Gold and silver accents may seem like the glam choice, but these days, designers are encouraging their clients to move away from such pieces, which they’re more than ready to say goodbye to, at least for the time being. Why, exactly, are the pros gravitating away from these glittery metals? We spoke with five experts, who cited a host of reasons as to why they’re just not feeling silver and gold—some find these metals cold and uninviting, and others consider them difficult to maintain. Read on to learn more about these designers’ takes while gathering their suggestions for what finishes to use instead.
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We all want our homes to be welcoming and full of life, don’t we? For designer Rozit Arditi, using gold and silver is not the way to achieve this desired aesthetic. “I find silver and metal accents can be cold and uninviting in a home,” she explained. And designer Kim Armstrong agreed. “Designers have stopped utilizing silver and gold because it doesn’t provide the room with enough depth and it can read really cold with a lack of personality,” she noted. So what can a design savvy individual do instead? “When accessorizing a room, I gravitate toward using more natural materials like wood, stone, and colored glass accents for their warmth and depth,” Arditi shared. Mixing and matching these rich elements is key!
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Nothing is worse than creating a setup at home that is somehow reminiscent of a department store. Armstrong noted that gold and silver accents “can look very ‘big box retail.’” The key to create a winning design is by going for more variety. “We like to incorporate a minimum of three colors to a design concept and introduce enough textures and enough materials to the room to create a layered and well curated design,” Armstrong explained. “That’s not to say we don’t use gold and silver—we like using silver and gold and mixing metals in our design, but only as accent pieces—they should be sprinkled in, not the base of the design concept.” So essentially, moderation is key!
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They’re Trendy and Flashy
Save any glitiziness for your next New Years Eve party. The glam look is less en vogue these days, designer Brittany Hafimfar said. “I think designers are leaning more towards earthy and organic materials rather than flashy gold and silver,” she explained. “People want a timeless and textured interior that feels livable and beautiful at the same time. Out are the stark modern homes with gold accents and in are the more timeless finishes like blackened bronze and unlacquered metals.”
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These days, as we all know, comfort at home is extra key. “The pandemic shifted the way we consider our homes and the type of environments we want to create within them,” designer Emma Beryl explained. “The biggest takeaway has been the desire for comfort and building spaces that make us feel safe and cared for. From nostalgia-driven cottagecore to nature-inspired japandi, these design trends continue to grow and evolve because they spark joy and create a sense of warmth.” Thus, she noted, some elements are just too much for this aesthetic. “Silver and gold just feel too fussy in these environments,” Beryl said. She offered alternatives for those looking to add a sophisticated feel to their homes without going all in with metals. “Luxury doesn't have to come from a shiny surface,” she noted. “It's so much more luxurious to decorate with color, layers of texture, and old-world prints and patterns. This type of setting packs a visual punch and tells a much more personal story than a metallic accent piece.”
In a similar vein, some gold and silver pieces can be difficult to maintain, explained Heather McKeown, founder of Land and Sky Designs, who agreed with the designers’ viewpoints shared above. “I feel design trends are pushing away from glitz and glam in favor of more moody, time-worn and patinated finishes,” she commented. Instead, McKeown has been gravitating toward iron, bronze, and aged brass finishes in her projects. “Iron and bronze often require less polishing and maintenance, which is great for busy families,” she shared. “Patinated brass reveals its age quite honestly, which is at once authentic and humbling. We have been using smoke and antique mirrored glass in our recent projects, and I find they pair exceptionally well with bronze and aged brass.”