Friday, January 8, 2010

Coral For Everyone

No matter what style you consider your home to be: eclectic, modern, traditional, french; you've probably had your eye on a piece of coral or two as smart accessories for a table, shelf, or bookcase. They've been scattered across the pages of magazines from HouseBeautiful to Metropolitan Home (so sad they're gone), in the smallest and largest of collections.

With their free form nature and magnificent texture, along with the natural colors and rich hues of red that some coral posses, they are really art in and of themselves.

Rough but fragile, the juxtapose carried in one piece alone can sometimes bridge a gap in a room. Often, it's hard to imagine another accessory in its place.

And even though there must be a 1000 ways to display coral, they are always easily recognizable.

Coral can be expensive. Expensive, and extremely fragile - meaning, you may spend more time protecting it than enjoying it. But, better faux corals are so real to the touch, and far less expensive that more and more homes are sporting coral decor.

Mixed with other sealife, like shells and seafans gives a distinct beach look. But (as seen in the first picture) they can have a more elegant and artful effect when placed beneath a glass cloche atop a table or desk.

Recently though, I've seen more and more antique cabinets sporting coral decor.

It makes for the perfect perching object, and they (assumptive) stay well protected.

Now, again - real coral can be expensive - but well worth the money if it's a look you'd like to entertain this year.

These gorgeous antique bottles adorned with shells, dried sealife, and coral are the perfect addition to any room, and with a reasonable affordability, can accessorize a whole shelf for the price of one large piece of coral.

And if you're not afraid to go faux (like me) check out the faux pieces Target has this season. Modeled almost exactly after Zgallerie's faux coral line from a summer ago, they are real to the touch, very inexpensive, and the perfect compliment to real, more expensive coral pieces.


  1. They are pretty. When your post said "coral" -- I assumed the color not the object! My coral was in the bathroom -- alas, it is gone now! Your pictures, however, made me think that that was not a good idea!

  2. Move me into that home in the first and eighth photo, please! STAT!
    What a dreamy post, twin. Coral is a favorite of mine! What a gorgeous, gorgeous post! Makes me dream of summer!
    xo Isa

  3. I, too, thought you were going to tell us about the color CORAL. My breakfast room was once a gorgeous coral...dry brushed over a rich cream. It was so beautiful! And I had real coral on the shelves.

    Thanks for sharing the Target items. I also saw some lovely coral pillows at Steinmart today. Last Christmas, I found 2 photo coral design. They were meant for a gift, but they were perfect in my house... My friend received something else. :-)
    Jane (artfully graced)

  4. I've had a piece of white coral for many years. I didn't realize I was just a bit ahead of the style game. I think I like it even more after seeing your pictures!


  5. Great post.I like so much coral as decoration and also carved as small decorative objet or as jewel.
    I love relaxing and elegant ambiance from image 11
    Thank you for showing this wonderful selection.


  6. I might have to go straight to the desk in the first photo ... then to the huge glass paned cabinet ... then I would go coral hunting.

  7. Love the coral placed in boxes or under cloches like "specimens". And Alexandra Wentworth's room still knocks me out... all of it, not just the shells and sea fans which are pretty wonderful all by themselves. Have you ever heard of a way to get the "stinkiness" out of coral and other shell-type things from the sea? I saw some great pieces at the Rose Bowl flea market last summer, but oh man, they smelled awful! And I didn't want to insult the vendor by asking her if those sea urchins would smell like that forever so I didn't but any even though they were gorgeous!

  8. Artie, this is one of my favorites of all your posts! Thanks for the gift as so many interesting pictures with incredible interiors!
    G in CT

  9. Hey Artie! I'm so glad you meant real coral and not the color coral, which by the way, is out like Lou Bega! Great post!


  10. So, pretty, love all the coral and sea shell eye candy. I just did a post with my large coral peice being the "star" of the show. It is amazing how they fit in with most decors.

  11. When we were in Vieques last year we came upon a picnic area that had a row o0f conk shells lined up. It was so nice wen just took photos.We did find some small coralkn the beach. My neice brought some back. We go agin in I will be looking for me some this year. Kathy

  12. Beautiful and makes me long for the beach. BTW--I am sorry about your tulips. I planted red and yellow and hope the little squirrel devils didn't dig mine up...we'll see :)

  13. Artie~ I love all the coral vignettes.
    I'm drawn to the large (white) coral on the jar.
    It brings a nice coastal feel to any setting. Who doesn't long to be sitting on a warm beach (sipping something tropical)especially this time of year.

    Sweet wishes,

  14. Love coral, I need more for the summer look.

  15. I'm loving the inspiration. Beautiful pictures. Being from the caribean coral is a must around us. Now I know what to hunt for when I go visit the mother land :)
    BTW-Loving those prices

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