Fill your home with shell mosaics

Brooke Theis
Photo credit: Bailey Cooper Photography

From Town & Country

Ten years ago, Linda Fenwick completed her first ‘shell house’, in North Yorkshire. The finish was so exquisite that it propelled the artist to continue combining her love of creating shell mosaics with interior design.

Influenced by Georgian and classical styles, Fenwick weaves her own contemporary twist into each piece. Using both native and exotic shells in her detailed motifs, she adorns mirrors, panels and furniture – as well as grand country estates.

Photo credit: Bailey Cooper Photography

In 2017, she decorated the pavilions at the historic Newby Hall, one of Britain’s finest Adam houses; and she was commissioned by the Earl and Countess of Derby to create shell panels for their home at Knowsley Hall. She has also festooned garden houses, loggias, follies and fountains with colourful cockles and clams, and has worked with some of the world’s leading interior designers, including Leveson Design, Emma Benyon, Katharine Pooley and Annabel Elliot.

Photo credit: Courtesy Linda Fenwick

This summer, Fenwick is launching her latest collection of handmade interiors accessories. Comprising a spectacular chandelier, bedecked with pearl tops and coral, a glorious pair of star-limpet-encrusted benches, and blue-and-white ceramic bubble shell lamps with silk shades, among others, the meticulously crafted range is alluringly intricate.

Photo credit: Bailey Cooper Photography

The natural patterns, textures and lustre of shells make them endlessly compelling design features, and as the former dwellings of sea creatures, they represent the beauty that can be found in a home. As Mary Delany – one of the leading shell artists of the 18th century – once said, “The beauty of shells is as infinite as flowers, and to consider how they are inhabited enlarges a field of wonder.”