Stone Hardware Featured on Design Sponge
When you think of natural stones perhaps you picture some plain brown river rocks or even those white stones they use for gravel driveways. While, yes, people have used those for cabinet hardware, that is not what I am talking about. Natural stones come in a wide array of beautiful colors, textures and sizes that can fit virtually any décor. From amethyst to Tiger Eye, you are bound to find a stone that will be perfect for your cabinet hardware or other decorating needs. Here are some stones to think about:
1. Quartz – A common and relatively inexpensive mineral, quartz comes in a wide variety of colors from white to pink and even green. Unpolished, quartz has a cloudiness to it, but when it has been shaped and polished it is very shiny and durable. It can vary in shape and size, so it makes for a very good stone for many applications.
2. Amethyst – This purple mineral is a type of quartz but is not usually sold under that name. It is quite popular because of its beautiful shade and abundance. Naturally it forms sharp crystals and is often found in geodes. Once it is polished it can be shaped into smooth ovals or sharp gems, depending on the intended usage. In the ancient world, this gem was thought to ward off drunkenness, so it would be a great one to put on your wine glass cabinet!
3. Agate – This banded stone is unique in that no two pieces are the same. While this can make it hard to find a perfect match for cabinet hardware, it can also prove to be a benefit and make for an eclectic style. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns and makes beautiful accessories. It is also relatively inexpensive.
4. Jasper – Another banded and pattered stone, this one is opaque and comes in more muted colors. Browns, yellows and earthy greens make up the most common colors of this stone. Jasper is usually inexpensive and easy to acquire and can be cut into a wide variety of shapes including squares and rectangles. It is also fairly durable.
5. Diamond – While I am not suggesting you buy giant diamonds for drawer pulls, there are inexpensive alternatives. Cut glass can be created to mimic giant diamonds and gives a stylish, high end look to cabinetry.
6. Pearl – The same idea goes for pearls. Not only are natural pears not large enough or affordable enough for cabinetry, but they are also not very durable. However artificial pearl-like cabinet hardware is available and could work well in your home.
7. Topaz – Topaz is the ideal gem. Inexpensive and abundant, it comes in a variety of colors. It is also extremely durable and easy to cut into many shapes. The most common colors available are orange-yellow and pink-red, but even blue is not out of the question. Clear topaz is also used as a diamond alternative.
8. Tiger Eye- With beautiful alternating colors of brown and yellow, this inexpensive gem is one that would fit a jungle décor to a tee. This gem is best cut in a round or oval shape to preserve the pattern and luster.
9. Jade – Best known for its use in Asian décor, jade can vary in color from light to dark green, but some is available in white, grey and even purple. Green jade can usually be found relatively inexpensively and can be carved into exotic shapes such as dragons and various animals. A dragon drawer pull sounds like a dream come true for an Asian themed room. Jade is also important in Latin American traditions, and is considered good for your health.
10. Moonstone – This beautiful gem is one that would fit in with modern décor. With a creamy color and a brilliant luster, it has a rainbow effect that gives the stone its name. However the natural stone is too soft and fragile for daily use. Look into an artificial alternative.
11. Lapis Lazuli – This is a beautiful stone with lots of character. The dark blue opaque color is flecked with white glittery crystals to add to the sparkle. This stone is also too soft and porous for everyday use, but artificial stones are easy to find and are just as beautiful. A great addition to a kitchen with blue tile.
12. Onyx- A black stone that can have bands of white; this is a great addition to a modern theme. With its deep, glossy black color and its hints of pure white, it is unmatched for its stark appeal. In the past it was quite expensive, but the value has fallen as bigger deposits have been found.
13. Opal – The most colorful of all the gems, it is a rainbow trapped in stone. Beautiful but fragile, artificial is definitely the way to go. Some large and colorful opals can even be more expensive than diamonds!
14. Ruby – When you think of rubies you automatically think of red. Vibrant red is the color of choice with rubies, but they can be quite expensive. Artificial rubies can add a splash of vibrant color to your cabinet hardware. It is the second hardest gem, after diamond.
15. Sapphire – Technically, a ruby and a sapphire are the same stone, juts different colors. While the ruby is known for its shades of red, the sapphire is known for its shades of blue. Cornflower blue is the most valuable shade, as is the very rare orange-pink color. Synthetic sapphires are available and only a professional can tell the difference.
16. Tourmaline – Tourmaline is an unusual stone in that it can be many shades at once. Unlike opal, it is not flecks of colors but rather bands. With clarity and a wide variety of color combinations, this stone can vary in price greatly. It is usually cut in a long rectangular shape to preserve the color bands completely. A pink and green combination is known as watermelon and is the most popular.
17. Turquoise – Turquoise is a gemstone regarded highly in many ancient civilizations. Its beautiful blue color is actually so unique that the shade is named after the stone. Persians and Native Americans both valued the stone and used it extensively. Even to this day, much Native American art and jewelry uses turquoise. Sometimes the blue is mottled with brown or black veins, adding to the appeal. It is a relatively soft and porous gemstone, so care should be taken in its maintenance, but it is affordable enough to be used in a variety of ways. I have even seen an entire chandelier made of turquoise!
18. Azurite – Known for its beautiful blue azure shade, this mineral is not often used as a gem. It is, however, readily available and can be shaped in a variety of ways. The most noteworthy shape is a bead or globe shape that can be mounted on cabinetry with ease.
19. Malachite – This mineral has been used as a gem, but it is not as common as many. However it has a deep green color with a banding effect that is notable. In Africa it has been worn as jewelry for thousands of years and is thought to ward off evil.
20. Barite – The most popular form of this mineral is known as a Desert Rose. The mineral forms a sandy, rough textured but pink hued rose shape in some conditions. This shape is formed naturally and is very unusual and therefore valuable. Since it is delicate, it should be coated in a protectant before being mounted.
These are just a few ideas of the natural stones you can use in your cabinetry hardware. There are so many varieties that can fit your home’s décor. Take a look around and check out your local rock shop for inspiration.
Facts from: http://www.minerals.net/
Ken Myers the editor in chief is a frequent contributor of http://www.gonannies.com/ Ken helps acquiring knowledge on the duties & responsibilities of nannies to society. You can reach him at kmyers.ceo(at)gmail.com.