The Art of Design: Stoned

Before you get carried away, it’s not that kind of “stoned” that I am talking about. Lately, in the homes of several friends, I’ve noticed semiprecious stones laying around their coffee tables, in a bowl or near a window with a small votive candle lit next to it. At first, I thought: “Oh, my friends are getting New Age-y on me. The next thing I know, they’ll invite me over for a tea leaves reading and a sage smoke smudging.” But as I looked through some accessories and some online catalogs, I saw that this “new hippy” style, which includes decorating with stones, is actually a thing.

Aesthetically, the appeal of semiprecious stones are the irregularities in shape and pattern that each stone has. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Pubillones)

Hippies and those who are spiritually inspired have always used stones in and around their homes, but now, due to their sparkling appeal, these stones have been incorporated into bowls, sculptures and even embellishments on uber expensive lamps. I have always coveted a chandelier covered in rock crystal; maybe I’ll have one when I grow up.

Aesthetically, the appeal of semiprecious stones are the irregularities in shape and pattern that each stone has. The organic patterns found inside each stone are different from one another, and some are as beautiful as a work of art. For these reasons, they make eye-catching tabletop pieces — the larger, the better. They serve as foils to sculptures. Stones are also great to be used as bookends on a shelf or by a windows as sun-catchers.

Just like a spring cleaning—how the urge to purge your home of old furnishings or out-of-date fabrics makes a home feel fresh and clean—stones, apparently, have certain energies they can bring or take away so your home feels right. Whether you use stones as lucky charms or as part of a ritual or simply as decoration, here follows a brief guide:

Selenite: This is one of my favorites, as its appearance is like cracked ice. Made of calcium sulfate, it is semiopaque and has a milky quality. The stone is quite brittle, but its great to attract energy and light.

Amethyst: This purple stone is associated with bringing calm to the home and helps in releasing bad energies. It is best used as a focal point of a prominent room, such as a living room or a busy kitchen, to bring peace.

Rose quartz: This pink crystal is known to promote or preserve love. It is best placed on a nightstand, on a dresser or in a bathroom.

Black tourmaline: This dark stone is the grand protector. It shields negative energy and therefore should stand guard around the entrance of a home, perhaps on a console or entry hall table. It helps clear the air of radiation and technological pollution, so it is perfect to place your cellphone next to it.

Malachite: The vibrant green color of this stone brings abundance and intention. It is considered a very powerful stone that is used in deep energy cleanings and is supposed to aid in healing. As it is an expensive stone, it is often used in high-end accessories and jewelry.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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