Crystals of all shapes and sizes—including impressive oversize geodes, small bowls of tumbled stones, and clear prismatic quartz—have been everywhere in home design recently. If you dig the look of decorating with crystals, it's time to get reacquainted with these colorful rocks. Our comprehensive guide to crystals will help you understand their potential benefit, the different types available, where to place them in your home, plus where to purchase them.
Many people begin incorporating vividly colored crystals into home decor because they love the gorgeous look and because they add a luxurious accent to any surface. But decorating with crystals may offer additional benefits beyond aesthetics.
"Bringing a crystal into your environment allows you to connect with Mother Nature and enjoy the therapeutic effect that has on the soul," says Heather Askinosie, co-founder of Energy Muse and co-author of Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals to Tune In To the Real You.
In addition to reminding us of our relationship with nature, which can be especially meaningful for people who live in crowded cities or work in offices, crystals have been thought to have metaphysical powers for centuries.
"Long before people prized gems for their beauty and monetary value, they used stones for medicinal and magical purposes," says Skye Alexander, author of The Modern Guide to Witchcraft. For example, ancient Egyptians believed malachite could help prevent infections, and Roman soldiers carried bloodstones into battle for protection and courage.
It is thought that a crystal's power has to do with the energy it emits, and each crystal has its own unique vibration frequency.
"When placed near a person's energy field, the crystal's energy is able to harmonize it, creating balance in and around the body," says Andrea Barone Sazwan, founder of Crystal Hills.
Many believe the healing powers of crystals can be applied to decorating in a similar way. According to natural lifestyle expert Jaya Jaya Myra, crystals can be used to clean the energy in your space, to amplify and attract abundance, to ward off negativity, and even to correct or minimize feng shui imbalances in the home.
If you're serious about enhancing a space with crystals, the best place to find what you need is a metaphysical store or a new age store. The employees at these types of stores will be knowledgeable on the meanings and functions of different crystals. Other options are museum gift shops or home decor stores.
New age stores are more likely to clear the space—that is, remove negative energy—on a regular basis. With the overabundance of energetically charged stones and all of the in-and-out traffic from customers, clearing space is thought to be important, says Diane Kewley, owner of Happy Soul.
Energy Muse's Askinosie also recommends visiting stores that have been around long enough to have formed direct connections with miners. "Businesses that buy from miners can ensure the crystals are natural, ethically sourced, and have been handled by as few people as possible," she says.
If you can't find a reputable store locally, don't worry. You aren't doomed to a crystal-free existence. There are plenty of options online where you can purchase ethically sourced crystals packed with positive vibes.
"The first step to choosing your crystal is to get out of your head and into your heart," Askinosie writes in Crystal Muse. "Very often, the crystals you choose will be absolutely relevant to your life in the present moment. It's your intuition's way of telling you what your soul needs."
However, it can be helpful to start your online search with some direction, such as desired color or healing power. Shopping in person, on the other hand, offers a much more intuitive process.
"When you walk into a crystal shop, take note of which crystals stand out or call to you," explains Samantha Kelley, a holistic lifestyle coach and feng shui consultant. "You may even sweep your hands a few inches above the rows of crystals and see if you feel a tingly sensation over certain ones. Some people may get intuitive hits by having thoughts, feelings, or images pop up in their mind as they hold a particular stone."
In other words, you'll know that you've chosen the right crystal for you and your home if it feels right. "If you love the color and the feeling it gives you, go for it!" says Aude Ranoux-Banicki of Fleur de Lune. "If it's not a color you are drawn to or it's not providing the feelings or energy you want, then it's not for you."
If the thought of solely relying on your intuition to choose crystals seems overwhelming, most experts agree that you can't go wrong with these starter stones.
Amethyst: "Amethyst is like an energetic air purifier," says Askinosie. "It cleanses away any negativity that may be hanging around and makes sure your space carries an atmosphere of positivity where others will feel at home." Because of its calm, relaxing vibe, this purple stone is ideal in living rooms and spaces where people tend to gather.
Rose Quartz: While many people enjoy rose quartz in the bedroom for the pink stone's loving, compassionate, and gentle energy, television host and conscious lifestyle expert Alyson Charles keeps a large version on her living room table. "I want my being and home to be filled with those essences, so I have that crystal more as a center point," she says.
Selenite: A white crystal, selenite is ideal for the home because it complements most aesthetics. According to Sazwan of Crystal Hills, it also has a very high vibration that helps body and mind to relax and can facilitate a deep sense of peace. Try selenite on a bookshelf in your living room.
Clear Quartz: Clear quartz, the "master healer," is a high-energy stone that can amplify the properties of other crystals. "It's a great stone to place in entryways to create a high-vibration entrance to your home," says Happy Soul's Kewley.
Black Tourmaline: Known as a "stone of protection," black tourmaline has been used by healers and shamans throughout history to ward off negative energy, making it another ideal crystal for your entryway, says Ranoux-Banicki. You can also use it in doorways and on windowsills.
Shungite: Askinosie describes shungite as "the friend in romantic comedies who the love interest doesn't realize is amazing until 60 minutes into the movie." Although it's been around for billions of years, shungite's amazing healing potential wasn't realized until the mid-1990s. It can absorb electromagnetic radiation from electronic devices. Try it in your office or media room.
Whether you showcase them on a mantel, gather them in a small bowl, or use them as drawer pulls, crystals can enhance the beauty and energy of any room. It's more about which crystals you choose to use rather than where you choose to display them. However, some crystals like amethyst are sensitive to light, so keep them away from sunny windows to prevent fading.
"One of the lovely things about crystals is that you can easily move them around to keep things fresh," says feng shui expert Kelly. "This helps to keep the chi, or life force energy, easily flowing throughout your home. Just like how an acupuncturist inserts needles to open up the flow of energy within the body, crystals can act as chi enhancers to facilitate the energetic flow within your space."