Inspired Idea: Me & the Sea


Sometimes the most unlikely pairings make the best combinations (Harold and Maude. Need I say more?). In this case, seashells and sparkly costume jewelry.

I have been redecorating my beach house and used this lovely pairing as an alternative vase filler. Instead of filling vases and apothecary jars with standard flowers or pebbles, try surprising the eye with something interesting that reflects you and the space.

My beach house has a light and airy yet glamorous feel with a touch of French countryside casual, so this seaside-bijoux combo is perfect for the space. If shells and sparkles aren’t your thing, get creative and mix up some tiny treasures that make you smile.

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when filling apothecary jars and vases:

  1. Keep like colors together.
  2. Remember scale. Try not to combine huge pieces with tiny bits–it usually doesn’t work.
  3. Use larger items for larger vases and smaller fillers for smaller vases.
  4. Group like-object filled vases together. Better yet–group filled jars or vases in odd numbers (like groups of three) and varied sizes for a stronger effect.
  5. Opt for simplicity. If you mix too many things together, it gets busy. Stick with one to two item combos.


Do you have a cool filler combination to share? If so, send me your ideas and I will feature my favorite in a follow up blog. Brownie points for picture submissions!

Learn how to upload and submit your photos by clicking here.

XO Lauren

Photo: matthere
Categories: Decorate, Lauren Conrad
Share This
  • Emmy Rho

    I love filling vases with a single color sead beads. They placing a single high quality fake flower inside. Holds the flower upright and allows for a pop of color. My favorite combination is white sead beads with a hot pink gerber daisy!


  • Jennifer Houlahan

    ohh I love that idea, I’m moving to a new city soon and we’re going to need all of the decorating ideas we can get! Thanks! :)

  • Emily Wells

    Coffee beans and cranberries are great “”vase”” fillers, especially during the fall/winter holiday seasons, stick a candle in the middle and it’s a very attractive center piece. Also, dried rose petals in similar colors are always pretty…

  • andrea mtz

    keep it simple and natural. nothing better than natural stuff. :)

  • Sam S.

    I love the beach theme this month from Pottery Barn!! As soon as you open the website it shows lanterns and what I especially love is the random stacks of books for example in this picture:

    You can even search for old vintage books and bound them together to form these piles that add a sense of “”intelligence””. Definatly the lanterns and books!! Here is another picture of a beach house with the lantern and book accents!

  • paypat

    I combine seashells, sand dollars and pinecones in a huge glass bowl…the contrast between the brown of the cones and the white weathered look of the shells is really interesting. Such an inexpensive centerpeice!

  • Coleen Rogan

    spanish moss and pebbles with faux white gardinias! I saw it in Pottery barn and i love how it looks so clean

  • Susan Westrell

    Love that idea! I don’t have anything like that, but I do have a smashed marble rolling pin that I’ve used for corralling the monstruous amounts of silly bands I somehow collected, and a few of my extremely large bracelets.


  • Susan Westrell

    Oh, now we can.

  • Rachael Waddle

    I love a beachy deco and combination of shells with the jewelery. Where can you find sparkly costume jewelery?

  • Jennifer Sellen

    I have always liked the idea of filling a vase or jar with sand and put a couple of seashells on top. Check out this picture: I would personally use a hurricane vase so its a little bit wider so you could use more seashells. At my parents home, their guest bathroom is decorated with seashells. They have a beautiful metal stand with ceramic (I think) colorful fishes on top they bought down in Mexico. And a beautiful picture of the ocean framed on the wall. It feels very peaceful in there.


    This gave me a lovely idea: I would use pearls and crystals in a jar. My living room and office is Hollywood Glam with touches of “”Tiffany Blue””.

  • Jennifer Sellen

    @Melissa Collazo: My guest room is all Marilyn Monroe I love her but I don’t want to get too carried away. I don’t want my family to think i’m obsessed with girls lol Bu I want to add pearls and a small chandelier to give the room a glam girly feel. Plus I’m trying to make everything black and white with touches of pink throughout the room like a small pillow and some decor.

  • TessaAbingdon

    I Love this beach theme for rooms it is so pretty and it adds a seaside touch even if you dont live near the beach now all i have to do is collect some shells…

  • First nameAnabelle Last nameLinkous

    Oh Miss Lauren I can live my dream through U…LOL…The beach ahhh so peaceful & is there a way like an address U have 4 I would love 2 send U a beautiful windchime that I can get from a resort here in Newport, Rhode Island. A beach community as well, but it has the East Coast Vibe,like Nantuckett style or Martha’s Vineyard, but all in all it’s the beach with so many gorgeous shells and sea glass.I dont live far from the beach as they call this state the ocean state=) and my cute cottage also has that seaside feeling but what i would really love is that gorge home your family has up on the bluffs in Laguna…OMG that is my kind of dream home but on a much smaller scale since it’s only me and my son and my critters=) so hoping to make my dream come true.Thanks Miss Lauren-U R always an inspiration!

  • Rogers Momo

    I love the idea beach deco for room.

  • Chelsea Dinet

    Adding three different sized vases putting sand up to a certain point and then so shells them more sand and shells but make it so the the shells are still visible on the sides of the vases. And you can also add some little bits of of sparkly jewlery like little diamond like pieces. It looks so cool when its all put together. But for the different size vases make the sand end at different levels not all the way up to the top in all three jars.

  • CourtureFashion16

    I love the SEA theme ( :

  • CourtureFashion16

    You should UPDATE MORE

  • Katelyn

    I love just putting out shells I found at the beach around my desk and dresser. So cute!

  • Madelaine Guzman

    This is an amazing idea! I recently moved into a new apartment with my husband and have been looking for ideas to decorate. This is perfect since we both love the beach and can’t yet afford a beach house:)

  • Lauren Conrad

    Hey everyone! I haven’t forgotten about this! Don’t forget to upload photos of your vase filler to your profile page. I would love to review your photos for a spotlight post but I need your submissions to review first :-)

    If you’re having trouble uploading photos, check out this post:

  • Elena Last name

    I do NOT understand how to charge photos, Im newbie…

  • Jasmijn de Bree

    My mom has her whole room with sea shells and beach elements. I realy love it!

  • Sol Sol


  • michelle

    One of my favorite design styles whether you’re able to live close to the beach or not :)

  • Kimmy S

    I saw this idea on Susanne Kings and this it’s fantastic!

  • Meghann Chapman

    I used a coule of daquari glasses filled with sea shells to sit on a serving tray with an elegant wine bottle. It all sits on my coffee table and I love how it looks.



    since i grew up on the water, having seashells around to remind me of ocean is a must. i love the idea of using them in clear Ball jars as well! i used twine around the jars edges and added some dried flowers for some color. lovely!

  • Kimberly Reed

    Love to decorate my bathrooms with seashells!

  • Kimberly Reed

    Make a decorative wreath!

  • Meredeth King

    Love this idea of decotating things with shell!! :)



for a front-row VIP pass to all things lovely and chic. Sign up today for exclusive tips straight from Lauren, a chance to win monthly giveaways, and so much more.

sign up