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How to Mix Gold and Silver in Interiors

Lets hear it for that clubber still trapped in 1984.  For him the mullet never dies and Z Cavaricci’s can’t have enough pleats and acid wash.  And the 1990’s gym rat still carrying his protein powder in a fanny pack and so pumped up he looks like a balloon animal.  You have to somewhat respect a guy for diving into the Culture Club head first and committing for the long run.   But none of us is swiping right on that one.   And what does that have to do with learning how to mix gold and silver in interiors?

Trends are awesome but when you get too “fadtastic” you get mired in a time warp soup – even in your home. Unless you have the money to invest big dollars into changing up your interior design every couple of years, you’ll need to learn to balance the fad and the timeless.  In 2007 I was remodeling my own bath and I searched like crazy to find something other than brushed nickel and chrome.   We’d been using it in the design industry for years and I was burnt out.  so I wrote a blog post about the process and the upward trend toward gold-toned finishes that was just around the corner.   They were hard to find back then but they gradually started showing up at the furniture markets and gift shows in lamps, accessories and faucets.

Fast forward to 2016 and suddenly Z Gallerie has limited their silver finishes and introduced a barrage of golds.  Same with West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel.   The trends always trickle down from the interior designers and furniture manufacturers to the masses but it takes time.  And then it becomes the new Chic for everyone and it gets overdone and it becomes a trend that will date your home in just a few short years.

So I have just a few  suggestions for enjoying the new gold without binge decorating.  First, introduce them in smaller ticket items such as pillows, accessories or even lamps.  If in 3 years you’ve grown to hate gold, then you’re not breaking the bank to replace them.  And for goodness sake, store anything that’s still in great shape because gold tones will come back over and over and one day you’ll be kicking yourself for tossing out that gorgeous papier mache tray with gold leaf accents.  And finally, don’t be that guy who commits 100% for the long term.   Why do you think gold finishes went out of style in the first place?   Because we over did it and we got sick of it.  Then when the brushed nickel train came chuggin by we jumped on…….and again we were in it heart and soul.

So learn how to mix gold and silver in interiors by doing it delicately.  In fact, don’t write off black metals either.   Silver, gold and black  are not mutually exclusive.  In their contrast they actually compliment each other, adding layers of depth to an interior space.  If you’re a little hesitant about your ability to do so tastefully, I find the easiest way to set the stage is to start with one piece that has all of the patinas you’d like to use.   Take a look at the chandelier below (#1) or table (#2).   Both pieces contain silver, black and gold finishes.   This is your jumping off point.  It’s now easy to choose your favorite finish as the dominant patina and then break up the monotony by introducing hints of your contrasting lusters in a mirror, a lamp, or a pair of accessories.

Contact Jamie Kern at for pricing and lead times on products below.


how to mix gold and silver in interiors by Design Theory Interiors of California, INc

  1. Chandelier by CB2
  2. Table by Caracole
  3. Dining Chair from Worlds Away
  4. Surya pillows
  5. Accessories by West Elm
  6. Mirror by Robert James Collection
  7. Cyan Design accessories
  8. Floor Lamp by CB2
  9. Bernhardt Chair
  10. Buffet by Robert James Collection
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Room Design: Shades of Gray . . . and Pale Blue

Contact jkern@designtheoryinteriors for current pricing, availability and lead times for items in this room design

Shades of Gray . . . and Pale Blue

Preview of “shades_of_gray.png”

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Room Design: Brazen Red Meets Tame Tan

Red is such an audacious color palette for room design.  It’s sexy, defiant and saucy and tends to frighten the faint of heart. Red is associated with red light districts, brothels and Scarface.   But historically it’s the manner in which red has been utilized that has given it it’s scarlet letter.    In the victorian age, reds were often layered within a space, creating a heavy cave-like environment.   In the 1980’s red and black were considered avant guarde, but before we knew what happened red and black were overused and mismanaged in fashion and interiors. Red and black are in very sharp contrast to each other and can feel harsh and unsophisticated.   Then the 1990’s came along and red became overused again.  Every suburban homeowner slapped red paint in a dining room.  Unfortunately this is not a color to be taken lightly and a blast of red paint does not a well-designed color palette create.

Red needs to be respected, coddled, and appreciated for the sophistication it can bring when done correctly.  One of my favorite marriages is red with shades of tan and beige.  Warm neutrals will soften the intensity so that a space is sophisticated, fashion forward and sleek.

Preview of “red and tan”

1. Upholstered Bed by The New Traditionalists

2.  Side Table by The New Traditionalists

3.  Glass Hurricane from Lazy Susan

4.  Wave-Golden Hour wallpaper by Flat Vernacular

5.  Wayne Chair in Taupe by Studio-A

6.  Red Shag Rug from Surya

7.  Throw pillow by Designs by Josette on Etsy

8.  Vermillion Chairside Table from Bernhardt

9.  hello beauty full artwork by Sugarboo Designs

10.  St. Croix Table Lamp by Jamie Young

11.  Rope Stool by Studio A

12.  Soleil Mirror by Studio A

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Room Design: Visions of Sugar Plums

Inspired room design:  Greyed wood finishes may seem rustic at first glance but don’t be fooled.  Pair these pieces with shades of purple and watch how the depth of the finish changes.  Glam it up with metallics, polished stone, and high gloss surfaces and the effect is understated glamour.

Preview of “blog Visions of Sugar Plums”

1.  Helix Chairside table by Bernhardt

2.  Tassel Lamp by Arteriors

3.  Oakley Mirror by Arteriors

4.  Corset Wallpaper by Stacey Garcia – available through York Wallcovering

5.  Panel Bed by Bernhardt

6.  Vintage Artwork by Black Baroque

7.  Tennyson Plum Linen Stool by Arteriors

8.  Belgian Oak Chest by Bernhardt 

9.  Wynn Chair by Bernhardt

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