Blog Cabin

Aug 5

Behind the Scenes: The Sand- and Seashell-Filled Table

Today, project manager Dylan Eastman shares the special experience of designing and sourcing material for that amazing dining room table. As of today, it’s the most pinned of our virtual tour images on Pinterest. You certainly do love it, as do we! See the dining table in our great room virtual tour and see the exclusive how-to project here.

In designing the kitchen table, I wanted to use reclaimed wood to counter some of the more refined elements in the front rooms. I also wanted to add color without relying heavily on place setting and flowers. With the coastal setting of this year’s house, I knew a beach motif (done right) would accent the wood while giving an additional dimension to the table. So I went on the hunt for local sea glass and shells.

Blog Cabin 2013 Seashell Dining Table

On the drive to Harker’s Island, I discovered a place call Captain Blaine’s, a store that sells fresh seafood and local crafts. The owner walks the beach regularly to collect shells and sea glass (which she sorts by color) to sell in the shop. I carefully picked through her inventory of beach treasures, looking for just the right colors and textures. Portions of bottles with imprinted text were saved. Remnants of old decorative glass windows were culled. Then I mixed in pearlescent sea scallops, iridescent witch’s nails and purple wampum to accent the glass.

After making my purchase, we chatted at length about the island and the origin of the glass and shells. Originally home to the Coree native American tribe, Harker’s Island attracted residents through the colonial period. In the late 1800s, hurricanes drove even more residents to the island from the storm-devastated outer banks. Until 1941, the only way on or off the island was by boat or ferry — it was not uncommon for residents to cast household debris (back then, mostly wood-, porcelain- or glass-based) into the sound. I figured that most of the sea glass I selected was between 70 and 100 years old.

During the table build, sand from our beach on the Core Sound was laid out to dry under the cabin cam. LEDs were run around the interior perimeter of the table to give a 21st-century accent. Then show host Chris Grundy and Kitchen Crashers host Alison Victoria carefully completed the beach motif by placing each piece of glass or shell in its perfect location. A signed message in a bottle was even left for the future winner of this home. Finally, a piece of clear glass was set over the motif to complete the top. In the end, this table represents the history of our house, the history of the coast and a modern take on upcycling.

  • Posted at 11:14 am on August 8, 2013
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  1. I did this years ago to a round table. I filled it with shells from vacations and sand from both coasts. It is still one of my favorite pieces of furniture.

    Cristie Rex on August 24, 2013 at 12:48 am
  2. What great idea for the home and coast around the home. It is so beautiful and relaxing to see what can be done with something old to new:0)

    Peggy on August 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm
  3. This was one of my favorite pieces in the house. I loved everything in this amazing house, but, this table was awesome . I have been collecting shells, rocks, glass, and several other pieces for years at Gulf Shores beach in Alabama. My husband and I were married on the beach in Gulf Shores , Alabama. We return every year for our anniversary and collect different items every time we return. I have a glass jar with sand in it that was given to us on our wedding day by the pastor that performed our wedding ceremony. Each year when we return to the exact same place , we remove a small amount of sand from our jar and reflect on our year together . We then place a small amount back in the jar, and talk about our dreams for the upcoming year. After seeing this table, I began having some pretty great ideas. I think it would be a great anniversary gift to ourselves to make an anniversary table like this one and put all of our trinkets we have collected inside the glass for each year we are married. Thank you very much for sharing this idea for the table, it has become a very special project I hope we can accomplish in our future. Our table will be a very exciting and memorable anniversary gift that we will treasure for many years. I just love y'all !!!!!!! <3

    Phyllis Wyatt on August 29, 2013 at 11:18 am
  4. Love the table that you guys made. My son's and I used to walk the shoreline on Cape Cod looking for certain color pebbles and also skippers. (Flat Stones that you skip along the water) . Well I kept those flat stones for a long time and even wrote a poem to us looking for those skippers. and eventually I took mthose stones and made a mosaic on a seat stool for our kitchen.

    Love the idea of sea glass ,shells and sand inside the table. There are so many creative uses for things found near the shoreline. Would love to find more on the shoreline in NC ;)

    Artist151 on August 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm
  5. What an awesome table. I may have to copy that idea! I am curious if it can be disassembled easily to replace lights or add items? I have a lifetime of beautiful things collected on these beaches,and from beneath the sea (diving). What an awesome way to display them.

    lulubelle13 on September 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm
  6. Saw this being created last night on a Blog Cabin marathon. What a wonderful idea to bring the "outside in"! They all looked like they had such a good time putting this together. How wonderful for the winner to have such lovely things and know when and how they were created. Re-purposing and reusing items from the original house/grounds and surrounding area only make this Cabin more appealing to me. What a great job they have done on this project! As a native North Carolinian, I really appreciate all the time they have put into this home. Keeping my fingers crossed, would love to share this beautiful home with family and friends!

    Connie on September 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm
  7. This contest has been such fun….good luck everyone!:*

    Joan Anderson on September 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    BARBARA CRITES on September 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm
  9. Beautiful table! What a great idea and fun stories as well.:D

    Sheri on September 12, 2013 at 8:29 am
  10. This morning, I watched a show on PBS about photographing the shores of N. Carolina. The photographers took so many gorgeous pics of the area: horses, woodpeckers, foxes….sunsets. It is absolutely beautiful! I always enjoy learning….and there is an endless supply of lessons from nature. This coastal area provides so much!
    As everyone knows….location, location, location. :)

    Trish on September 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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