For the Love of Gilt and Downton Abbey

I bought this interesting coffee table for my living room at an estate sale a few months back for $85.  I’ve been debating over what color to paint the base of it.  I’ve been dying to try out the new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but couldn’t decide on a color.  Off-white would be too predictable, black might be to much contrast for this room.

coffee table


So, I was watching the season premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS – did I mention I am OBSESSED with this show???  The sets and costumes are absolutely luscious.  And the colors – oh, the colors!



The greens, the blues, the butter yellows!


And of course, the  gold gilt.




Clearly, the set designers of Downton Abbey must read The Decorologist.


 Are those MY colors, or WHAT?   Oh well, they say imitation is the sincerest  form of flattery . . .

yellow green dining room

 My Dining Room


I have loved gilt for a long time, and even painted half of my dining room chairs in Ralph Lauren’s Regent Metallic paint.

 Mismatched Dining Chairs


The choice has become clear – I’m going to pull out my gold metallic paint and transform this table base before next week’s episode.


No doubt, it will help me feel just a wee bit closer to Downton Abbey . . .

 (See my post featuring the finished table in gilt!)



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18 thoughts on “For the Love of Gilt and Downton Abbey

  1. Holly says:

    First, that table is amazing and only $85 – what a deal. I really love all of the detail in the base and the legs. I can’t wait to see how you transform it. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about Downtown Abbey. I’ll have to see if I can squeeze it into our DVR although I think we are 100% maxed at this point. The costumes and set are very inspiring – they must have used your colors!!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      you’ve got to find a way to see this show, holly. you won’t regret it! i just started watching it on Netflicks about a month ago, and it’s all i can think about. the writing and acting are superb, and obviously the sets and costumes are to-die-for.

  2. Michelle L. says:

    I, too, am in love with Downton Abbey and all things Masterpiece Classic. The clothes are also fabulous, especially on the aging but elegant Maggie Smith! I was just thinking that light green wallpaper looked to be exactly your color, Kristie. I say go for it on the gilt. And congrats on the Tennesseean feature! To the Decorologist fans outside of Nashville, our favorite blogger was in the newspaper big time this week!! So proud of you!

  3. Susan McKeown says:

    Hi Kristie, Gold Gilt would look interesting but honestly looking at the picture the carpet and the flooring, I think the current wood finish suits the room. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Am with you on Downton Abbey, fantastic!!

  4. Linda says:

    What a find!! and what a great paint choice..looking forward to the reveal! BTW..what is Downtown Abby? We don’t get that here as far as I know.

  5. Paula says:

    I love reading your blog and articles – lots of helpful information for us fledgling decorators! I’ve been a fan of PBS and its quality programs my whole adult life, so I’m so glad to see others discovering the quality of Downton Abbey.
    As for painting your table base, I would like to ditto what someone has already said in their comment, and that is to consider keeping the base the beautiful wood that it is now! I think it looks great in your room, and I love the contrast of the glass top and wooden base. Just my opinion:-)!

  6. Paula says:

    It will be fun to see how it looks with the gold legs! Perhaps I don’t have enough history of “listening” to my furniture!:-)

  7. Kristie Barnett says:

    Marti Mathes of Walls That Talk, Custom Decorative & Faux Finishes just sent me this email:

    “I recently used “Versaille” chalk paint by Annie Sloan adding gold leaf accents. You could substitute the metallic gold paint as you described in your blog.”

  8. Jennifer C. says:

    That is an awesome table. And though the 80s excess left me a little skittish about gold, I’ll admit that all the gilt looks lovely in your home and it’s growing on me! I think gilt legs on the table would be a nice touch and pull the rooms together. But what do I know – I’m a decorating dork and merely copy what I see others do. 😉
    My hubby and I have just started watching Downton Abbey, season 1, on Netflix. We absolutely love it! I’m dvr-ing season 2 and can’t wait to catch up!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      you are going to love downton abbey, jennifer! we watched the first season on netflix just in time for the new season. as far as the table goes, if it doesn’t have the “look” i hope for – i can always paint over it. we’ll see how it turns out!!!

  9. Annie, bossy color says:

    Kristie, I love it! I hadn’t made the connection between DA and your gorgeous house- they MUST be subscribers to your blog!!

    Re: that awesome table, I also vote for gilt on the legs. Why not? Great post, as always!

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