Family-Friendly Decorating with Shells

Each season my family tries to bring the best of the outdoors in. In the Fall, baby boo pumpkins (the chic, chalk white kind) speckle the tables of our home; the winter brings with it deeply-hued berries; and in Spring, it’s all about dogwood and cherry blossom. Summer, however, has veered into dangerous (dare I say 'tacky'?) territory ever since my kids discovered...seashells.

Decorating with shells |
(Ph. © Cate West Zahl /
Shells—when used in small doses—can add an organic, sculptural nod to the season throughout your home. In our entryway, a grouping of conch shells found at a thrift store mix with oakleaf hydrangea from the yard, a succulent, a ceramic clementine (because why not?) and a grouping of small rocks my sons found in the yard. Frequently this gets rearranged because my 18-month old likes to take the shells, hide them, and then put them back as some sort of game. If they break, it's no problem—they cost next to nothing and it gives us an excuse to head back to the beach to replenish our collection.
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