Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Gilded Life OR I Have A Touch of The Midas


I have been seeing gold everywhere lately.

Do you like the metallic gold cowhide rug?

I mean the precious metal kind,
the kind King Midas wished for,
the gleaming, glittering, glamorous, gilded
kind of gold, the kind that glows and makes the plain come alive.

The last several years gold has fallen a bit out of favor for decor,
with clients and designers craving more somber grays, greiges, pewters, and silvers, but I think 2012 may just be a "golden year".

Gold is heralded 
 as a coming trend everywhere, including House Beautiful, Veranda and the Dallas Market Center.

I have to admit, I have ALWAYS loved gold, shiny and shimmery, or sophisticated and matte, from a bright lemony gold to a deep yellow with red undertones gold.

I LOVE to wear gold.

Layers of necklaces . . .

Glittery Jackets . . .
Cavelli in Milan

Golden Kissy Lips . . .

You know me!  Feathers of course! . . .
Alexander McQueen

. . .  And big chunky rings

I love to decorate with gold.

Midas Touch wallpaper from Thibaut

Gilded Gold Cheetah wallpaper
also from Thibaut

Gold Bristol Sofa by Maison 24

Stump Table from Arteriors
I ADORE this mix of earthy and elegant!

Mosaic gilt tiles by Sicis

I have even eaten, and eaten on, gold.

Edible gold spray made in Germany

Royal Crown Derby Gold Aves

I love to gild and leaf projects for clients.

I often gold leaf architectural elements, like this one below for clients, and add gold leaf accents on my custom furniture like the dining room console in my
last Thanksgiving post.

I am currently working on room accents and a ceiling with gold accents in Benjamin Moore's Gold 10 Metallic paint for a client's teenage daughter's gypsy bedroom.
(More coming on that later!)

Recently I received a call asking me to take on a huge, literally, gold leafing project. 

My client asked me if I could gold leaf the solid copper base, orb, and cross for the tippy top of St. Dominic Hospital's new chapel here in Jackson.  

St. Dominic's new Chapel with just my gold leafed pyramid base installed

My immediate reaction was to picture myself up 80 feet on a scaffold with precious sheets of 24 K gold leaf whirling around me, and I was thinking "NO WAY".

Fortunately, my nerves were calmed when he told me the cross was safely tucked in a warehouse until the leafing was complete. 

The copper base with its gold ochre basecoat

Now I was really excited
and ready to get started.  
It is not often that a designer gets to complete a project which she knows should still be around in 30 years,
for MY golden years!  

Outdoor Leafing Tips:
Use 24K gold at least 20 gram weight
Use high quality oil based size
Apply only as much size as you can use at one time
Basecoat in yellow ochre not red for the most glow
Cure as long as possible and burnish with cotton and a brush

The  big crane installed my golden baby two weeks ago. 
It is brilliant with the sun hitting it.
I hope to have more and better pictures of this soon.

And of course, in addition to having little pieces of gold on my shoes and in my hair, and on my sweater, and everywhere,

I have felt covered in gold!
Actually, SHE looks pretty golden delicious!

that I HAVE mostly gotten off, I HAVEN'T been able to get gold off my mind.

So, I am thinking of it for Christmas . . .

"The Brass Menagerie", One of Bergdorf Goodman's famous Christmas windows.
This year's theme is "The Carnival of the Animals".
photo by Ricky Zehavi

Using elements you collect and adding a bit of "Christmas"
 to create an enchanting vignette is to me one of the most fulfilling
 and fun ways to decorate for the holidays. 

I LOVE these gilded and leafed medallions. 
I use them for all sorts of things, from wall hangings to furniture.
They can be finished in unlimited ways.

I adore the MIX of gold and silver ornaments here,
 paired with the luscious sienna velvet ribbon

My sister called me this morning to tell me that at Breakfast with Santa this morning, my 5 year old niece asked Santa for
nothing BUT gold. 

I am asking for gold too . . .

One of John Lyle's fabulous fireplace screens

AND this gigantic golden bottle of champagne.

The 100 pound Midas gold Melchizedek of Armand de Brignac Brut is equal to
 40 fifths of champagne

Yes, I think it will be a gilded golden Christmas.

 My friend and client Pam added gold to her Christmas table today.

 Do you like gold? 
 Have you been missing it the last few years?
What would you like to leaf?
  Do you like gold with silver?
What is your golden Christmas wish?

photo credits: Alexander McQueen, Etsy, Wallpaper Weekly, Anthropologie, Elle Decor, EPaintStore, Marilyn Storey, Zarrin Henna, Ricky Zehavi  for Bergdorf Goodman, Martha Stewart, via Sarah Klassen, John Lyle, Pam Walton, Real Simple


  1. We are in sync with each other. I just purchased gold and silver butterflies and poinsettias for my small personal tree that is prelit with white lights. I will add red velvet bows for just a pop of color. I love to gold leaf ceilings, but hate laying on my back on the scaffolding. The decorators I work for are using more gold all the time. Merry Midas holidays!!

  2. Beautiful post Marilyn! i too love sparkle!

  3. Dear Marilyn,
    I am so glad I discovered your blog!! So beautiful! Really! I subscribed to it by email and added you to my blogroll.

  4. What an amazing post but I was most amazed by your work! Wow - that's quite an undertaking! I love gold leaf and would love to try my hand it at it someday...not sure what yet but I think it looks stunning!

  5. I am also adding my voice to the chorus of appreciation for the stunning work on the cross. It's also a wonderful surprise to see the Royal Crown Derby Gold Aves footed bowl in your pictures, which is part of our formal china set and a beautiful piece. Definitely gilded, and (thankfully) not gaudy.


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