enhance the classic charm.
Old Gold Meets Modern Glam
While old gold has historic roots, it also shines in contemporary spaces. Here are some tips for working old gold into modern decors:
Choose sleek mid-century modern furniture frames in a light champagne old gold finish. Pair with charcoal gray leather or nubby linen upholstery.
Install wide-plank old gold oak hardwood floors for warmth. The soft golden hue contrasts beautifully with bright white walls and black accents.
Paint kitchen or bathroom cabinets in a muted bronze old gold shade like Valspar Tiger Skin. Contrast with Absolute Black granite countertops and chrome hardware.
Use a large-scale abstract wall sculpture in bronze and copper old gold tones as the focal point in a living room. Coordinate with gray linen sofa and white lacquer coffee table.
In a dining space, pair brass chairs with rounded backs in an antique patina old gold finish with an ultramodern Plexiglas table. Mixing metallic tones and textures makes old gold feel current.
Using Old Gold Outdoors
Don’t reserve old gold just for indoor spaces – take it outside too. Old gold exterior colors, landscaping and patio decor are fresh yet timeless. Ideas include:
Paint a front door in a burnt orange old gold hue like Sherwin Williams Roycroft Russet. For contrast, use black on exterior sconces and house numbers.
Choose outdoor patio furniture with olive gold powder-coated aluminum frames and weather-resistant charcoal cushions. Durable old gold metal pops against stone or brick.
Plant yellow and golden perennials like black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, cosmos, and daylilies. Old gold flowers complement green foliage beautifully in garden beds.
Position bronze-finished stone fountains as focal points in courtyards or on patios. The golden stone and water create soothing movement and sound.
For contrast against gray stone or white siding, use exterior paint in a metallic old gold hue. Try Benjamin Moore Champagne Toast or Rust-Oleum Satin Gold for a striking pop.
Frequently Asked Questions About Old Gold in Decor (FAQs)
Is old gold outdated?
After falling out of favor for many years, old gold is now viewed as a timeless and sophisticated neutral color again in home decor. It feels classic, yet also current when used in modern spaces with sleek furniture and bold accent colors.
Is old gold warm or cool toned?
Most old gold hues are warm with yellow or orange undertones. Olive old gold can read as slightly cool toned, but still warmer than true greige neutrals. Old gold is great for creating welcoming, cozy spaces.
Does old gold go with blue?
Yes, old gold pairs wonderfully with different shades of blue, from navy and cobalt to sky blue and duck egg. Old gold warms up icy blues while still providing an elegant contrast.
What are the most popular old gold paint colors?
Some of the most popular old gold paint choices right now are:
- Behr Camel Back – rich, warm neutral
- Sherwin Williams Popular Bronze – dramatic brown-based old gold
- Valspar Tiger Skin – subdued greenish bronze
- Benjamin Moore Champagne Toast – soft peachy metallic old gold
What are the best rooms for old gold?
Old gold works great in any room but is especially recommended for:
- Living rooms
- Dining rooms
Old gold creates an overall ambiance of comfort and luxury. Use it to make any space feel welcoming yet refined.
Old gold continues its comeback as a staple neutral color in interior design. The possibilities are endless for using this versatile and beautiful hue. From traditional to modern spaces, old gold creates warmth and timeless elegance. It pairs flexibly with other neutrals and makes rich colors pop as accents.
With so many stunning shades to pick from, old gold can be customized to match any decor. Try bronze, olive and peach-toned old gold finishes on walls, furniture, textiles and decor details. Use old gold alone or combine it with navy, emerald, wine colors and metallics. Take old gold outside too for fabulous curb appeal.
Old gold’s richness, flexibility, and visual interest make it a new go-to neutral. This sophisticated and drawn-from-history color easily works today for both period and contemporary designs. For beautiful, welcoming living spaces with staying power, embrace old gold in all its glorious golden tones and textures.