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:
- Cottage chic
- Rustic beach cottage
- 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.
2. More seashell bathroom decor
Amp up the carefree coastal look with a seashell-covered mirror frame and ocean-themed toothbrush holders.
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.
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.
$40.00 - $50.00
$50.00 (Made to Order)
$45.00 (Made to Order)
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
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.
White Capiz Lotus Pendant Shade
Serena & lily
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.
Gardens of Versailles ~ French Yellow Gold Floral White Curtain
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.
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.
$50.00 (Made to Order)
$70.00 - $100.00
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.
Set the scene
…with a coastal table runner.
$90.00 - $110.00
$90.00 - $110.00
$90.00 - $110.00
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!
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.
$100.00 - $120.00
$130.00 - $140.00
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.
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!