Sea Urchins: Unusual Inspiration From Under the Sea
They’re prickly, weird, and (hardly) the sexiest animal of the sea world, but humans simply can’t get enough! Sea urchins are considered a delicacy by gourmands, pets by aquarium fanatics, and a symbol of chic by design lovers. I, of course, fall into the latter category. I simply love urchin-inspired accessories, and I’m not alone. What is it about these spikey globes that we find so irresistible?
Our Inspiration: The Hedgehog of the Sea
Image: National Geographic
In nature, sea urchins (also known as sea hedgehogs) can be both enchanting and downright alien. They are extremely slow moving, vary in color, and can grow spines up to a foot long in some species (yikes!). While the spines are designed to deter predators, designers see these sharp quills as a beautiful source of inspiration.
From the Original C. Jere to Modern Remakes
Image: Jonathan Adler
Perhaps the most famous interpretation comes by way of Artisan House, producer of the original C. Jere sea urchin sculptures. These pieces range from wall art to tabletop accessories, and can be purchased through vintage furniture dealers – especially those specializing in mid-century modern design. Jonathan Adler also sells a version of the wall sculpture in partnership with C. Jere.
Various Shapes, Sizes, and Styles
Aside from C. Jere, urchin-like decorative accessories abound. I love the Urchin Bust on Stand, available at Pieces. Meanwhile, Kelly Wearstler offers her own sea urchin object, as well as a fabric, through Groundworks.
Looking Up: The Lumiere Chandelier
This room, by Amy Morris, may be one of my favorite presentations of sea urchin décor. She not only incorporated the shape using a spectacular Lumiere Chandelier, but she also placed smaller urchin sculptures throughout the space.
Image: Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles
Here, we see the spikey Lumiere used as a glamorous counterpoint to a light and airy eat-in kitchen.
Image: House Beautiful
So, what attracts designers to the urchin’s tough exterior? I’m still not sure, but it’s definitely a trend worth considering! Would you use a sea urchin shape in your space?