‘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.’
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.
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).
Create stunning place settings for your guests by mixing textures such as gold, gilt, shell and glass, and place on sumptuous velvet fabric.
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
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.
Give your banister an art deco update with these glittery fern sprigs, mixed with gold berries and antique baubles.
You might also enjoy:
- Christmas in colour: inside Rachel Bates’ festive home
- How to create a maximalist Christmas
- 10 tips for choosing and buying a real Christmas tree
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.
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.