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The New Back to the Past

August 07, 1986

Civilization seems to have come full circle. Prehistoric people used stones for plates; now we make plates that look like stones. Centuries ago, letters were etched into rock; now we write letters on rock-patterned paper. Ponder this. But know that marble and granite patterns are the latest thing in home design. Boulder-inspired decor hasn't been so popular since "The Flintstones."

"It's the influence of architecture on design," says a spokeswoman for Villeroy and Boch, the European china company that helped start the trend with a collection of marbleized serving plates and covered jars. "The faux look in general is still very popular, and this trend hasn't yet peaked. It's continuing."

When Villeroy and Boch introduced these marbleized patterns, they were seen mostly as accessories. But now companies such as Mikasa are making complete marbleized dinnerware sets. Apparently, the public is ready to eat off stones again. For fall, Valley stores will carry products by the Italian stationery firm Il Papiro, which is reviving the marbleized bookbinding look in pencils, boxes and other desk items. Also keep your eye out for stone-patterned lamps and marble-painted furniture.

"I think this trend is a result primarily of the renewed interest in neo-classicism," says Jerry Balest, the director of home furnishings for Bullock's, which has its largest home furnishings department in Sherman Oaks. That makes sense. After all, when architects--who normally deal in stone rather than porcelain and paper--bring their designs indoors, you might expect them to also sneak in a few of their materials.

FO

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