Black & Gold Decorations Around The Home

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Using black and gold decorations in your design theme has some unexpected perks. Sure, black with gold or silver can make your home look lush and elegant, but it can be surprisingly quirky, traditional or contemporary depending on how you handle the accessories. Black and gold decor can also be an inexpensive choice that will look like you spent much more on an update than you actually did.

The trick with this style of decor is in keeping things subtle. We've all seen those movies where the rich and famous outfit their homes with gold sink faucets and black marble bathtubs. When you go for the obvious, black and gold can look theatrical and overdone. When you use subtle touches and plan carefully, you can make black look like the obvious choice for a room with gold as its perfect counterpoint.

Black and Gold Decorations In the Living Room

The living room is probably the most formal room in your home. Here are a few other common attributes of many living rooms in homes across the U.S.

  • It contains a fireplace and mantle
  • It has the largest and often the most attractive windows in your home
  • It sports the nicest floor treatments
  • It contains the nicest furniture
  • It contains the most dramatic (and sometimes the only) wall art in your home
  • It is outfitted with the largest and most elaborate light fixtures
  • It has the highest ceilings as well as the most elaborate molding.
  • After the entry, it's the first large space a guest sees when he or she enters your home.

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In most homes, the living room is the premier space with the best fixtures and other amenities. That makes it ground zero for a first and lasting impression. When working with a decorating scheme like black and gold, the way you use key elements in your living room will set the tone for the rest of your house as well as show your decorating savvy to best advantage. Painting your walls black is probably not going to give you a look you'll enjoy over time. It will also rob the space of ambient light and make it look smaller. Try these options to integrate black and gold decorations into the space:

  • Add a couple of other complimentary colors to your black and gold color scheme and use them on your walls, in wall art and in accessory items. One of the colors should be a neutral like beige or light gray, while the other should be a bold counterpoint to black like: persimmon, pomegranate, lime green or turquoise. Prefer bold, fresh colors.
  • Use black in large furniture pieces, and incorporate gold in light fixtures, mirrors, furniture hardware, and accent pieces like candle holders.
  • Choose one focus piece that incorporates black, gold and the bright accent color you choose. It can be in a painting, framed print, decorative carpet, drapery fabric, throw, or ceramic vase or bowl.
  • Choose gold as a true accent and pick a neutral like beige (or gray) as a grace note throughout the space that will allow the eye to rest. It will certainly work on the walls. It will also work in drapery items and in textiles like pillows.
  • Take a classic approach to using black and gold by adding an iconic image or theme to your space and incorporating it into a decorative wall border. The geometric Greek key design is popular for dramatic color combinations like black and gold. It's available as a stencil as well as a wallpaper border. If you select a classic design like the Greek key, it'll also be easier to find draperies, pillows, bedding, carpeting and other items that include that image. It's a shortcut to an integrated designer look.

Black and Gold Decorations In the Dining Room

Next to the living room, the dining room is the most dramatic space in your home. It can be easy to decorate for special occasions with appealing tablescapes that will add interest and a change of pace. Using gold in your tableware and incorporating black serving pieces can add flair to a black and gold decorating scheme. It will show that you pay attention to the details. These tips will help too:

  • Black can get repetitive, so mix it up with different shades of black. Blending blacks and deep greys in a few tone-on-tone items makes good sense, too. It can be hard to find the same shade of black for all of your pieces, and slight differences will be less noticeable if you add something that integrates them well.
  • Add drama with highly polished black pieces. Lacquered accents are perfect for this. Try creating your own by painting the inside of clear glass vases with black paint.
  • Don't forget the area rug. A gold patterned area rug under a dining table can be the perfect elegant accent. It won't overwhelm the space (the dining table will prevent that), but it will create an appealing layered look. Just make sure the rug is large enough that when guests pull out their chairs, the back chair legs are still situated on the rug.
  • Use the chandelier in the dining room to make your gold and black statement loud and clear. We love antiqued fixtures with black and gold cloth shades, but whatever type of fixture you choose, make sure black and gold elements figure prominently. Here's a tip: If you're working on a budget, you can use a brass fixture and add black ribbon or black bead elements to it.

Black and Gold Decorations In the Bathroom

Black in a bathroom can be tricky, especially if the bathroom is small. To make the space attractive as well as functional, incorporate black and gold accents into fixtures, countertops, rugs and towels. Keep wall coverings and shower curtains lighter to make the space appear larger, brighter and more welcoming. Gold embellished glass pieces can look wonderful in a black and gold bathroom. Gold veined apothecary jars and gold ceramic pieces will sparkle without overwhelming the space.

Black accents like ceramic bowls filled with potpourri, and black lacquered baskets and decorative boxes can be functional as well as attractive in a bathroom. If you have a white tub and sink, try finding one prominent, decorative piece that uses white, black and gold to pull everything together. It can be a piece of wall art, a set of towels or rug.

Black and Gold Decorations In the Boudoir

We think black and gold in the boudoir is about as sensual as it gets. Here are some things to keep in mind, though:

  • Avoid using solid or predominantly black drapes or bedspreads. They can look plush and wonderful in fabrics like silk, velvet or satin, but too much unrelieved black can get depressing. Opt for black patterned pieces like stripes, checks or plaids that incorporate black with grey, black and gold, or black and another accent color for a look you'll be able to live with over time. You should also consider how practical lots of black bedding will be if you have pets or young children.
  • Add gauzy white and gold sheers to your window treatments. The look is romantic and exotic.
  • If you like the look of black marble topped side tables or faux marble picture frames, now's the time to use them.
  • If you're in the market for a bed, take a look at some of the new brass and iron bed styles. The ornate scrollwork headboards available now would look spectacular in a black and gold bedroom.
  • Using bright pink as an accent color in a bedroom with black and gold is a dramatic flourish that's classic as well as daring.
  • Need to make that black look somewhat more feminine? Use a fleur-de-lis pattern. It's lovely when used on wallpaper or stenciled onto an armoire or chest.

Big and Bold Black and Gold

We've talked about the value of bringing in other color accents like adding a neutral to create a place for the eye to rest and using a bright color for interest. Beyond that, black and gold is often at its most appealing when used in accent pieces that show your attention to detail. Consider adding:

  • Elaborate gold cording to draperies.
  • Large lacquer chests
  • Hinged room dividers in black with gold accents
  • Patterned black and gold accent rugs
  • Black or black and gold fireplace screens
  • A collection of antique gold picture frames
  • Marble, glass and textured spheres in a large, shallow black bowl
  • A gold tray on a large, black ottoman
  • Black velvet accent pillows with gold piping and fringe
Last Updated: May 13, 2012
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like DiscoveryHealth.com, HowStuffWorks.com, Savvi.com and TLC.com.

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