“For me, bourbon is the smell of Christmas,” says Chef Gail of Palmilla’s Black Marlin…
It’s that time of the year again, when reindeer get ready, holly and mistletoe come inside, Menorahs are lit, and sugar plums dance through children’s heads. Now, some of your traditional décor may not seem to work if you are spending your holidays at your coastal home, but with a little imagination and some holiday cheer, you can create a magical mood in keeping with your personal style. Here is some inspiration to help you with seasonal design that will make your coastal retreat a holiday wonderland.
When you think of dressing your home for the holidays, you probably think of pine door wreaths, green holly with sprigs of berries, tartan plaids, candy canes, garlands for bannisters and mantels, poinsettia plants, blue spruce trees, stockings, etc. But we are here to tell you to ignore the usual red and green and allow seascapes from the Gulf Coast to inspire your holiday mood.
Imagine using seashells and driftwood on tablescapes, a light green menorah with blue candles, a centerpiece constructed entirely of glass vases filled with sand and white candles! Do you normally use Christmas china on your holiday table? Consider some sea-foam glass plates, with airy blue napkins in seashell holders, clear glassware, and then sprinkle blue and green candy canes around the table. Or scatter shells, glass balls, silver snowflakes, or miniature fish at each place setting. Use nautical place mats instead of a traditional tartan cloth, and use rustic rope, wooden boat models, and mini life preservers to tell your own story.
MANTELS & FIREPLACE
Use driftwood to decorate your mantel with a combination of pale blue and green ornaments, starfish, and silver candles. Incorporate a hand-painted menorah into a seascape tableau and use pale blue candles. Make your own swags and garlands from rope or twine, threading shells and pale hued glass beads on it like a giant necklace for Poseidon that you can drape anywhere you would normally use greenery.
And fireplaces make perfect backdrops for arrangements of driftwood, giant seashells, lobster traps or any other nautical items you have around. Rustic nativity scenes can also be displayed in front of the fireplace and work with almost any décor.
You can make a door wreath from nautical rope, netting, and fish ornaments. Or use starfish, sea glass, and mermaid figurines! Another idea is to wrap your wreath foam in light or sandy colored tulle, then glue sprigs of local greenery, seashells, and ribbons that reflect the fabric color of your rooms to the form. For Hanukkah wreaths, use cobalt blue and white ribbon, artificial flowers, blue and silver tree ornaments, and small menorahs or Stars of David to create a unique seasonal statement.
TREES & ORNAMENTS
Don’t have any sea-themed tree ornaments? Do a google search and check out Amazon, Etsy, At Home, or Wayfair for great selections of specific color and topical design elements, ornaments, and tree toppers. Collect some shells, sea anemones, and starfish, then paint them in pale pinks and blues and use those for tree ornaments. Less fragile than glass, they and can be reused in clear vases, jars, or hurricane lamps later.
Turquoise and silver work well together, so use a metal basket or large glass jar to display a mixture of silver and pale blue tree ornaments. Don’t be afraid to toss some tinsel in there to sparkle things up or use a piece of driftwood for a rustic feel.
Put your Christmas tree outside on a deck or terrace (weather permitting) and use beige burlap as a tree skirt as if the tree sprouted from the sand! Pot the tree in a rustic planter instead of a tree stand. Artificial trees are available everywhere and can be bought in blues, greens, pinks, silver, white, or greens. Then adorn it with similar shades of ornaments! Whatever color scheme you choose, just be sure to repeat the same colors throughout your home to create a continuous eye-pleasing symmetry.
Who says stockings have to be red? Imagine pastel fabrics with little seahorse appliques! Or pale pink felt with peach and red embroidered candy canes on them! Simple beige burlap or blue felting make awesome trim for pre-existing stockings too. Home stores have lots of different style and theme stockings, and craft stores have everything you need to sew or glue your own from-scratch stocking. And why do stockings have to hang from a mantel, anyway? Imagine them dangling in ascending height from the sides of your staircase, or from hooks on a wall of shiplap. Or suspended from your kitchen island in between stools!
MAKE YOUR OWN
If you are feeling crafty, let the kids and grandkids help! Check out these photos for some amazing ideas of do-it-yourself-décor that will work with any coastal home. We also feature two seasonal crafts that you can try to make; the Driftwood Christmas Tree and the Acorn Dreidel.
Holidays by the ocean can be just as special as anywhere else, but incorporating coastal style into your décor can make it that much more inspiring and unique. The sky is the limit, and your imagination is the key for personal interior design that reflects your taste, style, and mood. Hopefully, these ideas and photos will launch your creativity into the stratosphere. And we want to see your results!
Take photos of your favorite seasonal coastal décor this year and send them to us. We’ll publish the best ones and we’ll select a winner among all submissions for a $100 gift card. All you need to do is post your photo on your favorite socials and include this hashtag: #PortAHoliday
Unleash your imaginations and show us your creative genius; we can’t wait to see the results.