I once had a mere brush with the .001 percenters, when I was invited aboard a 170-foot motor yacht, owned by a friend's father-in-law. It was so fancy that the bathrooms had real gold faucets (as did the seat belt buckles in his helicopter). That was too much. But if you're willing to settle for more base metals, a couple of gold-toned accents can be just the thing to add a bit of luxury and warmth to the bath.
One secret to successful gilding in the bath is black. All white with gold accessories can feel too much like my daughter's golden-horned unicorn, too fanciful and precious. But add a little ink, charcoal, or indigo and you have a different story: something a little more sophisticated, with more mystery, more noir. The second trick is to strictly edit your application of golden accents. Too much can quickly become, well, ostentatious. Here are five baths with just the right touch of gilding.
Above: Designer J. Ingerstedt used several gilded accents to warm up a minimalist bath.
Above: The now-famous former bath of J. Crew's Jenna Lyons features brass accents and midnight walls. Photos by Melanie Avecedo.
Above: In this bath at Dutch Mountain, the architects at Denieuwegeneratie employed brass pipes to fashion an industrial-style faucet that foils the more traditional ornamentation on the mirror.
Above: In this dramatic black and white bath by designer Stine Langvad, a bit of bling from a solitary gold faucet is subtly echoed in the trim of the mirror.
Above: At the Ace Hotel in New York, Roman and Williams applied a touch of gold to brighten a subway-tiled shower. For ideas on recreating the look of a similar bath, see Steal This Look: Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.
N.B. Interested in introducing some bling in the kitchen? (I'm updating mine with brass accents right now.) See our favorite picks for gold-tone faucets.