How to decorate with gold this Christmas

Give your Christmas a golden lining with our stylish ideas for using antique and gilded pieces around the home and table...

Opulent Christmas tree decorated with gold

‘Ever since man first found gold, it’s been used to embellish and enhance objects of beauty,’ says antiques dealer John Bly. ‘The ancient Egyptians were gilding tombs 4,000 years ago and the method they used would have been the same as we use today.’

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And who doesn’t love a glimmer of gold around Christmas time? Gold has always imparted a sense of luxury, elevating royalty above the common man. ‘Gold was not only a symbol of wealth but also of the sun, with its gleaming surface reflecting light and life,’ says gilder Rupert Coke.

In honour of this prized metal and its party-enhancing properties, we present the best way to add gold and gilded pieces to your festive decor. By mixing old with new, you can achieve an easy, textured and lived-in look.

1

Make your presents the most glittering under the tree by adding a sparkly vintage brooch. Not only does it add a stylish finishing touch but it’s makes an extra gift

Wrapping paper, from £1.99 per roll, Paperchase. Ribbons, from £2.95 per spool, John Lewis. Vintage brooches, from £22.50, all Arabella Bianco at Grays
Wrapping paper, from £1.99 per roll, Paperchase. Ribbons, from £2.95 per spool, John Lewis. Vintage brooches, from £22.50, all Arabella Bianco at Grays
2

A starburst gold gilt mirror is the perfect statement piece for any hallway – and handy for a last minute check before you head out for that Christmas party.

French mirror, £1,800, Maison Artefact. 'Lexington' 311021 wallpaper, £81 per roll, Zoffany. Gilded Louis XVI console, c1790, £11,000, Guinevere
French mirror, £1,800, Maison Artefact. ‘Lexington’ 311021 wallpaper, £81 per roll, Zoffany. Gilded Louis XVI console, c1790, £11,000, Guinevere
3

Give your banister an art deco update with these glittery fern sprigs, mixed with gold berries and antique baubles.

Feather fronds, £5 each, Marks and Spencer. Antique baubles, £58 for 12, Tobias and the Angel.
Feather fronds, £5 each, Marks and Spencer. Antique baubles, £58 for 12, Tobias and the Angel.
4

These outsize paper decorations give your drinks area instant party appeal and a gilt screen is perfect for hiding away chairs (or extra supplies of champagne).

Hanging decorations, from £11 per pack, Talking Tables. 'Lempicka' screen, £995, OKA
Hanging decorations, from £11 per pack, Talking Tables. ‘Lempicka’ screen, £995, OKA
5

Mix speckled wallpaper with art deco-inspired bed linen and tactile cream faux fur for a luxurious finishing touch in your bedroom

2015_09_17_HOMES_&_ANTIQUES_CHRISTMAS_s07_043 KL
19th-century gilt ripple mirror, £950, Howe. ‘Carolyn’ side table in antique brass, £2,100, Collier Webb. Amber glass, £11.50, Joanna Wood. Gilded wheat sheaf lamp, c1970, £180, Travers Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. ‘Pentlow’ kingsize bed in ‘Sole Linen’, £1,517, Sofas & Stuff
6

Gold is a great colour with which to decorate for Christmas. Mix bold geometric patterns with your favourite antique pieces for an up-to-date look

On mantelpiece, from left: Fairy lights, from £20, John Lewis. Pair of antique bronze candlesticks, £1,100, Guinevere. Antique gilt reeded mirror, £580, Puckhaber. Reindeer decoration, £30 per pair, Cox & Cox. Peach glass tea light holders, from a selection, Robinson Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Antique French gilt and glass casket, £1,150, Guinevere. Tea light holder, £11.95 for three, Nordic House. Art deco decanter, £650, Guinevere. Bauble, from £3.95, Norpar. In fireplace: Star votive, £20 for nine, Cox & Cox. Hurricane tea light holder, £6; brass lantern, £40, both Nordic House. Christmas tree: ‘Snowdrift Breconridge’ 7ft Christmas tree, £150; fairy lights, from £20, both John Lewis. Plain baubles, from £20 for 12, House of Fraser. Star baubles, £27 for nine, Cox & Cox. Decorative baubles, from £3.59 each; gold fronds, £4 each, all John Lewis. Wrapping paper, from a selection at Paperchase and House of Fraser. Ribbon, from £2.99 per reel, John Lewis. Balloons, £9.50 per bag, Talking Tables. Sofa: ‘Alwinton’ sofa in ‘Whitby Ivory’, £1,920, Sofas and Stuff. Chevron alpaca throw, £295, Jonathan Adler. Cushions, from left, made from: ‘Arbour Caramel’, £49.50 per m, Voyage Decoration. ‘Mela Gold’ J730F-09, £57 per m, Jane Churchill. ‘Moriko’ 131382, £49 per m, Harlequin. ‘Baldwin’ L9009-03, £110 per m, Larsen. ‘Montrose’ faux fur throw, £160, Laura Ashley. Coffee table, from left: Antique ‘Bagues’ coffee table, £3,900, Hilary Batstone. Scallop bowl, £950, Collier Webb. Decorations (in bowl), from £3.95 each, Norpar. Antique candlestick, £75, Tobias and the Angel. Gold candle holder, £38, Jonathan Adler. 1930s cocktail shaker, £115, Goldsmith & Perris at Alfies Antique Market. Antique gold rim flute, £1,800 for 24, Guinevere. Art deco stripe sherry glass and shaker, £65 for set (includes five glasses), Nadine Okker at Alfies Antique Market. Card, from £2.99, Chase Wonder. Tea light holder, £9.95 for three, Nordic House. Pear decoration, from £3.95, Norpar. 1960s pineapple decorative box £600, Collier Webb. Japanese gold lacquer sherry glass, £365 (includes tray, shaker and six glass), Horner Antiques at Alfies Antique Market. Other items: Gold leaf wreath, £30, Norpar. ‘Lotus’ pendant light, £199, Marks & Spencer. Walls in ‘Old White’ matt emulsion, £35 per 2.5l, Farrow & Ball. Curtain made in ‘Moonbeam Copper’ fabric, £93 per m, Voyage Decoration. ‘Greek Key’ rug, £795, Jonathan Adler
‘Snowdrift Breconridge’ 7ft Christmas tree, £150; fairy lights, from £20, both John Lewis & Partners. ‘Alwinton’ sofa in ‘Whitby Ivory’, £1,920, Sofas and Stuff. Chevron alpaca throw, £295, Jonathan Adler
Christmas tree decorated with maximalist decorations

DIY TIPS FOR DECORATING WITH GOLD

Spray paint allows you to create your own ‘gilded’ masterpieces. Transform pine cones, wooden candlesticks, picture frames or inexpensive ornaments with Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint in gold (£9.49 per 400ml, Homebase).

Buy a few rolls of decorative gold washi masking tape (£2.75 per roll, Fox & Star) and use them to create elegant golden lines, dado rails and panels on walls and doors. Alternatively, use the tape to decorate napkin rings, paper plates and tablecloths for a Christmas party.

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Look out for damaged vintage gilded picture frames at flea markets and in charity shops. Leave them empty and prop them against a wall for shabby-chic grandeur.