Proud Louise Cotton has shelled out £120,000 on the ultimate seaside home – a coastal property covered inside and out with shells.
Louise, 48, grew up near the unique property – which is plastered with tens of thousands of shells from creatures including clams, cockles and scallops.
The-two-bedroom cottage has hoards of crustacean cases stuck to walls and ceilings – many of them made into shapes such as boats and anchors.
Louise was fascinated with the house when she was a child and immediately snapped it up when it recently hit the market.
The three-storey property in Dartmouth, Devon, was plastered with shells by previous owners Paul and Joyce Plimmer three decades ago.
Louise said: “It only took one viewing and I decided right then and there to buy it.
“I wouldn’t say it was absolutely my taste but it’s unusual, it has loads of personality and I think it’s great to see something that’s different and eccentric.
“I wouldn’t have the imagination to do something like that and I admire the people who do. There are boats, lighthouses, anchors and all sorts of nautical images.
“Lots of people have asked me if I’m going to get rid of the shells, their assumption is that they’re awful – but I don’t agree.
“I come from Dartmouth and I think it’s a bit of our local history. It would be a real shame if Dartmouth lost some of that quirkiness.”
Louise’s new abode – in aptly titled Lake Street – has been a local landmark for years and even features on postcards and websites.
A few of the shells already need to be replaced after one became dislodged from a stairwell – and hit Louise in the head.
Louise, a freelance radio journalist, remembers visiting the shell house as a child when it was owned by Mr and Mrs Plimmer.
Their son Jason, 51 explained: “It was just an old fisherman’s cottage back when I was born until dad went to an auction one day to buy furniture.
“He came back with an antique shell collection and that gave him the idea of covering the house instead of decorating it.
“He put up scaffolding outside and did the front while my mum did the inside. The bathroom used to be a mermaid’s grotto.
“My brothers and I were in charge of collecting the shells. We would come back with giant sacks full – there must be literally millions in that house.”