Monday, April 12, 2010


Once upon a time, all furniture was made of rock. This is when people lived in caves, essentially spaces between rocks. Rocks were uncomfortable and impossible to rearrange, but they were inexpensive and readily available (no delivery fee). Eventually people moved out of caves and started building furniture of wood, although homes and other buildings were still made of rock. For example:

Years ago, I visited the home of artist César Manrique on Lazarote in the Canary Islands (off the Atlantic coast of Morocco). César built his landmark home in the underground lava tubes that were left beyond by long-ago volcanic eruptions. In some places the house looked pretty much like a cave. In others, it looked a lot like a hip club of the 1970s in a Manhattan basement.

 As you can see, César had the good sense to put cushions on his rock furniture. Although, what could be more appropriate than this Metamorphosis chair made by Ian Blasco (a RISD grad who lives in Colorado)? It looks like something carved out of lava, but it’s really layered polypropylene. So it’s not as good for exfoliating as the real thing, but it's better for sitting.

Actually, my inspiration for this little post is twofold. First is a home that ran in METROPOLITAN HOME before the magazine was assassinated in November of 2009. It’s a restored Eichler house in northern California, and it sports this living room with organic-shaped furniture by Jean-Marie Massaud for Cassina and Cappelliini and a spectacular tapestry by Alan Magee called “Stones.” Good title. (The photo is by Shaun Sullivan),

And the second inspiration was this amazing set of sheets from GAN, the textiles division of Gandia Blasco, the noted Spanish furniture company.

There is no explaining personal taste, of course, but when I saw this picture, I just went “I want them!” It was visceral. Not a hint of superego involved. It was id at first sight.

As lovers of history know, the ancients made art out of pebbles:

Now you can make artistic décor with the help of pebble tile. They install like ceramic tile, so you don’t have to create that backsplash or shower stall with individual pebblettes. These, from StrataStones cost about $15.99/sq. ft. but happen to be on sale right now for $10.99/sq. ft.

To furnish your rock-sold residence, you may want to consider something from the Livingstones collection by Stéphanie Marin. This is gorgeous, comfortable interior couture.

Or how about this console table from James Murphy Design, which is made of black-lacquered American white oak, tempered glass, and sea stone. It’s 72”l x 18”w x 33”h and can be custom-sized.

For some heavy duty pieces, consider this table by Belgian artist/designer Lex Pott. It’s made of bluestone and it’s not going to wobble, although it might make some deep impressions on your carpet.

Another heavyweight is this stunning chaise, originally designed for outdoor use.  

It’s cut from a single piece of travertine and measures 26”w x 63”l x 22”h and comes in Silver Travertine and Travertino Romano (

South African textile designer Ronel Jordaan has set up a women’s workshop that produces Felted Wool Stones that range from 12” x 14” x 5” up to “31” x 27” x 16”—big enough for sitting (

The German company, Architects Paper even makes wall coverings that mimic the look of various stone surfaces. They're pretty convincing, especially at a distance.

If you dip and doodle around the Internet for a little while, you’ll find rock/stone/pebble lamps and place mats, candlesticks, cake servers, area rugs, pretty much anything you could want. But restrain yourself. You don’t want to look like you live in a Flintstones theme park.

And remember, just because something exists...

...doesn't mean you have to have it! —ML


  1. Thanks Michael for the rock theme blog. I enjoyed it. If I ever get to re do my bathroom I will use the rock back splash!

  2. Uber scribe. You rock, Michael. Cheers!