Interior Designer Marika Meyer (www.meyerinteriors.com) uses seashells as part of what she calls "coastal accents" in room decor.

"Coastal accents are wonderful reminders of trips and evoke a feeling of relaxation, so why not add them to your daily life by placing them in rooms you use every day?" Meyer said.

She suggested placing seashells and coral on bookshelves for an uncluttered, textured look -- or using them "out of context" as a bowl, holder or flower container.

"Many people use coastal accents only in settings by the sea, but when you take them out of their normal environment, they add another layer of interest to a space," she said.