The holiday season is gearing up and I’m so excited to share with you my top decorating ideas! I get many questions this time of year about how to add holiday cheer to a coastal interior, so I put together this guide to help you this year and every year to come.
Use this guide and your own personal style to infuse your home with holiday warmth, so every one of your guests feels cozy, welcome, and right at home. I’ve included several holiday design ideas so you can find inspiration no matter what your coastal style is.

Use Natural Materials and Neutral Colors  

Coastal style embraces a soothing color palette inspired by nature with neutral colors taking center stage. Achieve a similar feel during the holidays by sticking with the same palette and natural materials for your decorations. 
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Use found objects on your beach walks or even your backyard. Pine cones, driftwood, and found greenery all nod to a wintery outdoor scene. Place clusters in your home to create a neutral holiday feel.
  • Stick with white or gold twinkle lights. These colors add a bit of sparkle to your home without bringing in the traditional loud Christmas colors.
  • Swap lighter textiles for warm, plush ones. Give your home a seasonal refresh with natural, warm pillows, throws, and cushions. Wool, faux fur, and cashmere not only make your home look inviting but keep you feeling warm and toasty on cozy winter nights. Use neutral colors like cream, brown, or black for a streamlined look.

Emphasize Ocean Hues 

Ditch the traditional holiday color palette for hues that reflect the ocean vibe. Sapphire, cerulean, and frosty blues are great choices for blending holiday decor with coastal style.

A few of my favorite ideas:
  • These stunning teal glass ornaments are the statement piece you’ve been missing in your holiday decor. These watery blue, textured glass balls, are perfect for the tree, hanging from the window, or grouped as a centerpiece.
  • Try a flocked tree with ornaments in a restrained palette of silver, blue, and white. 
  • Bring in traditional Christmas greenery, but in blue. These days, there’s an array of quality faux flowers and foliage to choose from. Try a cluster of poinsettias in a silvery blue palette for that coastal holiday vibe.

Use coastal decor in unexpected ways 

For a look that’s more casual and cottagy, try using traditional coastal materials such as driftwood, shells, and flowers. This is a great theme if you love making holiday decorations at home! And a perfect way to help kids participate in holiday decorating.
Try these ideas:
  • Make a driftwood garland with foraged materials. 
  • Use dried blue hydrangeas to make a coastal holiday wreath.
  • Make jute rope ornaments. Start with inexpensive ball ornaments and wrap them with jute using a hot glue gun. 

Go Scandinavian Coastal For the Holidays

If you love the traditional holiday colors but lean more minimalist, look to the Nordic countries for inspiration. With miles of coastline and a strong holiday tradition, there are plenty of inspiring ideas.

Here are a few:
  • Use a limited palette of red and white or gold and white. Think chunky pillows with a red and white Nordic pattern, a tree adorned with gold ornaments and sparkling white lights, or clusters of red berries dotted around instead of the typical greenery.
  • Stick with natural materials such as wood, wool, and glass. White ceramic tabletop trees, a natural wood advent calendar, or glass ball ornaments all fit the Scandinavian holiday theme. Our holiday window this year includes the warmth of wood and wall with the winter tones with teal glass balls and felt acorn garland.
  • For something a little different, try a Nordic nautical theme. A blue, white, and red theme in classic coastal patterns is a modern take on the traditional shipping tradition. 

Think Coastal, But Glam

A typical coastal interior leans toward matte finishes, soothing color palettes, and the calm derived from a long walk on the beach. If you love this look but want to embrace the holiday season, why not glam it up? The holidays are about excess, after all. Now is the time for shiny finishes, glam touches, and sparkle. The key for this look is to stick with tasteful holiday decor that’s just a touch more flashy than your usual style.

These are my favorite coastal glam ideas:
  • Start with metallics. The iced blue pinecones shown in the onyx dish add holiday sparkle. Or, bring the sparkle to your holiday with a palette of gold and white, or silver and blue. An all white and gold Christmas tree reflects natural tones with that extra glitz the holiday warrants.
  • Bring in lush textiles. Think cushy faux fur in warm, rich colors that invite your guests to sit back in luxury.
  • Don’t forget the little touches. Embrace excess to create a feeling of abundance and hospitality. Swap plain white candles for mercury glass. Add a touch of the holidays in every room with greenery, lights, and more. Have bowls of holiday goodies around and encourage guests to help themselves. 
Which of these coastal holiday styles speaks to your unique aesthetic? Need help figuring it out? I’ve got you covered. Ease the stress of the holidays by booking a complimentary design chat with me. We can discuss your goals and help you create lasting holiday memories with the perfect style for your home.
March 05, 2024 — Shannon Willey