how to display sea shells

Coastal Home Decor DIY -Ideas On How To Display Your Beach Treasures

Displaying Your Beach Treasures|DIY Coastal Home Decor

Today I’m sharing some easy, creative ideas for displaying your beach treasures that will bring a level of authenticity to your coastal home decor. I feel that in order for coastal styling to be truly authentic you need to go directly to the source and incorporate some of the natural beauty into your coastal home design. It resonates far more strongly than lots of decorative items straight off the shelf of a store. If you’re a beachcomber like myself then you know the exciting jolt you get when you find interesting shells, driftwood, coral, beach glass, or other beach treasures …and then you get home and empty your treasures on a table and think, “now what?”    Let’s look at some creative and easy ideas for displaying your beach treasures and bringing the natural beauty of the seaside into your home so you can create your own unique coastal home decor.

coastal treasures

Create a Vignette

Nothing excites me more than creating vignettes using found objects.  I know, it’s a little weird, but I love it.  Nothing delights me more than a group of whitewashed-framed mirrors and a shelf made from a piece of driftwood on a muted gray wall.  I love displaying bits of driftwood, sea fans, or coral throughout a home where nothing is permanently placed. I think of vignettes as telling a visual story about you and your home. The beauty of creating vignettes is that they can easily be reinvented depending on your whim – maybe it’s a  change of season or a new beach find that inspires you to mix it up.   Keep your vignettes fresh and have fun exploring your inner-designer!

Three Easy Steps For Creating A DIY Coastal Home Decor Vignette

  1. Choose an item as the center of interest, the “anchor” of your vignette. Choose something you love to see every day that expresses both your personality and that of your home. It will be the first point on which the viewer’s eye rests.
  2. Once your anchor object is in place, position your second tallest accessory, most often this will be a lamp. Then begin layering your other accessories from back to front keeping your smallest objects until last. Group your objects in odd numbers for maximum impact.  Objects grouped in three or five tend to be more visually pleasing than pairs of objects, but experiment and see what looks right to you. Pay attention to the scale and form of each item.
  3. Don’t be afraid to step back and edit.  I frequently stand back from my work and tweak different elements.  Vignettes aren’t meant to be permanent, nor is there a “right way” to create or display anything.  Go with your gut.  Your home is a style laboratory waiting to be played with!
Shabby Chic Vignette

Romantic styling of coastal treasures

sea coral bottles vignette

Simple styling with sea coral bottle and vintage books

Large clam shell as the focal point is perfectly balanced by the pair of lamps

This large clam shell serves as the focal point is perfectly balanced by the pair of lamps

shell display

{source: Sandcastles, Interiors Inspired by the Coast}

Use Your Walls

Using your walls helps to make the most of the space in your home and prevents over cluttering of tables. Frames are an excellent way to display a coastal collection on the wall. I love finding vintage, odd frames at flea markets, I think it adds another layer of character to your home.  Another idea is to add wall shelves and prop your coastal home decor collection up for all to see. It’s great way to open up your space. Also, think about creating shadow boxes to add a touch of dimension.

Gallery of coral finds

{image Annie Schlechter}

Coastal Farmhouse wall display

Fishing floats bundled together with an antique mirror shaped like a porthole work perfect together in this space.


creating a coastal style home

Simple and elegant grouping

coastal decor

True Coastal Farmhouse style. {HGTV Dream Home 2003}

Find Interesting Vessels

Part of the fun of displaying my collections of coastal finds is finding interesting containers to hold my treasures.  Vintage coastal home decor items like rusty wire oyster baskets are great, as are various sizes of glass jars and baskets, furniture such as hutches make a big statement as a display case.  Shelves, lanterns, fireplace mantels, on top of a column…think outside the box and let your imagination run!


coastal decor antique urn

Just Gorgeous! {image DebraHallLifestyle blog}


coastal home decor

love the scale and unexpectedness


how to display driftwood

Love displaying lots of driftwood together

cabinet of shells

Beautiful cabinet showcasing a collection all similar in size.


For even more inspiration and ideas on coastal home decor click here.