Coastal Christmas Decor

starfish christmas ornament
Starfish Christmas Ornament. Sharondipity Photography / Moment / Getty

If you live in a warm or tropical climate, or just adore coastal-inspired decor, you may find it difficult to decorate for Christmas.  Quite frankly, classic red and green decorations and other traditional Christmas elements do somehow seem out of place in a beach house.  Who needs a hot chocolate bar or plaid throws when it's 80 degrees outside, after all?  Luckily, there are lots of ways to make coastal-themed elements work at Christmastime.

These five beach-inspired elements and the design tips that follow will help you design the perfect coastal Christmas.

Starfish--Starfish, or sea stars, are absolutely perfect home accessories for a coastal-themed Christmas.  After all, stars are one of the symbols of the season.  Use smaller ones as ornaments, or string them onto a garland for a mantel or dining room table.  You could also tie them onto candles or use a large one at the top of your tree.

Sand Dollars--Sand dollars work as coastal-themed Christmas decorations because they are white--(and it's smart to decorate with neutrals for the holidays!) and because they resemble snowflakes.  Hang sand dollars on your tree, or use them on a wreath.

Blue and Aqua--What would a beach house be without some shades of blue in it?  Chances are, if you decorate in this style, you have a lot of blue in your home.  Luckily, aqua, teal, turquoise, and even navy are beautiful at Christmastime, especially when paired with metallics or shades of green.

 For example:

  • Fill glass hurricanes with sea glass and white candles
  • Fill a silver bowl with blue bulbs, sprigs of greenery, and a starfish or two.
  • Pair aqua pillows with blue and green plaid ones for a seasonal touch. 

Nautical Elements--Certain nautical-themed home accessories work at Christmastime.  Rope, for instance, can be used as a tree garland, or coiled inside a clear glass bulb to hang on the tree.

 Glass floats are also beautiful as tree ornaments.  Or, learn some basic nautical knots to dress up the packages under your tree.

Sand--What could be beachier than sand?  Make luminaria to line an outdoor walkway or a staircase by filing lots of glass jars, vases from the dollar store, or hurricanes with sand, then nestling in some white candles.

Here are some tips and tricks to making the coastal-themed elements you may already have work for you throughout the holidays:

  • If you'd like a more festive look for your coastal home during the holidays, try silver or gold spray paint on natural elements such as shells and starfish to give you a lot of bling for your buck.
  • If aqua is your everyday color of choice, mix in some deeper, richer blues and greens such as navy and emerald for an elegant spin on your beach-inspired color scheme.
  • Coastal homes often uses a lot of natural textures and neutral colors like white, tan and gray.  Luckily, these colors work great for the holidays; in fact, neutral holiday decor transitions easily from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and would blend effortlessly into a coastal-themed space.  Check out these tips for using neutral holiday home accessories to your advantage.
  • Finally, if you live in a truly tropical locale, give yourself permission to go for the kitsch!  Pink flamingos, palm trees with lights, and decorations in tropical fruit colors are sometimes the only way to go, and can be very fun and festive.


Project Sources: Rope-Filled Ornaments / Using Gold Spray Paint on Natural ElementsSeashell GarlandGlass Float Ornaments / Nautical Knot Gift Wrapping