Along with grainy woods, metallics and other textural elements, rock- and mineral-themed decor is part of an interior design 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 said 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 said.

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 said.

Thomas creates lamp finials out of slivers of malachite, howlite and agate, as well as unusual specimens such as inky iridescent labradorite, creamy blue-tinged chrysoprase and petrified wood.

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. American Indians considered chalcedony — the family of minerals that includes jasper, onyx and agate — capable of imparting strength and courage.

"I have a client who keeps a pyramid of lapis lazuli under her bed to ward off bad vibrations," said Toronto-based mineral and bead dealer David McDonald.

Examples of Brazilian agate and onyx cut into bookends can be found at ­the Rock Shed ( of Keystone, S.D. Some have the crystalline characteristics of geodes, while others come in vibrant pink, teal and red.

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.

West Elm features agate bookends, coasters, tables and prints.

Target's home collection is also set in stone, with items including the Threshold agate bookend, sleekly honed on one end to show the swirling layers and left in its natural state on the other. Rest your drink on a coffee table topped with real or faux marble. Rugs also offer a marble motif in various colors.