January 23, 2013

Joyce and Paul Plimmer, Shell decorated house

picture via Google streetview

Above shell decorated house can be seen in Dartmouth, a city with currently some 5000 inhabitants, located in the south-west  of England on the west bank of the river Dart's estuary.

Life and works

The decorating of the facade and the interior of the property started in the 1970s by the Plimmer family who inhabited the house at that time. The story is that one day mr Plimmer went to an auction to see if he could buy some furniture and returned home with an antique collection of shells. This may have inspired the couple to use the shells to make some decorations, to experience then that they could not stop doing this....

Since Paul Plimmer had a job as a captain on a yacht and often was away from home, Joyce Plimmer has done most of the creative work, at least at the inside, and she probably was the driving force behind the project.

picture of an interior decoration,
 made available by Mrs Plimmer's daughter to 

The facade combines geometric decorations with images of towers and maritime themes, like an anchor and various ships. In the interior the rooms have been abundantly decorated, both walls and some ceilings.

Paul and Joyce Plimmer had three children, and one of the two boys when interviewed by a journal, relates that he and his brother were commissioned to collect shells on the local beaches.

When in 2012 Joyce Plimmer, who apparently then was living alone in the house, had to be included into a nursing home, the house was put on sale.

Much to the delight of the Plimmer family the new owner, Louise Cotton, a Dartmouth resident who knew and loved the shell decorations from childhood on, told the newspapers that she would keep the decorations as they were and repair these if necessary.

In 2019 the decorations on the inside have been removed

As noted in a comment on this post, in 2019 the house has been designated a holiday home and in that regard the interior has been renewed, including the removal of the interior decorations. The exterior decorations are still present.

* Newspaper article in Mail Online, January 21, 2013

Joyce and Paul Plimmer 
Shell decorated house
47 Lake Street
Dartmouth, Devon, South West England, UK
exterior can be seen from the street

1 comment:

  1. Sadly (though understandably!) the interior decoration was stripped out when the property was extensively refurbished prior to being marketed as a holiday let in 2019. The exterior decoration survives.