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Decorating with Shells and Coral

Now that summer's here and more trips to the beach are around the bend, the itch for coastal-themed décor always seems to spike – and one way to satisfy the urge is to use shells and coral. The cool thing about shell and coral décor is that it can be subtle or bold, or blended in with other décor to achieve a beach-y balance without sending the feel of the room overboard, so to speak. These deep-sea décor elements can be presented in image only, like this: [caption id="attachment_22029" align="aligncenter" width="240"]<a title="Decorative Shell Pillow" href="http://www.atgstores.com/decorative-pillows/betsy-drake-interiors-hj606-coastal-shell-decorative-pillow_9460240.html?linkloc=reCanonical" rel="attachment wp-att-22029" target="_blank"><img class=" wp-image-22029 " title="Decorative Shell Pillow" src="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/shellpillow-300x300.jpg" alt="Decorative Shell Pillows" width="240" height="240" /></a> Sleepin' with the fishes ... in a good way.[/caption] Or, in real life, like this: [caption id="attachment_22020" align="aligncenter" width="243"]<a title="Shell Cheese Knives" href="http://www.atgstores.com/flatware/foreign-affairs-1012105945-mesa-spreading-knives-set-of-4_11461082.html?linkloc=reCanonical" rel="attachment wp-att-22020" target="_blank"><img class=" wp-image-22020 " title="Shell Knives" src="http://ourblog.atgstores.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/shellknives-300x300.jpg" alt="Shell Spreading Knives" width="243" height="243" /></a> Possibly stolen from Poseidon's kitchen.[/caption] <strong>Organic Shell and Coral Origins</strong> Coral and shells are created from the secretions of sea creatures and are not a living things. They're exoskeletons for the animals that live inside them. Their varied colors are the result of different chemicals in the secretions that mix with the calcium carbonate that make up the shell or coral structure. Most of these beautiful natural doodads are collected after the animal dies or are harvested as a process of aqua farming. It’s important to avoid products that are a result of live harvesting, particularly when it comes to coral, because it can wreak havoc in aquatic environments. <strong>Shell and Coral Art</strong> If the real deal doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always the artistic side of coastal décor. Shells and coral are popular subjects in sculpture, painting, metalwork and textiles. Blending these in with the genuine article or focusing wholly on the art are both common design techniques. These two worlds often fully merge when art imitates life in more exacting ways. Examples include replicas cast to look and feel like the real thing and <a title="Coastal Collection" href="http://www.atgstores.com/collections/Indigo-Avenue-Coastal-Collection_c93723.html" target="_blank">art prints that detail shells, coral and other sea life with scientific accuracy</a>. However you decide to bring the ocean breeze into your home, we hope these ideas give you a little inspiration.
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