11 Ways to Decorate With Seashells for a Breezy Coastal Home

Saffron Marigold - Updated: February 11, 2023

For some reason, seashells bring out our inner kid. Maybe it has something to do with fond memories collecting every shape and size at the beach, pockets overflowing with these gifts from the sea…If you’re like us and love the way they look sprinkled throughout a coastal style home, then take a look at these 11 ways to decorate with seashells.

What style is seashell decor?

The first design style that comes to mind when we hear seashells is coastal style, but seashell decor can be adapted to fit various themes:

  • Modern
  • Cottage chic
  • Rustic beach cottage
  • Mediterranean
  • Boho
  • Old world/Traditional/Rococo

How can you decorate with seashells?

Seashell wreaths and seashell-filled jars are a popular DIY project, but there are so many other ways to incorporate these whimsical decor into your home. From seashell linens to seashell lamps, here are nine ways to embody the coastal vibe.

1. Seashell curtain for a classic nautical theme

This works especially well in the bathroom, surrounded by blue and white decor, distressed furniture, and cottage teal accessories.

Pacific Blue (CP) ~ Rustic Navy Ocean Oriental Kitchen Curtain

2. More seashell bathroom decor

Amp up the carefree coastal look with a seashell-covered mirror frame and ocean-themed toothbrush holders.

Elegant Shells

Queen’s Bounty, Large Seashell Mirror

Enchanted Home Livin Co

Shell Shape Toothbrush Holder

3. Seashell centerpieces

Whether a large, iridescent seashell bowl or a sphere resembling a floral bouquet, a seashell centerpiece is a fine addition to dining tables, entryway console tables, and coffee tables.

Be Home

Seashell Footed Dish


Medium Seashell Ball

4. Seashell pillows and pillow shams

For the living room, guest room, or bedroom, these seashell pillow covers from Pacific Blue are a match made in heaven for coastal chic themes.

Pair with pillows featuring the main print of our Pacific Blue collection or plain white covers.

5. Seashell accent lamps

Seashell lamps can look too crafty, but quality lamps such as these shell-filled lamp bases or this turtle-shaped stained glass limpet lamp demonstrate fine craftsmanship.

SW Florida Vibes

Shell Filled Lamps

Mountain Highland

Turtle Seashell/Limpet Table Lamp – Stained Glass Method

6. Seashell wreath

There’s no shortage of styles when it comes to seashell wreaths. For example, the first wreath below adds a touch of farmhouse feel to your front door.

By contrast, the second featured wreath imparts an absolutely classic coastal look with its abundant, colorful display.

Zipper Fish USA

Nautical Wreath for Front Door, Oyster Shell Wreath

Beach Grass Cottage

Beach Decor Seashell Wreath

7. Sophisticated seashell lanterns and light fixtures

Seashell decor doesn’t have to look like your basic scallop or conch, either. Capiz shell decor and tiny clamshells strung together in the same color are so versatile.

For instance, you could easily create a Rococo-inspired home built around light fixtures such as these below.

World Market

White Capiz Lotus Pendant Shade

Serena & lily

Aptos Hurricane

A touch of elegance

Did you know Rococo style was infused with seashell motifs? Wood carvings, appliques, dishes, and furnishings featured scrolling shells and florals.

In fact, Rococo originated from the word ‘Rocaille,’ which means ‘rock work,’ referring to the rock and seashell design elements featured in gardens of 17th and 18th century upperclassmen.

If you’re into this vintage style, complement your elegant seashell decor with Versailles, our French-inspired print of yellow gold and silver.

Burke Decor

Boardwalk Shell Jewelry Box

8. Framed seashell wall art

Looking for more modern ideas for displaying seashells? How about this minimalist work of art? The same species of shell in varying sizes make up this classy, radial design.

Photo: Jamie Young Co.

Pairs beautifully with coastal chic linens

Tie everything together with a fresh take on coastal textiles—try our Casablanca Blues collection in either white or royal blue.

9. Seashells in a basket or tray

Dying to show off your beloved seashells in common areas? Arrange them organically on a wooden tray or bowl, and keep them on the coffee table or dining table.

Feature different colors, shapes, and sizes for a mesmerizing display.

Photo: The How To Home

Set the scene

…with a coastal table runner.

10. Use them as air plant holders

Ammonites, nautilus shells, urchin shells, and murex species are the best for housing air plants. Keep them on a window sill, work desk, or custom stands like the ones pictured below. Beautiful!

Photo: Succulents Network

11. Seashell curtains for a coastal kitchen

Fun and inviting, a coastal kitchen is so, so fun to decorate. Seashell curtains bring a playfulness to your kitchen, and you can carry that energy over to the dining room with coastal tablecloths and napkins.

Pacific Blue (CP) ~ Rustic Navy Ocean Asian Window Valance

How do you attach seashells to a wall?

Make sure the wall is clean and dry, no matter if the wall is rough-textured or smooth. First, apply glue to the seashell, then press the shell onto the wall for at least one minute. Follow your glue’s instructions for best results, but smaller shells will be easier to attach than larger ones.

When you want to attach seashells directly to a wall, you can use epoxy glue, silicon sealant, or a polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue or similar brand).

Another DIY you can try is gluing the seashells onto a plank of wood or frame. For a boho look, string seashells of varying sizes and hang them off of a piece of driftwood, like this charming accessory below.

Photograph of seashells strung together and hanging off of a driftwood on a blank white wall

How can you display a lot of seashells?

Want to show off your ocean finds?

  • Display them on a tray table
  • Keep them in a shadow box
  • Glue them to a large plant pot
  • Glue them around a mirror frame
  • Gather them in a decorative bowl
  • Place them in a clear glass vase
  • Display a few in a stylish cloche
  • Arrange them on a kitchen shelf

More coastal home ideas

Read one of our design guides on coastal style to elevate your ocean-inspired space!

Coastal Cottage Style

Coastal Bedding Ideas

Coastal Christmas Decor