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Indeed, “the finish really is key,” she says. Shiny gold is out. Gold with a more complex, matte finish is in.

The reappearance of gold is also an indication of the renewed popularity of traditional design, albeit with a fresher, more modern twist, said Jennifer McConnell, vice president of design for furniture maker Pearson Co.

McConnell likes adding little gold accents to furniture pieces — maybe a gold-leafed stretcher on a bench or antique brass ferrules on the tips of a chair’s legs. Nailhead trim in gold metals is starting to replace chrome, she said, and gold leaf is popular on accent tables as a way of adding just a bit of glitz to a room.

Even shiny brass has its place in the gold comeback, although McConnell tends to use it in small doses and often in combination with antique brass so it doesn’t look dated.

Her company introduced a modern cabinet last season with an ivory shagreen front and an Art Deco starburst motif inlaid with gold leaf, as well as some polished brass accents. “You would never in a million years think Williamsburg,” she says.

Nor would dated colonial decor come to mind from some of the pieces being offered by trend-setter Baker Furniture.

Baker’s use of gold runs the gamut from subtle touches such as the handle on the back of a chair to eye-catching details such as the carved, gold-leafed doors on a chest.

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