Do you love beachcombing and coastal decor? Join me on the beaches of Maine as we collect blue mussel shells for a beautiful vintage coastal coffee table display.

Vintage Coastal Decor Ideas

Vintage coastal decor combines the timeless charm of vintage design with the serene and breezy feel of coastal aesthetics. This style draws inspiration from beachside cottages, seaside retreats, and coastal towns of the past.

To achieve a vintage coastal look, you can incorporate weathered wood furniture, such as distressed white-washed console tables or a vintage rattan chair. Soft pastel colors like seafoam green, coral, and sandy beige can be used on walls or in upholstery to create a soothing coastal vibe. Vintage nautical accessories, such as ship wheels, seashells, and old maps, add a touch of maritime nostalgia. Linen curtains, striped patterns, and jute rugs can further enhance the coastal ambiance.

Mixing in vintage beach-themed artwork and decorative items, like vintage surfboards or retro beach signs, completes the vintage coastal decor, evoking a sense of relaxation and nostalgia by the sea. Join me in a favorite blog post, Nautical Decor Ideas: Vintage Vibe Corner, for more coastal vintage inspiration.

Blue Mussels

One of my favorite ways to add vintage coastal decor to my decor is by beachcombing. Collecting shells, driftwood, and sea glass is a priceless way to add natural elements to your vintage coastal home interior.

What are Blue Mussels?

The blue mussel is a medium-sized edible clam.

Empty shells are commonly found on beaches all around the world.

The Blue Mussel shell is triangular and elongated with rounded edges. The shell is smooth with some sculpturing.

This species of mussel is purple, blue, or sometimes brown in color.

The Blue Mussel shells I find here on the coast of Maine have always been purple.

A Vintage Coastal Bowl

I picked up this vintage coastal bowl while visiting the Sage Farm Antiques Early Evening Buy Event. The bowl is blue and white, has a natural chippiness, and is small, perfect for styling and adding to a coffee table.

Vintage Coastal Bowl

Shop Blue Mussels and Bowls

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You may also enjoy the Coastal Grandmother Summer Decor “In My Mother’s Home” post.

Beachcombing in Maine

The next day, from our home in Coastal Maine, I headed out for a walk on the beach with our Bernese Mountain Dog, Ella.

Beachcombing in Maine provides a treasure trove of inspiration for vintage coastal decor. With its rugged coastline and rich maritime history, Maine offers an abundance of unique finds that can be incorporated into your coastal-themed space. As you stroll along the sandy shores, keep an eye out for weathered driftwood, sea glass, and shells of various shapes and sizes. These natural elements can be transformed into stunning decor pieces, such as a driftwood mirror or a display of sea glass in vintage jars. Additionally, you may stumble upon old fishing nets, lobster traps, or buoys that can be repurposed as wall hangings or statement pieces. Vintage beachcombing in Maine or anywhere in New England not only allows you to infuse your space with a touch of coastal charm but also connects you to the storied maritime traditions and natural beauty of the area.

View of Nubble Light House from Cape Neddick, Maine Beach.

And I noticed right away all the Blue Mussels that had washed up on the sand after the last high tide. They were seriously everywhere!

Blue Mussel Shell in hand on beach.

Vintage Coastal Coffee Table Accent Idea

The Color Purple

I gathered up a few shells, thinking I would display them on our dark, antique coffee table in the living room. You see, I love the color purple with dark wooded antiques. It’s such a flattering combination.

To learn more about this favorite color pairing, check out this post from last spring on Decorating with the Color Purple. You may also enjoy the Bountiful Bouquets of Lilacs post.

Blue Mussels and Vintage Coastal Bowl on Counter top.

Vintage Coastal Bowl of Mussels

That’s when I came up with the idea of filling this blue and white antique bowl with the Blue Mussel shells.

Blue Mussel Shells in vintage coastal blue and white bowl.

Combining them together with the lavender peonies on the coffee table that I created, which you can see more of in the Vintage Weekend Finds Thrifting in Maine post.

On a side note, can I mention how fun it is to go beachcombing, collect shells, decorate with them, and share it all with you here? It’s so great!

And I appreciate you so much for always following along. I sure hope it inspires you.

Vintage coastal coffee table styled with faux peonies and rustic basket.

Shop Faux Peonies and Rustic Baskets

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I gladly headed back down to the beach on Mother’s Day with my mother’s small L.L. Bean bag in hand.

The bag was about halfway full of Blue Mussel shells when I was done.

More than enough for the small vintage coastal bowl.

Beachcombing, Blue Mussels, and an Antique Bowl

Once back home, I rinsed the Blue Mussel shells of all their sand and let them air dry on a towel in the kitchen.

Vintage Coastal Decor Living Room

When the Blue Mussel shells are completely dry, they will have a really pretty soft purple color.

Vintage Coastal bowl of blue mussels on coffee table with faux peonies.

You may see more of this vintage coastal-style living room updated today in the Colonial House Design Living Room post. This same bowl of blue mussels still resides on our coffee table.

Blue and White Cozy Colonial House Design Living Room Sectional

Okay, don’t laugh at my old Maine Seed Potatoes pillow on the couch. I know it’s seen better days. Ella, our Berner, has pulled off the seed sack label so many times, but I just can’t seem to part with it.

Vintage coastal decor in living room.

You may also enjoy the post Living Room in New England Colonial House.

And Our Summer House Tour of our Coastal Maine home.

Vintage Coastal Coffee Table with blue mussels in bowl and basket of peonies.

Thank you so much for joining me for some beachcombing and vintage coastal coffee table decorating. For more antiquing and vintage coastal decor ideas from Maine, join me in these recent posts:

Gratefully Vintage

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at

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  1. The shells and bowl look lovely together.

  2. You truly are an inspiration to me.Thank you very much.

    1. Wow Dee I appreciate that so much. You made my day🙏

  3. I am so envious. The antique bowl is a great find and those shells. You can just pick them up on the beach. I love the color blue, it’s all over my house. Would you ever consider collecting blue clam shells to sell?

    1. Hi Mildred I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I don’t think I’ll be selling shells. But I thought about picking up some to sell in my booth but not sure they’d sell in Vermont😉🐚

  4. Connie Hodgdon says:

    I love the pretty old bowl you found and putting those beautiful shells in it so perfect 💙

  5. Those shells are so pretty, you are blessed to have your home close by.