Decorating Idea: What to Do With Seashells?

Three Seashells

Who can resist gathering seashells any time they’re near an ocean? Just me? Maybe that’s just a thing people who don’t live near an ocean do, but chances are even you coastal dwellers have a few seashells in a drawer somewhere.

Because really, what do you do with them? You could put them in a jar. Or a bowl. Those would be pretty, but how many jars or bowls of seashells can you have? Am I right?

I faced this same conundrum a few weeks ago when I got back from a trip to Cambodia. During the days I spent in a couple of seaside towns in Cambodia, I gathered plenty of seashells. Because when am I going to go back to the Gulf of Thailand? Probably not any time soon. After unpacking and staring at my shell souvenirs, I was at a loss for what to do with them. Then, I came up with a brilliant solution.

Use them to decorate plants!

Decorate with seashells

It may sound weird, but I like to set little objects in my houseplants to give them some flair. Usually I place a few pretty rocks on the topsoil. Maybe a small figurine if I’m feeling crazy. But seashells are even better plant decorators!

Decorate plants with seashells Add flair to houseplants with seashells Seashells decorate houseplantThey just add a little something. It’s subtle. And pretty. And it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something semi-creative with my seashells.

What do you think?

Related articles:
5 Best Houseplants For Your Home
Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants
Thrift Store Plant Saucers

Why Snake Plants Make the Best Houseplants


Calling all black thumbs; I’ve got the houseplant for you. Have you ever heard of snake plants? These fancy-looking plants feature sword-shaped leaves and can get as tall as eight feet! (Mine aren’t taller than a foot or two, though.) Snake plants are closely related to Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, which is the same style plant but with a yellow border around the leaves.

For those of you who aren’t so good at keeping plants alive, you’ll have a good run with snake plants. These houseplants are super hardy and can even grow in poor soil. Here are a few more reasons why I think snake plants make the best houseplants.


Decorating helpers
Houseplants in general just make a room look good. They add life and a bit of green to a space. And snake plants are particularly good looking. Their vertical leaves are really interesting, and they look excellent in groupings.

Fit with any look
Snake plants definitely give off a modern vibe. I can picture these plants decorating a sleek home that’s all black furniture and minimalist. But snake plants also work just as well with my vintage-inspired style. They’re extremely versatile.

Easy to care for
Snake plants are about as easy as it gets when it comes to taking care of them. Keep them in the house near ample natural light, let them dry out between waterings and they’ll be fine. Snake plants also grow well outdoors on a porch. They prefer warmth, so bring them indoors during the winter. When you’re not sure, err to underwatering.

Space savers
Their dramatic vertical leaves don’t just look striking; they also save space. While many houseplants spread their vines or grow bushy, snake plants just grow vertically. You can stick a snake plant just about anywhere. And it’ll grow up—not out.

Improve indoor air
Snake plants are particularly good at filtering air. They can even filter out pollutants like formaldehyde. Keep a few in your bedroom to improve the air quality while you sleep.


Here are a few more of my favorite houseplants.

What houseplants do you like to grow? Let me know in the comments!

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Vintage Bar Cart: Styled For Spring

Vintage bar cart |

For a while now, my bar cart has sat mostly empty. I don’t drink hard liquor very often, so I’ve had two lone bottles of liquor hanging out on my bar cart. Not much of a bar cart, huh?

Well, I finally got tired of looking at my sadly “styled” bar cart and decided to spruce it up. I didn’t spend any money on new stuff; I just gathered up items from around the house. Here’s how I styled my bar cart for spring, plus a few tips for styling your own bar cart.

1. Use a tray to organizeVintage bar cart |

Placing a tray on the bottom shelf of my bar cart helps it look organized. The tray corrals my two bottles of liquor (pathetic), shot glasses and other bar supplies together. Now all of those random items look neat and organized instead of like a jumbled mess. (Here’s another idea for using a tray on your bar cart.)

2. Line up glasses

Vintage bar cart |

Arranging your wine, martini and champagne glasses in neat rows will immediately improve the look of your bar cart. It worked for me. I had originally tried lining up the glasses in the tray, but I like the look of them freestanding on the shelf better.

3. Fill space with plants (when the cart’s not in use)

Plant on cart |

I’ve had the darndest time making my bar cart look nice when it’s not in use. When I am using the bar cart for making drinks, I style the top with the supplies I need. I’ll put out a cutting board and a small bowl of lemons and limes. I might add some napkins and a cup with straws. But when I’m not using the cart, all of that stuff goes away. And the top of the cart sits empty. And ugly.

Since it’s springtime, I figured why not style the top of the bar cart with some pretty houseplants? So I did. That was a serious improvement. With just two houseplants and a folded over cloth napkin, the top of my bar cart now looks stylish and put together.

Vintage bar cart |

What do you think of how I styled my bar cart? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

Decorating With Spring Flowers

Pink flowers in milk glass vase |

Do you love decorating with flowers, but don’t love paying for them? Me too! I think of flowers as more of a splurge purchase, which means I don’t have them in my house very often. Until now.

I realized the other day that springtime is the perfect season to find pretty blossoms—for free! Just take a walk around your neighborhood. That’s exactly what I did. I grabbed my pruning shears, and my dog and I took a little stroll around the neighborhood. I stopped in parks and alleyways (and maybe an unoccupied house or two) and trimmed a few branches from pretty flowering shrubs.

Maybe I looked a little silly, but I was so excited about the free flowers that I didn’t care. Here’s what I gathered.

Decorating with spring flowers |  Decorating with spring flowers | redleafstyle.comDecorating with spring flowers |

After I gathered my bunch of flowers, I split them up into vases of varying sizes. I like making different types of flower arrangements. I filled a couple of mason jars with big bouquets of flowers. And then I took a few milk glass vases and plopped one bendy branch in each one. I like the contrast between the different styles of bouquets.

Decorating with spring flowers | redleafstyle.comDecorating with spring flowers | Decorating with spring flowers | redleafstyle.comDecorating with spring flowers |

Spring flowers pretty much do all of the decorating for you. They’re so pretty on their own; there’s not much you need to do. I clustered a few vases on my fireplace mantle, set a mason jar bouquet on my desk and placed a skinny vase on my kitchen windowsill. The addition of the simple blooms around the house have really improved my mood!

Decorating with spring flowers |  Decorating with spring flowers |

Did you like this idea? Then you’ll probably also like this post on decorating with greenery.

Are you decorating with spring flowers right now? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.

3 Tips For a More Natural Home (Plus, My Natural Living Journey)

Shamrock plant |

I talk a lot about decorating here on Red Leaf Style. But there’s a whole different side of me that I haven’t really shared with you. Well, I’m really into everything natural. I eat organic food. I clean my whole home with baking soda, vinegar and lemons. I compost. I reuse. I recycle. I’m really into this whole natural and organic thing. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I do enjoy making natural living a part of my everyday life.

Natural and organic. What do these mean?
Let’s talk about these terms. Natural and organic are terms used to describe everything from food to cosmetic ingredients to fabric. I’d need more than this blog post to tell you about all of the differences. But in general, “natural” doesn’t really have any regulations behind it, but “organic” does. Organic means the food or ingredient has been grown without the use of chemical pesticides.

How do you start living naturally?
Most of us care about our health. Usually that starts with taking a hard look at what we eat. Maybe that leads to buying organic food or cutting out processed foods. An interest in organic food tends to lead to checking out more natural cleaning options. Maybe even making your own cleaning products. You probably also start to take a look at your personal care products. You start to wonder things like, “What are phthalates?” and “Are these ingredients I can’t pronounce bad for me?” Before you know it, you’re growing herbs on your windowsill and buying organic clothes (yep, that’s a thing). At least that’s how it happened for me. One step at a time.

Thrift Store Plant Saucers |

How did I get an interest in organic living?
It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly I started living an eco-conscious lifestyle. It probably started back when I worked as an editorial intern for Natural Home magazine (now Mother Earth Living magazine.) That was 2009. I was in college doing all of the things that unhealthy college students do. Eating awful. Drinking. Being wasteful. At the time, I had already started to develop an interest in going green and getting chemicals out of my life. I think the green movement was really becoming trendy around then. But writing about it every day really propelled me into it.

The more I tested out different natural remedies, green cleaners and healthier foods, the more I learned, and the more I cared about it. Living that way seemed important. It seemed like something that mattered. I got excited to tell other people about what I learned and discovered. So I kept writing about it.

After college I got a job as a freelance writer for As the name suggests, is a website dedicated to the organic lifestyle. I’ve written about everything from food to yoga for Organic Authority, but I specialize in home and garden and natural beauty topics. I still write for Organic Authority today. You can check me out there!

How can you get started?: 3 tips for a more natural home
Wherever you are on your natural journey, I’ve probably been there. Are you just starting to buy organic food? Maybe you’re looking into healthier cleaning products? Are you already composting and recycling like a junkie? Maybe you haven’t started at all. (That’s okay, I’ve been there too.)

For me, creating a more natural home is about more than just being environmentally conscious. It’s about being health-conscious too. That means eliminating chemicals and toxins from your home whenever possible. Here are my top three tips for creating a more natural home.

1. Use natural cleaners

Cleaning spray bottle |

You don’t need chemical-filled products to get your home clean. You can do everything from washing laundry to scrubbing the toilet with ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, salt, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils. They’re all safe, healthy and inexpensive! If you’re curious, I’ll share my cleaning recipes sometime!

2. Choose organic beauty products

Natural beauty products |

I know it’s difficult to quit cold turkey on a favorite shampoo or lotion. But you probably wouldn’t have such a hard time tossing those products if you knew all of the gross ingredients in conventional beauty products. I’m talking formaldehyde, petroleum and lead, to name a few. Instead, look for organic beauty products made with ingredients you actually recognize.

3. Decorate your home sustainably

Succulent |

When I think about decorating sustainably, my go-to methods are repurposing and buying secondhand. Reusing an item you already have or one someone else has cast off helps reduce the amount of waste on the planet. And I pretty much believe that a coat of paint can fix anything!

So what’s the verdict, do you want to hear more about natural living here on Red Leaf Style? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Follow Red Leaf Style author Kirsten Hudson on Twitter @kirsten_hudson, Google+ and Pinterest.