"Oh darling, it's true. Beautiful things have dents and scraches, too."
A couple of weeks ago while reviewing a presentation an image of an antique, ceramic bowl with multiple cracks in it appeared on the screen. The cracks were filled with gold. The piece was clearly broken but strikingly beautiful. “Strange…” I thought. “Wonder why it’s there?”
Being a one who loves to go down rabbit holes, I hunted down the owner of the presentation and asked her why she had included it in a deck about health care of all things. Her response was interesting. Turns out that incredible repair is called Kintsugi, also known as Kintsukuroi. It is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Instead of tossing the relic aside, it had been repaired and given a new life still as a bowl but now it had a richer story.
This ancient art form got me thinking not only about repairing all the broken items in my home and wouldn’t it be lovely if we could transfer that same mentality, using gold, to breathe new life into furniture around the home that might have a few nicks, deep scars or just be simply worn out? Could we use gold, on a larger scale, to breathe new life into time worn items and celebrate the imperfection of our lives?
Gold hardware, accents, paint and fabrics are popping up all over in décor magazines, blogs and stores making it incredibly easy to find inspiration and products that take your furniture worn to WOW! Swap out handles and knobs in the kitchen for matte gold. Instant upgrade! Peel and stick wallpaper is all the rage right now. Consider grabbing a few rolls to dress up a small accent wall for a quick, noncommittal look. Freshen up basic brown dining room chairs and stools with gold. Heck, spray paint your kids unused toys gold and put them on the shelf as an accent piece. Remember, Kintsugi? Take a gold paint pen and highlight those deep marks on top of well-worn desk. The key is to make it look and feel purposeful. And truth be told, gold makes everything more fabulous, so be fearless!
And there’s no rule that say you have to have all the same colored metals in a room. Mix and match gold with silver accents already in your home. Introduce a touch of rose gold in bowls, wire baskets and metal artwork. Go ahead and put that gold pharmacy floor lamp behind the sofa next to the fireplace wall with the silver sconces. Throw a gold charger under your white china with silver accents. Swap out builder grade door knobs with vintage gold ones. Those silver hinges won’t mind a bit.
The nice part about these new golds is that they aren't limited to the flashy tones you used to see on "Solid Gold Dancers". We are seeing fresh matte finishes and brushed sheens that look sophisticated and beg to be touched. Best of all, they are popping up in all price points making the color of luxury something any one of us can add to their home without breaking the bank.