Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Get ready for the gold rush

By
From page HS4 | July 04, 2014 |

Just as hemlines rise and fall with the stock market, colors, too, wax and wane with consumers’ bank accounts.

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During the recession — you know, that indulgence drought that was the last six years — any color that smacked of luxury was run out of town like a corrupt politician. But after several years of living with a restraining order on flash, consumers are sick already of subdued.

I know I am.

That’s why I was so excited to see a bright bullish color — one I had not seen since the opulent 80s — tumble onto fashion runways last year. Since mood drives fashion, and fashion drives decorating, this meant it was only a matter of time before this fancy, splashy color hit homes.

It’s gold baby.

Move over tight-fisted silver and poor-cousin nickel. We’re having a gold rush. It’s back with a fervor and looking lavish.

Last year’s runways, which trotted out 2014 fashions, were awash with gold. Tuned in interior trend types took note. One of them was Los Angeles designer Nikki Chu.

“It only takes one little shift like that for the light bulb to go off and tell me that’s the direction I have to go,” said Chu of her reaction to the gold accents and apparel she saw on Paris catwalks.

As a result, her new luxe and heavily metal home décor line will launch at the end of the month. The collection has gilded tables, mirrors, stools, candlesticks, vases and more. (See it at NikkiChuHome.com, and buy through Wayfair.com).

About 85 percent of the line is metallic, mostly gold, said Chu, who has been designing home fashions for 10 years.

“But wait a minute,” I said, checking my enthusiasm for practical reasons. “How is gold going to go over in homes today? Most are silver.”

This may seem a minor sticking point to those who live in a more ethereal world than I do, but there is no getting around the fact that — after those brassy gold fixtures, faucets, knobs and handles popular in the affluent 80s fell out of favor — a humbler brushed nickel has been the hardware of choice for decades.

“People have been living with that for a long time,” Chu said. “They are ready for something different.”

“I get that,” I said. “But there’s a ripple effect. It’s like when pants go from low-rise to high-rise and suddenly you not only need new pants, you need new belts and underwear, longer shirts. It gets expensive.” (More problems men will never have.)

Chu gets it, and has solutions along with these suggestions for how to infuse a little gold at home:

  • Don’t be afraid. Unlike those bachelor party secrets, metallic furnishings don’t need to stay in Vegas. If placed well, they give every home edge and glamour, said Chu.
  • Start in your closet. After years of wearing mostly silver jewelry, I busted out last month and bought a gold purse — it goes with everything — and a big shiny gold necklace that looks positively trashy — in the best sense. It made me realize how much I’d missed gold, and warmed me up to the idea of trying some at home.
  • Suit your style. Although metallic accents slide effortlessly into high-end or modern interiors, they also work in more humble or traditional homes. The trick there is to add traditional items, such as a lamp or serving tray, that have a metallic finish. Save that gold-framed octagonal mirror for a contemporary setting.
  • Mix your metals. A lot of people have a one-metal rule: all silver, all gold or all copper. Not Chu. “My core concept is not to be afraid to mix metallic. That’s what makes a look.”  Chu tells me about the bracelets she has stacked up her arm. They are gun metal, brassy gold, shiny silver and antique bronze. They are matte and shiny, distressed and polished. Do the same in your home, she said.
  • Create a balance. When introducing gold items into a home where all the existing hardware — faucets, handles, hinges and knobs — are silver, the secret is to create balance. Just one gold jar against all that silver won’t work, she said. You need to infuse a lot of the new color to balance what’s there.
  • Go ombre. Like the current hair fashion, where locks change from dark to light, décor items that blend silver and gold can create a visual bridge when mixing in a new metallic. Chu’s new line has ombre vases and candlesticks. Fabrics that weave silver with other metallics can also marry tones.
  • Keep it on top. Because of their reflective nature, metallics jump out. So don’t put them in the background, as they want to be out front. Chu’s own home is furnished with muted grays and greens, but all the accents are metallic. Thus, rather than putting a black pillow on a gold chair, put a gold pillow on a black chair. Think gold purse with little black dress … and maybe a flashy gold necklace.

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.

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