Why not spend the holidays at the beach?

Whenever we think of Christmas and the holidays we think of snow, fireplaces, Christmas trees and comfort food. After all – that’s the good stuff! But the holidays also come with some downside: crazy family, overwhelming shopping, wrapping, baking and preparation. Even with that though, it’s hard to break with a season that’s so tied to tradition. 

That being said, bringing Christmas to the beach might be easier than you think. This month, we’re going to give you a few reasons why you might want to consider doing things a little differently this year and escape the usual. If there ever was a year to do things differently, it’s this one. 

The holiday rush is…. A lot. 

You might be surprised to hear this, but experts have suggested that there’s more stress on people during the holidays than at any other point of the year. And this has been one stressful year! Emergency rooms see more people for stress related illnesses in November and December than they do in any other period of the year. Instead of stressing, why not allow yourself a little freedom to celebrate the holidays on the beach? How about just getting away from it all and clearing your mind?

Why not start a new tradition?

It’s hard to break from a routine you’ve had for years – but this year has shown us just how important it is to be able to adapt. Maybe this beach vacation includes the same rental home every year. Or includes a local, ‘can’t miss’ holiday festival. If you and your family are up for an adventure, maybe it includes visiting a new place each year. Whatever it is – it’s good to break from routine now and then. 

Memories are the best gifts

Presents and things come and go. It’s the memories we create and the time we spend with each other that matters the most. Instead of wandering through aisles looking for the perfect present, why not focus on spending quality time with your family? We guarantee – it’ll beat any gift you can find on a shelf. 

There’s lots of deals out there

Winter is an ideal time for finding great travel deals on accommodations and attractions. If you’re not one to plan too far in advance, you can most definitely find all sorts of deals right around now that are last minute, ‘getaway’ travel packages. 

Yes, Christmas can be celebrated at the beach! You don’t have to ditch your traditions just because you’re on the coast. Pack those stockings, a book and some energy for a new experience and we promise you – Santa will find you! Hopefully, this blog gave you a little inspiration and something to think about this holiday season. Good luck and above all else – have a healthy, happy and safe holiday season!

Redesigning your living room with a coastal flair

With everyone more or less hunkered down right now, working in the comfort of our own homes; we know that winter is coming, but so are the holidays and then eventually the spring. And it’s those days that remind us all that we could all really use a getaway. And if you’re like us down here in sunny Florida, you’re dreaming of lazy days by the ocean and afternoons lounging around aimlessly in that coastal-style beach home of your dreams. 

While that real vacation has to wait, your tastes certainly don’t. And with all this time on our hands, why not think about doing a little redecorating? Why not bring a little of that coastal beach vibe to your home? If you can’t go there, bring it here!

Today, we’re going to talk specifically about your living room and some of the things that you can do to give it that perfect coastal flair. Everything we suggest in here is simple – and can be done by either getting something new or by simply using what you have a little bit better. Let’s jump right in!

First off…

You’re going to want to take into consideration exactly what you want versus what you actually need. There’s dozens and dozens of ways and styles you can go with – ranging from refined and sophisticated to eclectic and modern, so before you run into the ocean – think about what you want. 

Style and comfort

If your style leans to a more tailored and traditional look, then a Nantucket style, east coast look might be more for you. These spaces are dynamic in that they’re built for comfort and relaxation but bring with them an air of classic and sophisticated furnishings, symmetrical layouts and elegant nautical motifs. It all adds up to a chic, composed – but relaxing and welcoming space. 

Key elements

To pull together this kind of a living room, you’ll have to do the following:

A more formal layout – When it comes to these sorts of rooms, symmetry and balance are the name of the game. Chaos does not reign! The shape is what gives it its formal and elegant look and you’ll see many things within them that mirror each other – so for example two couches, matching mirrors and the like. It’s a great way to establish some sort of sense of order in your space. 

Classic and crisp – Coastal design all revolves around the concept of weaving blues, white tones and light natural hughes into your color palette. What you’ll want to go for is bold contrast- so for example, mix in that very blue sofa with creamy white pillows. Less blending, more contrasting. 

Natural material – The great thing about coastal living rooms is that you can use a whole range of natural materials you’ve found at the beach within the space to really give it a character unto itself. Driftwood, seashells, beach-themes accessories, woven rugs – you name it, it’ll fit. Don’t be shy! These are the sorts of things that giver authenticity to your space. 

It’s perfect for you if…

  • You enjoy an elegant look without elegant stuffiness
  • You want a space for conversations that can moonlight as a formal space, but mostly functions without overt grandeur.
  • Appreciate large-scale, open and versatile spaces
  • A look that’s timeless and can last for years. 

With all that downtime, you might as well have something to do, right? Hopefully these ideas gave you a little inspiration! If you’re looking for the perfect accent pieces for your space, feel free to browse our website or give us a call. Until then, stay safe, happy designing and good luck!

Shell decor that will leave you thinking of the beach year-round

Obviously, our favorite activity at the beach is collecting shells. The variety – not only in terms of the colors, but also the shapes and texture – of shells, is what makes these natural wonders such an amazing gift to use with crafts. Every time we go to the beach, there’s always a few ziplock bags full.

That being said – if you’re not like us down here in the Clearwater, FL area; you don’t always get to enjoy the beach year-round and even those that do can’t be there all the time. Today, we’re going to share a few seashell decorations that can happily remind you of the beach year-round and keep you oh-so closer to a place we all love. Let’s jump right in!

Canning Jar

Want to give your coastal kitchen a little extra kick? The old sea shells in the mason jar craft is an outstanding (and surprisingly versatile) decoration. They probably work best with stand dollars, but other types of shells can work as well. They look best in groupings of two or three and serve as a perfect rough-around-the-edges compliment.

And don’t kid yourself – this decoration can work in any kind of kitchen – even more rustic design schemes. 

Flower bed decorations 

We’ve actually mentioned this one in past blogs about a year or so ago. Sea shells can work as an interesting decorative compliment to your garden growth or can even serve as a focal point – especially in some of those extra ‘bare’ areas in and around your backyard that might need some covering up. Just a few concks or several smaller sand dollars can really add some depth and drama to your yard. 

Shell wreaths

This one is great – especially as something you can do with your kids. Especially when we’re longing for the beach during those long winters, this nice holiday accent can be a friendly reminder of warmer days ahead. You can decorate them however you like as well – whether singularly colored or multicolored and a bit busier. Either way, it’s a piece of decor that you can use year-round in your home. 

Shell magnets

If you’re like the majority of Americans, the front of your fridge is probably a mess and a few new magnets might be in order anyway. And for some of those shells you’ve never gotten around to using; shell magnets can be the perfect way to use them. And just like with shell wreaths it’s a great way to include your kids in the process. Let them make their own magnets for their own schedules, projects and artwork. You can’t go wrong!

Hopefully these ideas gave you a little inspiration about how you can use shells to help keep that beach feeling in your home year-round. Good luck and we’ll see you next month!

ON finding the best shells

Without a doubt – the best part of shelling is the hunt for great shells, itself. It’s both exciting and relaxing at the same time – which isn’t something you can say about most hobbies. Today, we’re going to let you in on a few of our trade secrets so to speak; and share our strategies and tips for not only finding the best shells; but finding them in abundance and also – how you can get the most out of your experience. 

Here’s how you can find the best shells out on the beach. Let’s jump right in!

Go early in the morning

Like they say in life ‘timing is everything’ and when it comes to shelling, the same rule holds true. Low tide is almost always the best time to go in search of shells. And even more specific than that – low tides in the spring during a full or new moon are even better. 

Not only will you find hordes of shells washed up in the sand, but you’ll be beating the crowds by being on the beach earlier. And if you’re someone who doesn’t like the heat, it’s generally cooler in the morning and the sun isn’t as bright – so overall, it’s a more comfortable experience. 

Go where others won’t

Now before we say anything – the #1 rule as always is to stay safe. No shell is worth getting hurt over, ever. That being said, there’s a lot to be said for moving to the spaces where people don’t want to – or don’t often go to. Check out the large boulders by the jetty and peak behind rocks. Turn over that piece of driftwood that washed up overnight and see what’s underneath. Climb into the mangrove clump. Be adventurous and look in less obvious places. You never know what you’ll find!

Try to stay where the sand is wet

Generally speaking, you’ll find the best (and most) shells right in or below the wrack line. The wrack line is where the tide came in the night before. You’ll most definitely find shells in the dry part of the stand, but they’ll be sun bleached and worn out a bit. The best and newer shells will be in the wet stuff. Especially when you’re dealing with things like mangrove clumps, you’ll notice they tend to hold their shells right at about the wrack line, so try to stay in that area. 

Take your time

We’ve been doing this a long time and when we think about the best pieces we’ve ever found – well, we didn’t really find them. They found us. And taking your time and not rushing is key to that. Sure, there’s an element of the hunt that’s fun! We all like the pursuit, after all. But shelling is one of those things where the best shells run into you. And the best results and experiences come from just getting lost in a little piece of real estate on the shoreline and combing through a pile of shells. And then there you have it- that all elusive Junonia. Or a laced murex, wentletrap or a gaudy natica that you just watched 15 people walk past. The joy of shelling is getting lost in it, so take your time and let yourself get lost!

Hopefully these tips will help you become better shellers. Let those waves wash away your cares and enjoy the ocean and all it has to offer!

How to make your own seashell jewelry

We’re at the time where we all love being at the beach and if you’re like us – all the shelling that comes with it! Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic we’re stuck at home and struggling to find things to do. Don’t be down though, now’s the opportunity to take on some of those projects or hobbies you’ve always wanted to try, but maybe never had the time to!

Some of our most popular products are shell jewelry and truth be told – if you have shells hanging around that you haven’t touched since last year – this is a great way to put them to use. Shells make fantastic jewelry – as they provide us with some gorgeous natural patterns and colors to add to your design. 

If you’re a first-time DIY seashell jeweler, here are some tips you can use to get the most out of your seashell jewelry. Let’s jump right in!

Go with the flow

While some designs require some precision and creativity on your part – some shells are just better off being used as-is. And what we mean by that is sometimes shells have natural holes and abrasions that make it easy to string wire through. It helps you avoid the hassle of drilling your own holes, which can damage the shell. So don’t be afraid that you have to make everything perfect. Sometimes, just going with the flow is better!

Be careful about gems

Gemstones, when used well – can really improve the look of the piece you’re trying to create. When they aren’t, they can be a monster distraction. Try to use more neutral stones and items. Pearls can add a ton of luster and can help maintain a nautical theme. Quartz and Lapis lasuli can also help keep a more delicate, coastal theme. 

Nail polish isn’t just for your nails

Shells look beautiful on their own, but if you want a piece that really sticks out, then you can paint your shells any color you like. Gloss enamel paints are great for painting shells, but there’s something you have at home that’ll work even better and that’s nail polish!

You can even use gloss to give your shells a real, professional-looking finish. Plus nail polish gives you an endless number of colors and styles to choose from – from metallic shades to loud, quirky colors for the more adventurous of us. Even better, the tiny brushes work perfect for getting in the difficult nooks and crannies that seashells have. 

Don’t worry about damage

If you break your shells via drilling or whatever else – don’t throw them away! There are still a ton of stylish ways that you can use them. There are tons of accents we use on our products every day that have damaged shells and the same should hold true for your own creations. In some cases, broken shell shards can help create dynamic, interesting statement pieces, so don’t let your waste go to waste!

Seashells are one of the most fun natural materials to work with when it comes to making jewelry. Hopefully these tips can help give you some inspiration to help pass the time and create some incredible new pieces for your jewelry box. Good luck and stay safe!

Shell decorating inspiration for prime shelling season

It’s June and the sun is shining and it’s time to head to the beach! And just in time for prime shelling season; we’re here to share another batch of inspiring ideas for sea shell decorations in your home this summer that can be appreciated and remind you of the beach year-round.

Let’s jump right in!


A great tabletop or shelf accent is putting your newly collected shells into mason or canning jars and displaying them. One way we like to do it is to find same-colored shells and organize them into a jar, then a different range of colored shells and put them in another. Set them in groups of three and they’ll give your space an awesome, new beach aesthetic.

Flower bed decorations

We discussed filling in an entire bed around your pool with shells a few months back, but even a few shells sprinkled within can give your garden a fresh, new beachy feel. And especially if you have kids or grandkids, it’ll make for some fun as they wonder how these shells washed up in your yard.

Sea Shell Shadow Boxes

These are great accents that you can make yourself. And don’t be afraid to add in some other elements like sand. You can move the box side to side and it’ll show a new mix of shells in the sand every time. It’s a great way to create and accent that is dynamic in the sense that you can switch it up now and then and give things a completely new look. It’s just one of those little things that can make a house a home.

Shell wreaths

Shell wreaths are awesome – whether you want to use them indoors or outdoors. They make an even better DIY project with the kids – as they can decorate and create however they see fit. They can moonlight as centerpieces as well making them a fun, attractive and versatile home decoration.


Another great DIY to do with the kids – shells make awesome kitchen magnets. Not only can they give your coastal kitchen that last extra coastal kick, but they can be great for your kids to display artwork, accomplishments and other memories you create with the people who matter most.

Hopefully these ideas inspire you this summer as we head into prime shelling season. Good luck and stay creative!

How to use sea shells as outdoor decorations

A lot of what we sell here is home décor and as such, we also tend to write a lot about indoor decorations. The truth is – sea shells are incredibly versatile things and when used properly, can be just as powerful as outdoor accents as well.

Here are a few of the ways you can use shells to help take your outdoor décor to the next level and create some excellent looking spaces in and around your property. Let’s jump right in!


One really cool way to decorate your gardens is to fill various planters with seashells. On the plus side – they’re not plants and you don’t have to water them – but they look outstanding. And if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even use horse conchs as glorified flower vases. However you decide to use them – shells are an amazing home garden accent and can break up your plant life in a way that gives your garden a lot of variety and character.

Seashell gardens

Sounds a little whacky right? Well you’d be amazed at how good an entire run of seashells can look in their own small seashell garden. You can fill them with whelks, conchs, olives and you name it – you can make it look outstanding. All you need to do is wash the shells and then thoroughly dry them off and they’re ready to line any abandoned bed or bring any empty, dingy looking spare space forward and make it look great. Another popular use is lining smaller walkways with them – particularly in and around patio and swimming areas. Instead of mulch or nothing – shells can bring an otherwise ambiguous space forward and really add to the overall quality of the rest of your space.

The perfect outdoor centerpiece

If you’re in warmer, coastal areas like we are here in Tampa Bay, you spend a ton of time outdoors – and outdoors sitting around a table. Plants are an obvious choice as a great decorative centerpiece but the truth is that they dry out, need to be cared for, and the like. Finding a big old Conch or even a clear, glass jar full of shells can make for an equally powerful, aesthetically pleasing centerpiece for your dining table.

And even if you’re not eating, they look great on a stack of magazines, on coffee tables, end tables and the like. Like we mentioned above, some folks even use them as mini-flower pots. Long story, short – if you’ve got a ‘living’ space outside that needs sprucing up – shells can provide you with the answer.


Hopefully some of these ideas can provide some inspiration as to some of the cool things you can do outside with seashells. If you’re looking for inspiration or the right kinds of decorations for your coastal space, check out our website or give us a call! Good luck!

How mirrors can take your coastal design to the next level

One of the most undervalued aspects of home décor are mirrors. They can help in any design, really – but they’re specifically useful when it comes to creating a more coastal space.

Not only do mirrors serve as sensational centerpieces, but they can also compliment and amplify nearly everything else around them – from existing accents, to natural assets. Not only that, but they can help create a sense of depth, space and relaxation in a way that almost no other piece of décor can.

Here are some of the ways that you can bring your coastal design to life using mirrors. Let’s jump right in!

Bring your other accents – natural and artificial – to life

The one great thing you can do with a mirror is to help bring everything that’s important in a given space to life. Have a beautiful view of the ocean? Use the reflection of the mirror to make it a central piece of artwork. Have gorgeous shell accents or other wall hangings that you want to see get a little extra love? Use the mirror to help center them or place emphasis on their being in that space.

Be strategic

A well-placed mirror not only helps the look of your home, but it can also help create the illusion that it’s much bigger than it is. This can be done by being more thoughtful about where you put your mirror – and no – it doesn’t have to be hanging on the wall to help your space pop! Consider leaving it on the floor or simply resting it on a console table to help create a unique, inspiring view. 

Keep an eye out for windows

Nothing creates depth and scope in a room than placing a mirror in view of or across from a large window. Doing so helps leverage natural light to create a brighter, livelier space. And brighter and livelier spaces are an essential ingredient of coastal designs!

Keep it smooth

Not only can mirrors help add space, depth and light to your coastal design; but the right kinds of mirrors can also help smoothen up your look. Specifically if you have way too many angles and dangles – a large, gorgeous round mirror can help smooth out the look and feel of your space. Also – the juxtaposition of round and sharp edges can have a remarkably calming effect on the people in that space.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is go with the flow and choose what’s right for you! There’s no ‘right or wrong’ here – so get creative and draw inspiration from the things around you. Good luck and have fun!


The Do’s and the Don’ts of coastal design

There’s an old saying out there that goes something along the lines of that knowing what not to do is sometimes just as important as what you should do and well, there’s certainly something to that. It definitely applies to coastal design as well and that’s what the topic of this month’s blog is going to be all about.

Here are some of the do’s and don’t of coastal design. Hopefully these tips will help you create a better, more enjoyable space. Let’s jump right in!

Do: Design around a color palette

Don’t: Design around a theme

Staying away from a theme is probably the best way to get started designing your modern, coastal home. Themes come and go, while look and feel doesn’t. And if you design a cohesive and harmonious coastal design, you can keep things to three main colors with one or two accents. This will keep your space centered without excessively driving home the point of a theme that might be outdated in a year.

Do: Add coastal elements

Don’t: Go overboard

We’re big proponents of ‘less is more’ in the sense that having coastal accents and elements in your room is essential. It can even define a space. But too much? Well, let’s just be blunt. Your home is by the sea. It’s not the actual sea. Keep it simple by sticking t o a few of your favorites.

DO: Use lots of natural light

Don’t: Add cold, artificial light

People really underestimate how much of a difference lighting can make in any one, single space. Beaches are synonymous with rand, rolling waves and sunny days. Good coastal design should incorporate as much natural light as possible. Think well lit and airy. If you have to use artificial light, think about how it can accent the general lighting.

Do: Go with weathered wood

Don’t: Carpet your floor

Driftwood-ish like texture and colors give coastal homes a real sense of balance and place. What you don’t want to do is carpeting your floors. While the occasional accent rug can really bring everything together, we’re more of the belief that adding lots and lots of rug can make a coastal room feel stuffy. Go with as much hardwood as you can and if you must – choose a carpet that accents a room – not one that takes it over.

We hope these tips provide you with a little inspiration. And of course – if you need the perfect accent to your new coastal space, give us a call today! Good luck!


Coastal Design vs. Hamptons Design: the difference

While our business mostly deals in shells and accessories – we do get lots of questions about how the things we sell fit into certain coastal design concepts. And one thing we notice that our customers get confused about regularly – is the difference between certain beach design themes – most notably coastal design style and Hamptons design style.

That being said, it’s pretty easy to do. The two styles share a lot in common. But when it comes to the details and overall feel – the two are worlds apart. Today, we’re going to spell out that difference for you so you know the difference! Let’s jump right in.

Florals and botanicals

Florals and botanicals is the one area of design where you’ll notice the most distinct difference between the two design styles. In a Hampton home, lilies and white roses are almost always part of the package – both inside and outside. Coastal homes are marked with more lush plants like snake plants, palms and succulents. As we progress, you’ll see that Hamptons Design relies on more traditional colors, smoother tones and a more traditional, wealthy and dignified look. Beach themes are more Earthy, natural, casual and laid back. The floral patterns and botanicals, well – they fit that description for both.

Accent colors

Neutrals are almost always the basis for both Hamptons and Coastal style homes. The difference comes from the accents, highlights and colors that pop. Coastal designs like both the laid back and lively aspects of beachfront living. Colors like yellow, coral and turquoise are a staple in this design family. Hamptons, go for more of a stately approach – with darker tones like Navy and stone featured prominently.


When it comes to coastal homes –think rough, rugged, but also laid back. Things like shells, driftwood and natural elements are almost always the focus of the feel of these homes. Think of laid back, as-it-is beach front living. Hamptons designs are more of the high life on the beach. Here, you’ll see things like dark, polished and smooth finishes like walnut and rosewood. Even when it comes to accessories, you’ll notice things like polished shells and stones and a more ‘put together’ ambiance.


By now, you’re probably noticing a theme – of formal vs. casual and as you’ve probably guessed – that holds true here, too. In coastal-designed homes – expect more casual. In coastal homes it doesn’t matter if you swap out a scatter cushion for a bright colored accent cushion and some trendy prints. On the other hand – traditional patterns are more the norm in Hamptons style homes – patterns like paisleys, geometrics and brocade. One tells you to unbutton your collar and sink deep into your sofa. The other tells you to get ready for a snazzy, beach front social hour. Either way – you can’t go wrong!


Hopefully you’ve got an idea of what the differences between the two styles are. And don’t come to us looking for a preference – as we think both look incredible! Whichever route you choose, we can help you find accessories that help take your design to the next level. Give us a call today and we’re happy to talk. Good luck!

Shell Shopping