Recently I bought a 1940s cottage in West Palm Beach, Florida. As it’s a “Key West” cottage, a one-storey house with shutters in the style of the homes found commonly in Key West, on the southernmost tip of Florida, I decided to take a trip down to Key West itself. On the way, on this spectacular drive through turquoise lagoons, I passed through Key Largo and there, right on Route 1, was Shell World, an astonishing shop for shell-lovers.
If you have a beach house, or want to decorate your bathroom, this is the place: an entire product range made from, or inspired by, shells, ranging from jewellery to beautiful presents and furnishings, including lighting and a home decorating range.
There are shells of every size and colour, available in bulk or individually: conch horns ($19.99), my favourite, an extra-large pearlised chambered nautilus ($39.99 each), giant melon shells (pictured, $36.99), king helmets (from $24.99), and many, many others.
Shell World also sells nautical furnishings, such as fish nets ($9.99) and distressed buoys ($19.99), as well as beachwear for men and women. Check out the island sarongs for $13.99, and my home-warming present of a Capiz shell wind chime ($9.99), a white confection which makes the most irresistible sound.