Seashells are out of the seashore and into our homes.
This holds true for the captivating capiz, a flat, semi-transparent shell. Scientifically known as Placuna placenta, this edible mollusk is sought after for its shell rather than its meat. Its pearlescence has made it a popular decorative element for generations. It continues to be a much-coveted material that transcends physical and artistic boundaries.
Windows of the Past
Photo by Estilo
Because of its translucence, capiz shells were used as a glass substitute in 16th-century Spanish-colonial times in the Philippines. These shells have been masterfully cut into tiny square pieces and then placed in wooden frames to become windows.
As time passed, these mother-of-pearl-looking shells evolved from building material to decorative medium. It reached the pinnacle of popularity in the 60s and 70s with the ubiquitous capiz lamp. It has then become an It item in the modern mid-century decor scene.
Photo by En Gold
While capiz enjoyed the limelight, there came a time when the lights dimmed on its popularity. The local market was oversaturated, and capiz decor became somewhat commonplace. Others would call it kitschy.
Fortunately, with the efforts of some manufacturers, the capiz is making a comeback. New manipulation methods and modern design have again elevated it to It status. Currently, capiz is having its second wind and shows no immediate signs of stopping.
If you want to ride the wave, a springtime revamp of your home will be an excellent way to decorate with capiz shells. Here are some ideas on how you can create that classy look with capiz:
1. Glow Up
Photo by Anthropologie
If you want to glimpse its glowing past, why not use capiz lighting? Spring is the time to let the sunshine in. Get that warm glow by placing a capiz lamp in your favorite corners.
Maximize their translucent qualities by placing them where they can glow. For example, a table lamp made of capiz by your cozy nook reflects light beautifully. How about a capiz chandelier hanging over your dining table? These charming shells can also elevate a space with their classic beauty. Instantly get a glow-up for blank walls by placing capiz sconces, for example.
2. Shapely Shells
Some people veer away from using shells in home decorating because they don’t want to look like they’re in perpetual beach mode.
Even if you're not a fan of the coastal theme, you can still use capiz to spruce up your home. Instead of capiz products in the shape of fish or other sea creatures, opt for floral-themed pieces made of capiz. For example, you can place acacia and capiz trays or catchalls in your living area, study, or kitchen. It’s chic instead of kitsch.
You get your dose of spring using a medium that can cross themes. Don’t be afraid to mix mediums or shapes as long as they sync with your concept.
3. Pair Up
Capiz shells can have delicate and fragile, but you can balance this by complementing them with bold colors or patterns. For example, you can place a capiz vase on a round raffia placemat in sage green. Another option is complementing a capiz candelabra with a bright yellow animal planter.
These pairings make for show-stopping conversation or simply to satisfy your craving for springtime adornments.
4. Make a Statement
It is best to focus on one statement piece to avoid shell decor overkill. You don’t need an ocean of capiz products in one room. Instead, give each capiz decor its place to shine by keeping the area simple. For example, if you already have a capiz console in your living area, don’t crowd it with more capiz products.
Choose a blank background or plain surface if you have several capiz decors. This ensures your capiz items will get the spotlight. For example, you can arrange capiz coasters on a wooden table. Aside from being functional, they will also lend the area a creative air.
5. Do the Twist
Capiz comes in different forms. If you have a creative bone and want to indulge in out-of-the-box concepts, why not use capiz accessories in decorating? For instance, you can use a brass collar necklace with a capiz pendant as hanging decor. Then, if you get tired of it as a decorative piece, you can use it to elevate your outfits.
Doors to the Future
Capiz shells have had a translucent past and a glowing present. With the way designers, enthusiasts, and manufacturers are now caring for the capiz craft, this shell will likely continue to have a shining future.
What’s great about capiz decors is that they are classic ornamental pieces. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, there’s just the right design that you can use to decorate your space. So go ahead, and start adorning your abode with these captivating capiz shells.