We often think of gemstones as something we decorate our bodies with—not our homes and office buildings—but a beautiful trend in interior design says otherwise. Gemstones and other stones, often in the form of geode sculptures and accents and even backlit stone walls, can add a unique, eye-catching touch to any space.
Geode sculpture can range from small pieces that accent a coffee table to larger items that deserve their own shelf in a curio cabinet. Some remain in their natural shape and therefore have an “abstract” appeal while others are carved into recognizable shapes like birds, horses—and even skulls!
Amethyst Geode Sculpture
Brass and Geode Sculpture
Agate Crystal Horse Head
Not quite sure you want an entire geode sculpture in your home? For a more subtle take on the geode decorating trend, try accenting your space with beautiful geode coasters.
Silvered Geode Coaster
Backlit Stone Walls
GPI Design, a firm specializing in lighting and surfaces, has produced luxurious accent walls featuring backlit onyx. Backlit walls have varying levels of translucency, which creates an intriguing effect. The slabs of onyx are carefully selected to effect a sense of organic fluidity.
Lithos Design is another company specializing in this striking decor and drawing attention to the art of backlit stonework.
For many jewelry lovers, the whole point of owning fine jewelry is enjoying it. A special thrill comes from wearing that sparkling tennis bracelet when it calls our name and taking pleasure in the way the sun sets the diamonds on fire.
Taking our most prized pieces out of safe storage comes with risks, however. Wearing jewelry exposes it to damage, loss, and theft, which may mean greater expense—especially if we’re traveling with our fine jewelry and need to adjust our insurance plan accordingly.
Increasingly, as a way to mitigate these risks and potential expenses, those who can afford it are opting to wear high-end replicas of their most cherished jewels while keeping the real thing in a secure vault. Some celebrities prefer to wear replicas during the day and reserve their truly fine pieces for evening wear and special events. Accordingly, faux gems are becoming more socially acceptable and are often seen as a practical way to flaunt your style without the anxiety that comes with wearing thousands of dollars on your finger!
Advances in diamond simulation technology have made it possible for diamond simulants (cubic zirconia) to look just like the real thing to an untrained, unexamining eye.* The key is to make sure the setting is high-quality. A low-quality setting is more likely than anything else to give away the secret.
A simulated diamond ring by Diamond Nexus
Diamond Nexus is just one company aiming to produce high-end simulated diamonds. Speak with your jeweler about high-quality custom replicas for additional recommendations and advice.
Of course, the drawback of high-end replicas looking as real as they do is that they can still attract unwanted attention, robbery, and even bodily harm. Therefore, it’s always wise to avoid flaunting your bling (real or not), especially while traveling in wealthy tourist areas where visitors are more commonly the target of theft.
*Note: A faux/synthetic/simulated diamond is different from a lab-grown diamond, which has the same tetrahedral structure as a naturally grown diamond. See more about lab-grown diamonds here.
Photo: Pexels, Diamond Nexus
You've probably noticed asymmetrical jewelry lately. Whether it’s in the form of “mismatched” earrings or modern, amorphous clusters of stones, this trend combines a youthful spirit of creativity with contemporary elegance. The following pieces are all about individuality and breaking the rules with a twinkle in your eye. You’ll find that despite the apparent geometrical imbalance of this jewelry, each piece manifests its own, unique brand of visual balance.
Made with 100% reclaimed silver and cast from Central Park twigs, these sexy, oxidized sterling silver earrings come with a removable white silver pod. Perfect for sultry evenings out.
The subtle asymmetry of the silver band in this sapphire solitaire engagement ring comes from the twig that was cast for this ring. Sometimes the most beautiful things are found in nature—and nature plays by her own design rules.
These cleverly asymmetrical earrings are decorated with pave-set black diamonds, carved lapis, and suspended sapphire, smoky quartz, and tourmaline gemstones. Truly a glamorous set for the woman with a creative edge.
This remarkable ring is indeed an attention-grabbing statement piece that combines mixed metals and several small diamonds with a large pearl.
Inspired by crusty yet beautiful old boats and pier beams, these “mismatched” sterling silver barnacle studs are a fun choice for anyone who loves life by the beach.
These stunning asymmetrical earrings come with lots of movement and sparkle. They’re the jewelry equivalent of a fine glass of champagne accompanied by your favorite jazz track.
Described as “artfully imperfect,” this delicate bracelet combines small diamonds with a beautiful stone (choices include labradorite, blue opal, mother-of-pearl, and ruby).
Combining three trends in one—mantras, asymmetry, and chokers, oh my!—this fun, customizable necklace was created to remind us of what’s important in life.
What’s your favorite asymmetrical piece?
Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs, Tessa Packard London, Jordan Alexander, Casey Sharpe, Nordstrom
2016 has played host to several fun and innovative trends. From glass nail art to Renaissance-inspired evening wear, there’s no shortage of ways to express yourself. The jewelry department is no different. Tassel jewelry, in particular, has made a splash this year.
The cool thing about this trend is that there are so many ways to wear it—from big tassels to tiny tassels, from a single tassel to several tassels, tassels are appearing on earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Some tassels are beaded, others are made of metal, and some are made with good-old-fashioned upholstery thread. Indeed, no two pieces of tassel jewelry look alike.
Here are just a few examples of this festive trend:
Want to try your hand at a beaded tassel? They’re actually easier than they look!
DIY beaded tassel instructions:
1. Cut roughly seven inches of ribbon (ribbon may be around ½-inch thick). You will be sewing your beaded tassel trailers onto this ribbon. The ribbon will also provide the base of the tassel.
2. Cut a length of fireline thread or upholstery thread. Choose a length that you’re comfortable working with (you’ll probably use more than one piece of thread.) Thread your needle.
3. Starting in the middle of the ribbon, thread the thread through the ribbon, leaving yourself a few inches of a tail (will be glued later).
4. Using a ruler for reference for trailer length, thread your needle through the beads you’ve chosen until you reach the desired length for your tassel trailer.
5. Loop the thread over the last bead, and run your needle and thread back through the entire row of beads (excluding the last). Gently tighten until the trailer is flush against the ribbon (but not so tight that it buckles).
6. Loop the thread back into the ribbon about a bead’s width away from the first strand, and repeat the process in step 5 until you have desired number of tassel trailers. (You may need to grab another thread if you run out of length along the way.
7. Fold the remaining un-beaded ribbon over the row of beads. Trim the other side ¼ inch past the end. Fold the ¼-inch bit over the raw edge, and roll the ribbon tightly until you have a round shape.
8. Create a few stitches along the top edge of the ribbon to secure the roll in place. Then create a stitch at the bottom of the ribbon, and stitch your way back to the top.
9. Trim any remaining thread tails, and glue them down.
10. Take a length of thread through your needle, and knot a single bead at the bottom of the thread. Add more beads to this thread—you’ll want your beaded thread long enough to be able to wrap around the rolled ribbon.
11. When you’re ready to wrap this around the top, use a little bit of glue as you go to prevent making a sticky mess. Let dry for at least an hour.
12. To create a beaded loop from which to hang the tassel, take your threaded needle, and run your needle through a few of the beads at the top of the tassel, coming out one side of the top of the tassel. Add five beads to your needle, and go through a bead on the other side of the top of the tassel. Weave your thread through a few more of the beads and tie off your thread. And you’re done!
If you’re a visual learner, check out this video tutorial for making a beaded tassel.
Photos: Lanvin, Farfetch, The Outlet, Halsbrook, Matches Fashion, Meijer Style