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Dazzling Décor: Using Gemstones in Interior Design

Using gemstones in interior design is a stunning way to pay homage to their countries of origin. Collect them traveling or just enjoy their global flavors.

You probably can’t explore the world full-time, so the next best thing is to bring a touch of the exotic into your surroundings. If you love traveling, design, and a little sparkle here and there, try using gemstones in your interior design. They’re often native to just a few areas, so it can be a unique and dazzling way to pay homage to these stones’ countries of origin. And on your next trip, you can always shop for jewelry to match.

If you like the idea that different crystals and stones can attract good energy, do some more research into what to look for. But these gems are incredible for their aesthetics alone. They’re also natural, colorful, and one-of-a-kind. Just make sure you’re buying from an artisan or shop that sources their gemstones ethically and sustainably.

Crystal Gardens

If you don’t see the appeal in terrariums, you can use the same concept to house a growing gemstone collection and unify your room’s color scheme. It can look as elegant or as natural as you choose, and you can switch out new stones as you collect them. Use a simple glass bowl and add a candle, arranging different gems around it. Pro tip: line any container with moss for a more outdoorsy feel. Pick up smaller stones on your journeys, or find something you love at a gem show. If you want to stick to a palette, try carnelian (from India or Egypt) for a warm orange, citrine (Russia) for amber tones, and malachite (the Congo) for a touch of green.

Incorporating Geodes

Not all gemstones are content to stay in the background as decorative accents. Brazil, for instance, has amethyst geodes large enough to sleep in (albeit painfully). They’re a bit much to ship home from abroad, but you can find truly magnificent geodes online to display on a stand as art or even convert into cocktail tables. On a smaller scale, do-it-yourself enthusiasts have been drilling drainage holes into geodes to use them as glittering planters.

Lighting Fixtures

A lamp or chandelier is pretty much the perfect way to showcase crystals. They’re less fussy than the usual dining room options and lend any space a touch of boho-chic—even a walk-in closet. It’s not hard to find a breathtaking chandelier that features rock crystal quartz, an alternative you can find in the Alps, Madagascar, Japan, and elsewhere. Or upcycle the trend for pink Himalayan salt lamps by trying a glowing rose quartz version mined in South Africa or India. The more colorful the gemstones you choose, the more varied the refracted rainbow of light will be in your room.

Odds and Ends

There’s no limit to the ways you can use gemstones in your interior design. You don’t need a plan; trust your instincts and your taste. Arrange them on shelves, use them as bookends, frame them in shadow boxes, hang them from a mobile, or add them as decoration to end tables. Use them to remember your travels—or to inspire new ones.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food.