Interiors Trend Watch: Shells
Interiors Trend Watch: Shells

Interiors Trend Watch: Shells

First, the fashion world fell hard for shells and now, interior designers are using them everywhere. From their sentimental and feminine appeal to their practical, durable qualities, here’s why and how to incorporate them in your home.
By Georgina Blaskey

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“Nearly every person picks up shells on the beach and takes them home, so they often encapsulate good memories,” explains artist Blott Kerr-Wilson. “They remind you of the holidays you’ve loved and the people you were with. Some people give me their own collections to incorporate into my designs, or they like to use local shells to connect to their home and surroundings.”

Blott’s talent with shells was first noticed when her crustacean-clad bathroom won an interiors magazine competition and since then, she’s had people calling to ask if she can create a bespoke design for them. “I’ve had a range of requests over the years, but I do think bathrooms work particularly well as the steam changes the colours of shells – just avoid using them in the shower where grime can get stuck in the gaps,” she advises. For common mussel shells – her favourite for their beautiful colours, along with mother of pearl –  Blott sources from Florida and the Philippines, often through shell dealers. 

Many homeware brands are following Blott’s lead. Initially known for her tablescapes, Mrs Alice has recently expanded into shell-encrusted mirrors. “Combining Mediterranean magic and artisan skill, our mirror is a timeless piece that will lend itself to many décor styles,’ she explains. “Handcrafted, it has been adorned with delicate white shells in an intricate design that will instantly bring a coastal feel to your home.”

Lucy Barlow, of Barlow & Barlow, also used shells when decorating and designing Kin House. "We were thinking about creating a show-stopping piece of art, which offered a fun photo opportunity, so we commissioned Mel Campion to create a younger and more modern take on the shell grotto, which she did wonderfully," she explains. "Led by the original architecture, there was a stone scallop pediment above the door and we wanted to create a fun nod to its heritage, thus the grotto was born. The shells have a metallic finish which, when the light hits, ripples through the space creating gorgeous light reflections and dapples on the walls and floor. We thought they we so uplifting and visually interesting – a real mood booster but also something for the inquisitive mind."

Katherine Lloyd


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