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Seashell Decor For the Modern Age

Shell yes.

Seashells have joyfully kitsch appeal, best employed by home-stylers of the goddess variety.

The hottest interiors trend for Spring Summer 2019 is one for every five-year-old girl who cited “Be Ariel” as her primary career goal, and then grew into a woman who has never once covered her breasts with clam shells. Though, really, with this one, you do want to steer away from the Disney Hotel reference points and position yourself firmly on Lana Turner’s iconic clam bed.

Seashells have been washing up on the shores of our style lexicon, in seasonal waves, since glam (or should I say clam) Hollywood’s heyday; most notably during the 1980s when avocado-toned, shell-shaped toilet seats were all the rage. But I feel it in my salty waters, folks: they’re firmly in season, once again.

2018 saw the return of shell jewellery courtesy of accessories at Anna Sui, Chanel, Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, and Etro; appearing as part of otherwise and-loving looks, for a tres fash take on what was heretofore a trend only enjoyed by Monica Geller types visiting the Caribbean.

But now it's time for seashells to rule the world of interiors. The greatest thing about the seashell aesthetic is that it’s adaptable to almost any (good) interior style. For minimalist homes — all white walls, bleached wood and crumpled handmade linen — little could be apter than a natural shell chandelier or silver plated oyster condiment bowls, to add texture and talking points.

If you’re mad into midcentury, obviously, you’re going to need a plush, shell-like armchair, perhaps a brass desk lamp or some textiles in the deco take on a shell print. For girlishly contemporary types, well, your bed is already littered with shell-shaped velour cushions, in various shades of pink. Maximalists, of course, will want a little of everything. Go mixi-matchy, with shell wallpaper and fabrics, layering up the luxury with shell-shaped metal accessories.

What’s most important when maxing up on shells, and actually for any take on this trend, is that you don’t treat it, in any way, as a nautical theme. That means no rope, anchors, starfish, or any sort of white/red/navy palette combo. Instead, approach it with an almost ironic, retro-inspired flare.

Girl in shell print, €25.97, Depeapa on Etsy

Malibu blush pink chair, €498, Meadows & Byrne

Patterned wallpaper, €95 per metre, Katie Scott @

Shell Lamp, €29.99, Carraig Donn

Ashtray, €9.99, Zara Home

For more shell inspired interiors, pick up of a copy of the June issue of Irish Tatler, on shelves now.

Follow Sophie on Instagram: @kateodowdedits

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