Life in a Seashell

It has occurred to me recently that I may be trying to live my life inside of a seashell.

Three shells for blog

How did I make this discovery? It began when we stayed for a week in a gorgeous house overlooking Mono Lake. The owner decorated it in a very southwestern, rustic way. It was really beautiful. It felt like we were inside of a Georgia O’Keefe painting.

view from wild rose w: porch

Cow skull on porch

And even though I loved it, and appreciated the owner’s efforts, it wasn’t my kind cozy. It wasn’t my home. That got me thinking about the worlds we create for ourselves in our homes. What we choose to put in them says something about us. So what about my house? Did it have a theme?

I live a block from the ocean, so in some ways our house is a beach house. There’s always sand on the floor, for example. And most days we can hear the ocean when we open the windows. But when I think of a beach house I think of nautical themes like anchors or model boats. I think of cute signs saying ‘I’d rather be sailing’ and walls hung with paintings of the ocean. That’s not really us.

So I figured we were just sort of vaguely cute cottage-like people. And that’s an okay style to have. But then I fell in love with some new dishes and it all became clear.

new dishes

I found these on sale and it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t just the pattern I loved, though I do adore the old fashioned look of these. It was the color… they reminded me of a sea shell. And they reminded me of me, and my house and all the colors we’ve chosen so far. And then I knew. Our home is full of sandy colors and muted light and quiet warm tones. We’re not a beach house, we’re a seashell house.

dish detail

After that realization, I started seeing my seashell colors everywhere. I looked around my home, and sure enough, there the colors were. A soft, inside-a-seashell pink in one room.

Pink seashell wall

Pale yellow, like sun hitting the sand, in another.

yellow wall and metal art

Furniture I’ve painted? Seashell.

piano detail

On my bathroom walls, my window sill, my mantel? Seashells.

Seashell and mermaid shelf

My seashell theme even crept into my author life. I’d recently spruced up my website and this blog with colors that felt very authentic to me. I brought up the site and sure enough – sea shell hues.

My style has at times been disparaged by certain people as too girly or too cute. But why not live in a seashell? Or a Georgia O’Keefe painting? Or in whatever type of decor feels like you? Our homes should be a refuge and a place to recharge. Apparently I recharge inside of a seashell.

Is your home filled with the colors and things that you love? If not, is it possible to add a few touches? Because I think we all need our own version of my seashell. A place that surrounds us, and reflects our nature back to us, and truly feels like home.

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