Meet the homeowner whose seaside cottage is covered with thousands of SHELLS

Yahoo! News
The property in Dartmouth, Devon has been plastered inside and out with tens of thousands of seashells (SWNS)

A homeowner has shelled out £120,000 for her perfect seaside house.

The two-bedroom cottage belonging to Louise Cotton is unlike any other in Britain - because it is decorated inside and out with tens of thousands of shells.

Louise, 48, snapped up the chance to own the property in Dartmouth, Devon, which has fascinated her since she was a child.

Shells from numerous creatures, including clams, cockles and scallops are stuck to the walls and ceilings and were collected from the beach nearby.

The outside of the house features pretty motifs of boats, anchors and lighthouses and even the gate is covered with the cream-coloured shells.

Previous owners Paul and Joyce Plimmer plastered the house with seashells three decades ago, roping their sons to collect the unique wall-hangings.

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."

The property has been a local tourist destination for years and is even featured on postcards and websites.

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 said: "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."