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Designer Monthly Preview

The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.





Entries in Anthropologie (2)


The Rock Cycle. Where Do Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones Come From?

Eternal Tools Color Wheel

Rocks and minerals are in a constant state of change, referred to as the Rock Cycle. Heat, pressure, water and erosion slowly change them over time. They are mined from the earth, lakes, rivers, and rock formations on the sides of mountains. Almost all gems are formed below the Earth's surface. The largest producers are Brazil, parts of Asia, and several countries in East Africa.

Raw Emerald

Some stones are brought to the surface through mining and some are brought to the surface through the earth's natural process of faulting, and volcanism. Research shows meteorites, pieces of rock or metal that fall to earth from outer space, are where precious metals come from. 

Raw amazonite on Wiccan Leanings.

Spiritualists believe each gemstone has it's own healing property.

Raw Rubies

Gemstones are referred to as precious and semi-precious stones. They are pieces of mineral that are cut and polished to form a shape. Most stones are cut, polished and drilled for usage as jewelry. Precious stones are diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, because of their rareness. All other gemstones being semi-precious. Gemstones are classified by their color, translucency and hardness.

Gem Cutting and shaping Bespoke Gems.

If you have a dremel you can drill your own hole through a stone. If you are going to attempt to drill your own holes you may want to start out by drilling through pebbles. Here is a great tutorial blog that covers drilling holes in pebble stones. 

Raw Citrine post earrings from Anthropologie.

Raw diamond ring by Todd Reed. 

Some designers choose to work with raw gemstones, in the form in which they are found. These are two beautiful examples of using raw stones - the citrine earrings from Anthropologie and raw diamonds by Todd Reed.

The stones themselves have little value, but are often used in jewelry for their beauty. The value of the stone comes from the workmanship done to shape the stone and the color's desirability. We teach students here at Sheffield how to make beautiful settings for their semi precious stones. 


Are you interested in taking a great jewelry design course and learning more about how to make your own jewelry or get started professionally in this creative field? Sheffield School began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.


  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
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  • Thursday

    Designer Wish List

    Don’t know what to get for that picky…ahem…I mean… discerning person on your holiday list?  Here’s a few that caught my eye.  Each one has that unique designer look that will liven up any beautiful home. 


    (Front Page Magazine Rack from Front)Is it a sculpture, a flower, or a table centerpiece?  It’s a magazine rack from Front, a Swedish design firm.  Imagine pages riffling in the wind: Front recreated the feel into a beautiful polycarbonate storage rack.     

    (24karat Blau pendant from Ingo Maurer and Axel Schmid) We all want that sparkle for the holidays but how about year round? German designer Axel Schmid encased 24 karat gold leaf in plastic to create this sculptural light pendant.  The Blau pendant will cast a warm, intimate glow over your festive gatherings.

    (Pillows and throws from Anthropologie)For those cold winter nights, I suggest these pillows from Anthropologie.  The grey Ikat pillow, the Bohemian, has a dual personality: one side is a demure pattern, the other has bright pink sequins. The Bohemian also comes in a throw.  And for a fun color pop, there’s the Puffin pillow with a bright graphic red pattern. 

    (Crystal chair from Domitalia)Who says casual has to be boring?  Domitalia designed this eye-catching Crystal Chair in jewel-tone violet, perfect for seating those party guests.

    (Marrakesh Planters from Joss & Main)For the green thumb or just those with a global view, we have these ceramic Marrakesh planters from Joss & Main.  The red quatrefoil patterns are reminiscent of Moroccan tile designs. 

    (Trays from the Foundary) When you serve your guests, do it in style!  These gorgeous serving trays from the Foundary come in many different styles, the golden Lady Fern, the blue & Green Autumn Fern, and the red Quince. Pick one for your home and for a holiday gift!