June 27, 2017

Summer Home Tour 2017

Come on in! Thanks for coming for a tour of my home to see
my summer decorations that are (finally) in place. 

Right inside the front door there is not much of a foyer.
We are basically in the dining room already. 

The centerpiece this year is pretty simple but abundant with
shells and starfish.  

This year I hot glued shells to all kinds of things to give 
them a more summery look...I say they are "shell-ified". 

The rope circle around the base of the urn was once a
summer wreath itself! Now it has shells galore (some glued
on, some just sitting in place) to adorn it. 

Behind the dining table is an antique chest/hutch that got a
 summery white chalk paint makeover a few years ago.

This year it is holding my faux coral and faux seafans.
They are easy to make and allow the real coral and 
seafans to stay in the ocean. 

I'm opening the glass doors for you. It's hard to photograph
things behind the wavy glass. Beware, some mess, sorry. 

I thought when I painted the inside of the hutch blue/green
with my DIY chalk paint that I would need to change it 
when summer was over but it actually looks fine all year. 

Also in the dining room is a buffet that is holding more
shell-ified items and has a shell print over it.

At the end of the post, if you would like to stick around,
I'll show you some tips on using shells for summer decor. 

This white frame stays here most of the year but gets
the picture changed out seasonally.  

The box was shell-ified by somebody else...I bought it that
way ($8) and sat one of my few big shells on top of it. 

Next to the buffet on a skirted stand is my Beach Boy.
He gets to hold all kinds of seasonal decor through the year.

Beach Boy transitions us into the living room.
On your left is a wall that has another summer display.

Obviously, I have an issue with painting stuff white
but things just looks fresher and lighter to me that way.

The sideboard, lantern, frames and even the seahorse
have been chalk painted.

The wooden boxes' shapes reminded me of wooden buoys
so they got painted to (hopefully) look like that. 

My "sea sayings" came back out this year to be on the
framed chicken wire. I thought I had more of the faux
aged sayings but shells were hung to fill the blank spaces.

The lantern glass is glaring so I'm opening the door
for you to see the originally-lime-green seahorse.

The battery-operated candles don't look that good during the
day but they automatically come on at dusk and look cozy.

Across from the sideboard is the sofa. It's pillows get 
different covers put on them seasonally. 
I know  this area looks kind of bare. Actually my elderly mother lives with me and usually her recliner is
right next to the sofa...I pulled it out so it would not be in the picture. 

I like to put Turkish corners on my pillows. If you want to learn how click on this post. 

The focal point of the living room is the fireplace and
bookcases. The picture over the mantel gets changed out too.

Right now, it is a print that reminds me of our Alabama beaches. 

Even though I re-use my summer accessories year after
year, they wind up in different places from year to year. 

These faux Japanese fishing floats got bunched together
for this year to be the main mantel decor. 
The floats that look really good came from Hobby Lobby...the brown ones and the blue one on the far left. 
The other ones are my attempts at DIYing floats by painting clear Christmas balls and putting netting or
twine around them. I haven't perfected any one technique.

Other items I look forward to seeing again every summer

The single bookcase is the the left of the fireplace.

If  you want to see how these buoys from the clearance shelf at Hobby Lobby went from drab to fab click here. 

The double bookcase is to the right of the fireplace. 

This specimen-type shell display is SO easy to make. Stretch and secure fabric on a piece of 
foamcore which has been cut to fit in a frame. Glue shells on the fabric. 

So that's the living room...now for the kitchen table.

Surprise! More shells.

This cute basket was made from pine needles by my
talented sister-in-law...such patience. 
If you want to see more of her work and contact information click here. 

This wooden bowl holds the left over shells that
didn't get used other places. They are not arranged or staged 
so I encourage visitors to rummage through them and enjoy
looking at the amazing shells of summer. 

That's it for the summer home tour.
Here are some tips/tricks for using shells in decorating...

Almost all of my shells have come from Hobby Lobby ,
Michaels and Dollar Tree. The best deals are for the baskets 
or bags of assorted shells and use a discount coupon. 

I did a quick internet search and found that Amazon,
Oriental Trading and Etsy also have sea shells in bulk.
When you are using shells as fillers for opaque containers
fill the containers most of the way up with plastic bags,
paper, etc. so you won't be wasting your shells where
they will not be seen. 

If you think the filler material might be seen, make a layer
of flat common shells to cover it up. Then put your best 
shells on top of the flat shells. 

Another example of filling container before adding shells..

See-through containers are also great for displaying shells.
Here are some ideas from a summer centerpiece
on my dining room table a few years ago...

The shells were attached to the candle with a dab of hot glue. 

Another way to use shells in clear vases is to put
shells in the bottom of the vase. Add water. Place
floating candles on top of the water and light them.

The water magnifies the shells. The flickering candlelight
makes interesting shadows on the shells. These would be
very pretty for centerpieces for a party or wedding. 

You can also do this technique on a smaller scale too.

Shells can also be attached to items to make them seem
summery. If you use just a small amount of hot glue to
attach the shells to a firm unevenish surface, they usually
 pop off pretty easily when summer is over. 

Here are some candle sticks that are going to shell-ized.

When you decide which shells you want where, hold the
shell against the surface and see where the shell touches.
The shell surface is uneven and it may only touch in a couple
of places...that's where you put a dab of hot glue. Hold it in 
place until the glue can hold the shell on its own. 

Luckily the shells are light and it doesn't take long.

The urn on the dining room table was shell-ified too.

If you want the shells on an item long term, you can use a 
stronger glue to attach them to the item. 

This yard sale mirror was painted white then had shells glued
around the flat surface with E6000 glue. On the top shelf is
a picture frame that has shells glued around the edge. Easy!
If you want to hang shells (like I did on the framed chicken
wire) you can do that by gluing a curved wire on the shell.
My favorite wire to use is aluminum wire that you can find
in the floral section of craft stores or Dollar Tree.

The aluminum wire cuts easily and bends easily to the shape 
of the shell.  Cut the wire long enough to also bend and
 make a hanging hook. Put hot glue on the part of the wire
 that will touch the shell. Press the wire against the 
shell and hold until glue cools.

Even the front door wreath has shells as a finishing touch.
The base of the wreath was originally one that I made to
be able to use by changing out the decor on top, it could
be used for different seasons and occasions. It is tired now.

I added another layer of  a different color of deco mesh to 
the tired base. If you want to make a similar one you can
follow the directions in the post Multi-Color Mesh Wreath.

You can see on the base that I used pipe cleaners to attach
the mesh. I am fresh out of pipe cleaners so I am going to
use zip ties to attach the darker mesh. 
If you would like to see in more detail how to use zip ties on mesh wreaths, click here. 

Much fluffier now. I could stop there and attach summer 
things but I have some mesh that reminds me of fishermen's
nets so I have to use that too...also attached with zip ties.

After the ends of the zip ties were trimmed, small faux 
fishing floats were zip tied on and shells were hot glued on.

Close up of top of wreath

Close up of bottom of wreath

Pinnable collage

I hope you are having a great summer!


  1. WOW! I love your Summer coastal look. All the seashells, faux coral and floats are fabulous.

  2. Absolutely beautiful ~ thank you for the inspiring post!

  3. Your summer home tour is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations, you are being featured at tomorrow's Vintage Charm party! Blessings, Cecilia

  4. Kitty, I grew up near the Texas Gulf Coast, so your seashell summer decor brings back memories of walks on the beach. I always took home a pocket full of shells, and we would put them in a basket.

  5. Hey, Kitty- What did you do...rob a shell factory? Holy Shellfish!!! You did a fantastic job of decorating with a seashore theme. I love it...and next year when we are in our "new" home, I am going to copy a few of YOUR ideas. Then you can call me Miss Kopy Kat's Kopy Kat.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. xo Diana

  6. That was such a lovely tour of your home. I live near the beach but have never seen shells used in such a lovely way before. Thank you for sharing your tutorials with us too. I host a link party that runs every Friday and would love to have you join us.


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