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A while back at a high end decorator's shop in Boca Grande, I noticed some gorgeous fan coral specimens mounted in floating frames. They were stunning- and pricey- I think clocking in around $1k. Sort of like this one from Mecox Gardens. $695 for ONE framed and mounted sea fan? Am I missing something? Was this plucked from the sea floor by a mermaid and transported to land on the QE II or something?

For a while I've wanted to try and capture this look on a budget;  last year I picked up this fan coral from Marshalls for a cool $7.99. The color isn't too jazzy, but it's a nice shape. Marshalls and TJ Maxx seem to have a lot of great coral/shell accents these days.

I also had this West Elm Shadowbox sitting around the house, and decided to experiment a bit with my coral/shadowbox idea.

I had to trim a bit off the fan to get it to the right shape. If I'd had more time, or some good spraypaint colors, I might have given it a quick spritz to make the coral pop. And I might still. But for now, I just used the shadowbox pins to pin the coral to the linen background.

The end result was just what I was hoping for. It was super-hard to photograph b/c of the glare on the glass, but I promise it looks better in real life!

For now I hung it in my bathroom since it's the only room in my apartment completely lacking in art. It brings a nice organic touch to the room, and I'm not worried about the moisture aspect.

I can see this looking awesome with a floating glass frame- and a huge piece of coral- this could be a real statement piece on a wall! And I think that spraypainting the coral an interesting color would be pretty neat- even a super bright, not-found-in-nature color would be an interesting twist. And of course you could also use sponge coral in the shadowbox, or any number of sea objects...I think this will be a future project next time I'm at the beach!

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