By Karen Parr-Moody
Those with an eye for design may have picked up on this wonderful new trend. It’s the use of gold mixed with subdued color, such as gray and cream and the new tone called “greige,” which is a blend of gray and beige. The mix looks glamorous and classic at the same time.
It appears the modern opinion of gold is “less is more.” So a subtle pop of gold, paired with a neutral space, brings a luxurious sparkle into one’s life.
What could be more glamorously modern – despite its age of 50 to 60 years – than the vintage Seth Thomas clock in the photo, right ($79; Booth B-106)? Made of a whopping chunk of Lucite, this vintage desk clock contains random gold spheres that dance around for an atomic-era aesthetic. It brings to mind champagne bubbles on New Year’s Eve or the glistening sequins of a gold cocktail dress.
The company of Seth Thomas was formed in America in 1785, but by the Mid-Century Modern era it had jumped on the design coattails of George Nelson, arguably the most influential clock designer of the period. This clock certainly speaks to the artistic beauty that permeated design during the period from the 1940s to the 1960s.
This gold polka dot teapot in the photo, left, is from the East Liverpool, Ohio maker Hall ($70; Booth B-2007). It is undisputedly glamorous – and luckily for those enamored of its charm, there are other items in this pattern, including a covered casserole dish. Hall is known for its teapots, and collectors like to scour the market to find new and exciting ones from decades past. This one has great Mid-Century Modern charm. Can’t you see it on an Eames buffet or coffee table?
Gold is unique in that it will instantly add some decadence to any space, as is the case with this gorgeous 12-piece Bohemian demitasse set ($75; Booth B-302). Demitasse, which in French translates to “half-cup,” was a phenomenon that developed in France centuries ago as hostesses desired a vessel for serving strong after-dinner coffees such as espresso and Turkish coffee. But this set is positively from the atomic age of the Mid-Century Modern era, as evidenced by the the tell-tale geometric patterns, including diamonds and happy polka dots.
The stately teapot in the photo, left, is a cream and gold beauty from Arthur Wood England ($45; Booth B-115). As one of the many Stoke-on-Trent potters from England, this company's roots go back to 1904. Arthur Wood has long specialized in making teapots, and that artistry is seen in the hand-painted details on this one.
The 3-piece tea set in the photo, right, skews bronze with gold undertones and it is a fine example of lustreware ($35; Booth B2021). Lustreware is a a pottery or porcelain that has been given a metallic glaze; it became popular in the 1800s in England, developed first by Wedgwood. Its popularity started a fad that spiked production in England and Wales. The metallic sheen is produced by a combination of metallic oxides and a glaze finish, a process that actually dates back to Egypt during the 10th through 12th centuries.
Gold has traditionally imparted a traditional sense of luxury and glamor to a space. But this gilt-y pleasure can also infuse a room with modern glamour, as evidenced by its use in many Mid-Century Modern items. And blended with neutral colors, gold creates a mood of chic and cozy warmth that is alluringly unique.