Collect your coastal finds and let stylist Sally Denning and photographer Benjamin Edwards guide you in the art of seaside-themed display.
Beachcombing often yields ocean treasures that make fascinating decorative features for a coastal or coastal-themed home. Don’t be afraid to use items found by the coast. Washed-up shells, corals, driftwood and beach finds, displayed on their own or in a group, can look really effective. The sea washes up all manner of treasures, some of which are works of art in their own right. The chances are these items have been weathered, washed and battered by the waves and the elements, and are rich in texture and patina. Look out for pieces of driftwood as you walk along the shoreline – the early morning or low tide is the best time for beachcombing. It’s also worth keeping an eye open for unusual items that will contribute to a beautiful textural still life – feathers, pieces of coral, shells or battered wooden buoys. Sometimes keeping it simple is key to the display, as it’s the textures that make it interesting. Try to arrange things in clusters or groups of three – using items of different sizes and heights usually works well. Small items, such as sea glass or attractively coloured pebbles, look good piled up in glass jars.
GIVE NATURE A HAND
Corals are beautiful intricate natural forms, but these days it’s not advisable to buy anything that might have been harvested from already endangered reefs. Instead, choose from the vast array of faux coral designs – try Kelly Hoppen (kellyhoppen.com), India Jane (indiajane. co.uk) or Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com) – that won’t harm the coral reefs yet look as good as the real thing.
SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS
The beautiful shapes of seashells provide ample inspiration and can be used as a decorative centrepiece. The sea often brings up attractive shells that are no longer inhabited by any form of creature, but nowadays it’s best to choose faux resin versions for a more environmentally friendly approach. Try Rockett St George (rockettstgeorge.co.uk), Nordic House (nordichouse.co.uk) and Woodpecker Interiors (woodpeckerinteriors.co.uk).
When you go beachcombing look out for a mix of textures for your display - here a cool, wave-rounded pebble, impasto oil painting, beloved book and windblown fir twig combine. Feathers, straw hats and driftwood add wonderful interest too.
Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning is available to readers for the special price of £14.99 including P&P (rrp £19.99) by telephoning Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quoting the reference PR2.