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What Are the Different Types of Coral Decor?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

There are many different types of coral decor, from the simple, elegant coral cluster which acts as a centerpiece to coral inspired fabrics, wall papers, and accents. Basically, coral decor falls into two categories: decor made from authentic or faux coral, and decor inspired by the shapes and colors of coral. Both types are widely available both online and in brick and mortar stores and range in price from relatively inexpensive for coral-inspired pieces and faux coral to very expensive for certain types of authentic coral.

Authentic coral is actually a living organism, harvested from the ocean or cultivated on a coral farm. Most coral decor is no longer living as it has been removed from the water and dried out. Even so, coral farms do sell living coral for use in aquariums. Different colors and species of living coral can be visually striking, creating a living decorative piece in water features.

Living coral is sometimes harvested and used in aquariums.
Living coral is sometimes harvested and used in aquariums.

Many environmentally conscious individuals prefer faux coral to authentic coral. Some species of coral are actually endangered, so using authentic coral is akin to using real animal skins or ivory. Even so, the sale of authentic coral is not prohibited. Faux coral can be made from a variety of materials, from ceramic and plaster to resin. They may be sculpted or made from a mold of authentic coral.

Depending on the species and the seller, the price for dried decorative coral has a wide range. Fragments, or pieces of coral that are sold by the pound are typically inexpensive, as are many common species of coral. Rare species are typically more expensive. The size of the coral cluster also affects the price as large clusters are more rare.

Decor that is made from coral or that uses coral in its original form is quite common. Some corals are low and bunched, forming almost a round cluster, and some are quite long and slender. Due to the wide variety, coral can appeal to many different aesthetic tastes, traditional, modern, or eclectic.

A coral cluster is often used as a centerpiece or accent piece on a tables, buffet, or shelf. Fragments can be placed in a clear bowl or jar and used in the same manner. Coral can also be incorporated into functional items as well. For instance, a large coral cluster can be made into a table lamp with a lamp kit and a shade.

There are many types of coral inspired pieces. Printed fabric with abstract or literal images of coral can be made into blankets, pillows, table cloths, napkins, and many other items. Similarly, wall paper and decorative papers can be printed with coral inspired artwork. This type of decorative item can act as part of the main theme or as a coral decor accent.

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    • Living coral is sometimes harvested and used in aquariums.
      By: lilithlita
      Living coral is sometimes harvested and used in aquariums.