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Trending in Home Decor: Dusty Pink with a Hint of Bling

From faucets to appliances, everything's coming up rose gold in home decor.

For a while there, it looked like gold would never meet its match: The yellow metal dominated the pages of shelter magazines, adding a gratifying glitz to everything from pendants over a kitchen island to pulls on a bathroom vanity.

But lately we're seeing rooms through rose-gold-coloured glasses. The pinkish-tinged upstart (sometimes euphemistically misidentified as “copper” so as not to alarm the gentlemen) can be found in lustrous light fixtures and furniture as well as accessories from vases, candleholders and pillows to graphic artwork.

Stores of all price points are carrying the covetable colour. Get your fix at West Elm, Williams-Sonoma or Anthropologie. Target just released a rose gold collection, which it’s calling copper despite the line's distinctly pink pieces (see some examples in the photo gallery above).

Especially since Apple's release of its iPhone 6 in rose gold this past September, extreme decorators can match their living rooms to their gadgets – if they can get their hands on one. Out of four colours available, the smartphone with the shiny blush is reportedly the most popular.  

Men are tickled pink about the plucky new iPhone 6, too, but that's because it's expressly not marketed as “pink,” argues Forbes reporter Ree Hines: "In fact, (the phone) falls somewhere on the pink spectrum between cotton candy and Hello Kitty's favourite hue," she writes, comparing the phone colour to the nail polish Frosted Fairycakes. Her point is, of course, that men should just admit the gadgets they’re holding are pink – not "bros' gold,” as one euphemism has it.

Joseph Dirand, Adrien Dirand

A rose gold coffee table makes a statement in an otherwise minimalist space.

Whatever you call it, Luca Shapiro, founder and principal designer of Brooklyn-based This Way Home, likes the colour and is happy to see gold and silver get their comeuppance, if for a spell.

"Like any fad, rose gold will fall out of fashion eventually, but I think the rose gold trend is still on the ascent," says Shapiro, who first noticed a fascination with the hue in jewellery, fashion and packaging in 2013. It didn't feverishly hit the home-goods market until last year.

"I am a big fan of the rose gold trend," continues the designer, who describes the colour as "sophisticated and sleek, yet warm and inviting. I also appreciate its versatility. Rose gold suits everything from boho-chic décor to polished high-end luxury."

The pink metal, which gets it sheen from the copper that is mixed in with the gold, first emerged in the jewellery scene as a way to offer brides-to-be an elegant, understated alternative to the alternative: Instead of silver and white gold, once the cool replacement to yellow gold, they could adorn their fourth finger with an ultra-feminine pink piece.

But rose gold is not actually new. Today's comeback colour was historically fashionable in 19th-century Russia, and was referred to elsewhere as "Russian gold."

Famed jewellery designer Louis-François Cartier has been credited with bringing it to the masses in the 1920s with his “Trinity” band. He custom made three intertwining bands of white gold, yellow gold and rose gold in 1924 for the French writer and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, who stacked them idiosyncratically on his left pinkie.

By the end of the 20th century, rose gold had fallen out of fashion, reappearing in the 21st century in the watches, bracelets and rings in jewellers' display cases – and now in home décor.

Peloso Alexander Interiors

The rosy interloper makes an eye-catching addition to the home. "We are accustomed to seeing certain finishes – like stainless steel, brushed nickel, or brass – so rose gold is striking and unexpected," Shapiro says. “It's particularly (amazing when used) in the kitchen, be it a faucet, flatware or cabinet hardware. You can even find rose gold appliances now."

Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander of Peloso Alexander Interiors in Toronto have also seen rooms jazzed up with polished pink and offer this advice for adopters: "The name of the game currently is layers," the duo wrote to Billy by email. "In the past, one metal colour took over the room – all gold, all silver or all brass. Now we’re seeing the three of them together in one space to create layers of colour." 

Not only is mixing metals the way to go for dynamic feel, say the designers, but they have also noticed a change in the sheen itself. "Rose gold was very popular last year at the international furniture markets. However, it was far less prevalent this season with warm gold, copper and brass taking its place layered with chrome. Perhaps the matte finish pulls them all together? Metals are currently matte and classy, not shiny and brassy." 

So, if you're going to do rose gold, on your wrist or in your washroom, the duo says don't be single-minded: "From Michael Kors watches to home décor, layer rose gold as an accent. Think spice, not flavour."

Published Thursday, November 19th 2015

Header image credit: Joseph Dirand Interiors; Nate Berkus lamp.

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