Rose Gold vs Copper vs Gold
Although I'm not against mixing metals, as they've grown in popularity, I've noticed people using them haphazardly without any regard for how they'll play off of one another. This has been especially the case when it comes to rose gold, copper, and gold.
Albeit similar, these are all very distinct metals, and when used in decor, these distinctions can make or break a design.
Use correctly, they can absolutely elevate a design to something elegant and timeless; however, done incorrectly, and it'll be a piping hot mess!
Not to get all scientific here, but there are a few basics you know that are at the core of how rose gold, copper, and gold differ. The latter two are native metals:
Rose gold, on the other hand, is actually a combination of gold, silver, and copper (the exact composition varies) which is what gives it its "rose" color.
For our purposes, we're going to approach these in terms of their tones, not the raw metals themselves.
You'll notice when looking at them side by side that gold has more of a "yellow" undertone, while copper has more of an "orange" undertone; and then of course, we have rose gold with a its "pink" undertone.
Of the 3, gold is the most distinct and easiest to spot, while often rose gold and copper end up being used interchangeably because of their close resemblance.
Can one sometimes substitute for the other?
The quick answer is yes.
Depending on the design and the overall look that's being created, but finish, lighting, and texture also play a part in this.
For example a reflective metallic copper finish may not be as distinguishable from a rose gold finish as a hammered copper finish would be.
Gold has proven to be the most timeless of the metals when used in design, while rose gold has been a trend that has come and gone and come back again (thanks Apple). Copper, I find, lands somewhere in between -- sometimes getting lost in the shuffle, sometimes being a real big deal.
While I can appreciate the look and appeal of copper and rose gold, my personal preferred metal is gold, especially as an accent.
I've been able to make shifts in styling our decor, without ever having to worry about the gold accents being a disruption -- using blue, white, and grey tones in the cooler seasons, and blush, white, and green tones in the warmer seasons. But in the same way I've been able to plug & play my decor, always incorporating gold, that isn't to say the same can't be done with copper and/or rose gold.