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Natural Elements Play in Fall Decor

Along with grainy woods, metallics and other textural elements, rock and mineral-themed decor is part of a fall trend toward nature and natural elements.

In many cases, real rocks and minerals are integrated into the decorative items.

Los Angeles interior and product designer Hilary Thomas says she responds to the divergent qualities of primitiveness and sophistication in rocks and minerals.

“I find that using pieces like petrified wood and malachite helps a space look more collected and layered,” she says.

And the range of colors — the bright agates, the neutrals — is fun to play with. “You can be color-shy and still tie a room together or make a big statement with a finial,” she says.

Thomas creates lamp finials out of slivers of malachite, howlite and agate, as well as unusual specimens like inky iridescent labradorite, creamy blue-tinged chrysophase and petrified wood. The colors range from intense purple, turquoise and cranberry to light sunny yellow, snowy white and a range of striated hues. (www.hillarythomas.com)

Besides aesthetics, some stones have been endowed by various cultures with special properties. The Chinese view jade as a protective stone, and it features prominently in feng shui, the ancient art of harmonizing individuals with their environment. The Vikings carried calcite, believing it aided in navigation. Native Americans considered chalcedony — the family of minerals that includes jasper, onyx and agate — capable of imparting strength and courage.

Table lamps are an easy way to add a touch of stone. Arteriors’ Sydney and Herst marble lamps, both at Horchow, have honed and softly buffed marble bases that develop a dreamy translucence when lit. From the John Richard collection, there’s a stacked, square-cut alabaster lamp with a geometric vibe. And the retailer’s River Rock nightlight lamp’s base is a rectangular slab of acrylic embedded with small white rocks; a small bulb fixture is encased in it as well, so you can use both the main lamp and nightlight, . (www.horchow.com )