Inspired by the Sea

I love decorating.  If I could, I’d spend all of my free time shopping and sewing, fluffing and rearranging, hanging and stacking, thinking and dreaming, measuring and calculating, folding and trimming…oh, and pinning on Pinterest!  {Follow my boards, here.}  It’s something I love to do.  And while I’m far from the Garment District and NOHO in New York, where some of the best fabric and home stores are located – (Who am I kidding?  I’d take a well-stocked Home Goods!) – I accept the challenge.

Living in the BVI means having to improvise, and yes, that includes stuffing yards of ikat fabric into my suitcase when traveling in the states, and yes, that means DIY projects when I get home.  But with the beautiful sea things all around us, decorating is also made easier in many ways.  Take for instance what a little sea shell collecting can do…


I remember vividly finding this beautiful conch on top of a conch mound, hidden in the lagoons of Beef Island, near the airport.  I was on a stand-up paddle board.  (Here’s that story…)

And these sea shells (pictured below) all came from Smuggler’s Cove.  The eastern end of the beach is covered with these shells that have been battered by the waves for who knows how long?  In a bowl from Anthropologie, in front of some nautical painted frames, they look nice, don’t they?


One of my favorite collectibles from the beach is the sea urchin…  With its fivefold symmetry, the beautiful shell (or “test,” as it’s scientifically named) is a work of art.  It’s perfection.

photo(3)Here is a closer look at these fascinating urchins:

imageMichael and I collected all of these nearly in one day.  We kayaked over to Honeymoon Beach on Scrub Island and there they were!  Hundreds of them littering the beach!  I’ve been back a few times, and I’ve been lucky to find two or three.

Another way I’ve incorporated these beach finds into my decor is through a wall display of sea fans.


I had a local carpenter cut pieces of 4X4 wood into small triangles, which made perfect little shelves for each of the sea fans.  Because not all of them were the natural pretty purple or citron color, I spray painted a few in silver.  I like how much space they occupy collectively.  It’s organic and could expand as I find other sea fans.  (And it should be noted, all of these sea fans were found on the beach – none were taken from the precious living coral reefs.)

For more beach-inspired looks for the home, from a professional, check out all of these pins of India Hicks respite in the Bahamas.

One response to “Inspired by the Sea

  1. So many good ideas. I’ve got lots of the same treasures as you, just displayed differently. I do love how you’ve displayed the fans. How do you attach them to the wood? I tried poster putty on some if mine and they fell down. Womp, womp, womp!

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