I've been fascinated by shells for as long as I can remember. My grandmother had one that I loved when I was a kid. But for some reason, I've never loved them as decor, even then. They've always looked a little touristy-tacky to me (no offense to my dear grandmother).
I know what you mean, we have quite a bit of shell decor going on in the Pacific Northwest. I think they are OK if they are really unique and kind of rustic looking, but I'm not crazy about them when they've been cleaned up and pasteled. Or stuck together on a piece of marble? I'm not even sure what this thing is supposed to be.