For a while now I’ve been a big fan of crystals such as agate, quartz and amethyst as design elements. As Nate Berkus says, every room benefits from something natural – and there are few things as naturally beautiful as crystals! It’s like having a piece of nature inside your home, and yet it’s as pretty and sparkly as a piece of jewelry. I love that they’re a bit rough and organic, and yet feminine as well. A few lovely examples:
Being as big a fan of these items as I am, and knowing how expensive they can be, I was really, really shocked and delighted when my Mom and I visited the Museum of Natural History and found amazing, and amazingly well-priced, amethysts and crystals of all shapes, sizes, and incarnations in the gift shop! Seriously…shockingly inexpensive (you can shop some here, but the selection is really much better in person). Agate bookends for $29.99, agate coasters for $5.99…amazing. I wound up getting this gorgeous amethyst piece:
Word to the wise: don’t be so shocked by the affordable price that you decide to ask the clerks if the crystals are real…because they will give you a look to indicate that you’re really dumb. Not that I experienced that or anything (cough, cough)….
I love how my new amethyst piece looks tucked away amid my candle, jewelry, and perfume on my vanity. I like that it’s rough and imperfect, as a contrast to the very girly jewelry, and yet the color blends in wonderfully. Nate is so right – something natural just adds so much to a space!
Here are some online options that I like for crystals, some pricy, and some a bit more affordable:
1 2 3 4 5 6 (those are knobs, not earrings – love them!)
Seriously though…if you’re in NYC and looking to take home a souvenir that won’t just languish in your drawer, or is a little more stylish than a shot glass or keychain or whatnot, go to the Museum of Natural History and get one of their quartz pieces! They have coasters, bookends, chunks that you can just put somewhere like I did…and you’ll be shocked at the awesome prices.
I’m a dork but I used to collect agate and crystals when I was younger. I had a rock collection – surprising since I lived in Manhattan. These are all so pretty – maybe I’ll have to start up my collection again. xo
Um, guess I’m a dork too because I totally did the same thing! I actually completely forgot about that until just reading your comment. My parents still have all of the gems and crystals at home…I should take them back and integrate them into my apartment, haha. I used to get them at this place called Natural Wonders or something near my house on LI. So funny!
I recently picking up a tiny little purple crystal and leave in on my jewelry tray in our bedroom — I love having it there! I’m convinced that it brings good energy to our apartment! Next I want some of the book ends — they are so cool!
I love the look of agate bookends—West Elm always seems to have good ones!
Marshalls and Home Goods sometimes have agate bookends in surprisingly large sizes and at $12.99 each. I’ve seen them in different colors too: blue, pink, brown, green and purple. A great gift.
OMG Jackie, I looked ALL over Jaipur (India’s gem capital) for large round slices of agate just like those Aerin ones, to give to you as coasters. None were just the right size though….Ugh! You should have seen the selection of big, decor-worthy pieces I saw there. I didn’t get any because schlepping heavy crystals + a 50lb backpack around India with food poisoning seemed like the most unappealing idea ever. Now of course, I’m kicking myself for not picking up some of those big pieces that would go for around 400 dollars here in the states. I’m not even going to say how cheap they were. We will both start crying 🙁 I do know of a secret crystal place near FIT though! We have to go soon!