Blog Cabin

Dec 9

Coastal-Inspired Holiday Decorating Ideas

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe we’re already knee-deep in the holiday season? [And I haven't even started shopping for gifts yet. Eek!] This time next year, one of you will be sitting nice and cozy in Blog Cabin 2014 in Winter Haven, Fla. As an East Tennessee native, my winters are often filled with a mix of snow and rain, so I can’t imagine a Florida Christmas with temperatures in the 70s. How perfect is that?

It got me thinking, though — Blog Cabin isn’t seaside, but its Florida surroundings certainly call for coastal holiday decor come next Christmas. I thought I’d share some of my favorite coastal-inspired decorating ideas that tie in perfectly with The Sunshine State.

Decorate the Mantel With Rustic Elements + Neutral Hues

Coastal Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

Use Natural Materials Like Driftwood, Burlap, Moss + Greenery

Coastal Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas

Get Inspired: Coastal Holiday Decor for the Mantel >>

Deck Out the Chandelier for Added Drama

Create a Coastal-Chic Holiday Table

Create a Full, All-Natural Tablescape With Found Shells + Greenery

Create a Coastal-Chic Holiday Table

Get Inspired: Create a Coastal-Chic Holiday Table >>

Update a Wreath With Coastal Embellishments

Coastal-Inspired Shell Wreath

Driftwood = Yes!

Coastal Holiday Decorating Ideas

Get Inspired: 10 Coastal-Inspired Holiday Decorating Ideas >>

Tie in Unexpected Pieces, Like This Fisherman’s Sweater

Coastal Holiday Decorating Ideas

Get Inspired: Coastal- and Cottage-Style Christmas Decorations >>

How would you decorate a Florida lakeside home for the holidays? I’d love to hear your decorating ideas.

  • Posted at 2:50 pm on December 12, 2013
  • Permalink


  1. Hmmm, turning old sweaters into cushion covers. What a great idea. With a little mending maybe? Then I'll be able to save my 'old friends' from a one-way trip too Goodwill whenever I'm not looking. ;) Just have to persuade my wife of this. ^_^

    Clive on December 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm
    • Hi, Clive! I really, really love the sweater-turned-pillow idea. You can even use an old button-down shirt.

      Kayla@HGTV on December 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm
    • More 'old friends' to be repurposed. ;) I like it.

      Clive on December 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm
    • Now I know what to do with those Christmas sweaters that embarrass my daughters when i wear them!

      Crafter10 on December 10, 2013 at 11:56 am
    • I just love it.

      Deborah Maness on December 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    • MMMMM, I thought some of our new decorations looked familiar this year.

      540sam on December 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm
    • LOL. Hope your favorite fishing hat is still on its peg.

      Clive on December 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm
    • As I read this section….I LOVED seeing another idea for sweaters. Right now, I have been making leg warmers with matching cap for grandchildren. :) But the pillow covers ARE beautiful!

      As for fishing hat on the peg…..I have taken a jean skirt and will be making a fishing cap for my grandchild for the summer. She's too young to fish NOW…but her mother likes to protect her from the sun.

      The rag quilt sounds wonderful as well. Thank you for more ideas!

      Trish on December 10, 2013 at 10:27 am
    • Funny you should mention this Clive. I cut up a bunch of my family's old jeans, and made rag quilts out of them for Christmas. Wonder if they will notice.

      vicki_in_Utah on December 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm
    • :)

      Clive on December 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    • LOL

      COOLSMILEY on December 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm
  2. Hi all! Missed you guys this week. Hi Miss Kayla! Lovely to see you as well this week!

    Just wanted to share a little personally awesome news: This week my episode of HGTV Celebrity Holiday Homes airs! It's my first jaunt on-air – so you'll understand I'm a little nervous. I wrote a quick blog post here with all the info, but I'm hoping you'll tune in this Friday the 13th at 8pm on HGTV!! It would make me feel so much better to know my Blog Cabin friends tuned in :)

    I've been chewing my nails down all week – cannot wait to see how it all turned out. I'm so proud of the design work we did for Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett.



    Laurie_March on December 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm
    • Hi, Laurie! I'm so excited to tune in! :D

      Kayla@HGTV on December 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm
    • Laurie, your family must be so excited for you. This is quite an accomplishment! I'm sure your parents are so proud. of you. This is an awesome opportunity. You will be great! Each appearance will be easier as you gain more on-air experience. I'm sure this is the first of many more to come! As a parent….. I would be absolutely bursting out of my skin to see my daughter (well I only have sons) on TV doing what they love. Break a leg!

      Ashtabulannie on December 11, 2013 at 1:43 am
    • Thank you so much :) Yes my family is planning an East Coast viewing… I'm on the West so they'll see it all before me!

      You're so sweet… thank you so much :) :):)


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    • Good luck. We'll all be watching. :)

      Clive on December 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    • Thanks Clive :) :)


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    • Thanks for letting us know Laurie, I will be watching.

      vicki_in_Utah on December 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm
    • Hi Vicki! :)

      Thanks for tuning in… it was so much fun to make and I hope there are a ton of simple ideas in it for anyone's home design. Let me know what you think!


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    • I may have to record it. If I'm taking notes during the show I may miss something.

      Eugenia27 on December 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm
    • Hi Laurie, I'll tell hubby, I know we'll be tuned in!
      Congratulations on your first show. I understand nerves, I'll never forget my first traffic stop when I was cut loose as a rookie in 1975.
      Wishing you success!

      Wind Chime Girl on December 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm
    • Hooray WCG!

      I bet you did stop traffic :) :)


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    • Laurie,
      Ha! I don't know who was shaking more – me or the poor unlicensed, unregistered man I stopped. He didn't know he was my first 'test bunny'. We both made it through just fine.

      Throughout life I have learned that you have to face what you might fear. No fear, no gain. No chances taken, well then you don't go anywhere.

      Good for you on your first show. You run it out there, girl!
      We'll be watching.
      Again, much success.

      Wind Chime Girl on December 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm
    • What fun! I'm setting my DVR right now. I can't wait to see what you did with Kendra's house. It's a great space!

      TwoCorgis on December 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm
    • Laurie, I went to set my DVR and noticed that there are two episodes available on demand right now. Should I wait until Friday, or take a sneak peek?

      TwoCorgis on December 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm
    • Thank you! There are a few specials, this year and last years' that will pop up in your DVR. As far as I know, our episode premiers on Friday.

      Let me know what you think!


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm
    • Well, of course, I LOVED IT!!! You really captured Kendra's personality and found a style that she obviously loves. All of the white could have looked cold and flat, but adding the copper to it was inspired! It added warmth and depth that was quite surprising. The cupcake ornaments were so cute! I may give that a try with my nieces and nephew when I go home for the holidays. I'm a bit nervous about the glitter mess, but I'll put some paper down first. One question: Where on earth did you find that giant nutcracker? I collect them and I cannot believe I've never seen one like that! I must have it!!!

      TwoCorgis on December 14, 2013 at 12:19 am
    • Hi Laurie! How exciting, your first show! I am looking forward to seeing it and will be setting my DVR so I can watch it again in case I miss anything. Hope your nerves will calm down some so you can enjoy your first show with some friends over some hot toddies! Congratulations! :p <3

      jchristie24 on December 10, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    • Thanks so much! I can't wait to hear your thoughts :)

      Yes, having a few friends over for some drinks and snacks. Hoping the nerves melt away into just plain fun.


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    • Taaa daaaaa!! Our very own Laurie March!! You were so calm and cool Laurie! You captured Kendra and Hank's personalities hands down! My favorite things: copper balloons, blinged out candy sticks, disco balls, decorated staircase. Of course I could go on and on but you did a fabulous job! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments and I am sure your whole family is as well! Now for you to sit back and enjoy your own home and relax for the holidays! Awesome awesome awesome!! <3 Jill

      jchristie24 on December 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm
    • Laurie you are awesome and I am certainly gonna watch and cheer you on. You have been in front of cameras for a long time, so you'll do just fine. Oh yeah and stop biting your nails, that's not lady like.xD Sorry my mom just said that?! haha Just take a deep breath and have fun.<3<3

      Sheri McNamara on December 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm
    • Sheri –

      heeeeeeeeeh. I do work in construction AND design. Perhaps I'm not always ladylike? ;)

      yes, yes. stopped biting the nails at your request.


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    • I did my fair share of construction; it is impossible to NOT be lady like. You are a lady and who you are shines through the spackle, mud and saw dust.

      Eugenia27 on December 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    • I new you'd be great. You are a natural.:) P.S. I worked in auto shop and worked full-time as R.N. in hospital..Hard as I tried, My nails were a mess at times .so I was just trying to lighten the mood. I hope you were not offended. You are the best..<3

      Sheri McNamara on December 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm
    • You'll be great Laurie…… DH and I will be watching on friday. B)Thanks for letting us know! <3

      SID on December 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm
    • Thanks SID and DH! :)


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    • cant wait….

      twoTERRIERs on December 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm
    • :) :)<3


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    • I cannot wait to turn in for your episode 12/13/13 @ 8:00pm. I will definitely be watching. The episodes sounds like a way to get a lot of good ideas for Holiday decorating!

      flortenndreamer on December 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm
    • Hey!

      Thank you so much! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. We tried hard to pack it full of ideas – some simple (and some enormous!) that can inspire ideas for YOUR home :)


      Laurie_March on December 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm
  3. This is gorgeous! Can't wait to start implementing your seasonal ideas in the cabin! Mari.

    Macusina on December 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    • I DO hope you show us how you have decorated the new Cabin, Mari! Many of us have hinted how wonderful this would be. Hope it gets filmed/photographed for us.

      Trish on December 10, 2013 at 10:29 am
    • Hi Mari, have fun making the cabin your very own home!<3

      SID on December 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    • good to see you mari….cant wait to see you guys at blog cabin…

      twoTERRIERs on December 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm
    • I had so many ideas for the 2013 BC. I hope you can post some pictures so we can see what you came up with, but we'll understand if you want to keep that private. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season at the cabin!

      TwoCorgis on December 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm
  4. Florida Xmas! Fisherman knit sweaters are you kidding me??? Really???? Florida is all about intense colors. Tropical plants and blue skies. Where are the poinsettias, palm fronds, macaw feathers and lots of lights? This is the time to harvest oranges and grapefruit. Time to harvest all those strawberries over in Plant City. Make gallons of Jam and give as gifts. Those are my memories from Florida Christmases. Bring on the Hawaiian print shirts and flip flops. Shed those scratchy wool sweaters and clunky boots. It's Florida Time. Hot, humid and sunshine. It's about alligators, manatees, pelicans, and pythons. Get with the program.

    And It's hard to find a fireplace in most Florida Homes…… Just saying don't have a mantel to decorate.

    Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 12:39 am
    • Maybe, after the move to Florida, we'll need to re-purpose those heavy sweater! LOL! It's probably best to send them to the winner of the Truckee dream home and embrace Florida style, though. ;-)

      TwoCorgis on December 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm
    • 2corgis, great idea! To Truckee they shall go ! Don't mean to insult the idea or decorator. Very imaginative use of those hot itchy sweaters one foolishly bought on a tourist jaunt to Ireland. Guilty.But fleece and microfibers are so much better.

      Ashtabulannie on December 12, 2013 at 11:12 am
    • I am a born raised Florida girl here in Fort Myers, there are many houses with a fireplaces which are all on the river or down the street from the river, I live 8 blocks from the river, I haven't seen any gators in my neighborhood in the last 48 years or pythons unless I want to travel to the Everglades, which is indeed an awesome place to visit…. in the right spot living in Florida on Cloud 9 or in Heaven or on another planet, it is hard to explain how relaxing it is here, I lived in Michigan for 4 years, just moved back May 2013, so yeah -15 is cold but being from Florida also allowed me to love the snow and want to stay out in it alllll day!, I can't wait to see this house finished it will be breath taking… i love the look of the house as is, because that is a true Florida home and there are so many just like them and much bigger still standing and restored here in Fort Myers Florida :-)

      kelli W. on December 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm
  5. Old Central Florida used to be mostly farmland, grazing, brahma cattle and horse country and of course Orange groves and alligator farms. Where are the references to that history? Bring in the Palm tree or other tropical instead of a "northern pine" tree. Why aren't you using Spanish moss, orchids, and typical plants. Why aren't you glorifying the intense tropical color palette of Florida? Not only the colors but the intense aromas of all the intoxicating flowering plants. Heavenly. Not coastal, rather- central Florida represents a completely different vibe. Where is the homage to Cyprus Gardens and water skiing? Agricultural, gritty, hardworking, rural, and independent.
    Actually you most likely will find people walking around in a wide brimmed cowboy hat, boots, jeans and a western style shirt rather than a Hawaiian one.

    Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 12:58 am
    • I'm with you on all that, Hokiemom! I've visited central Fla. and it's as much horse & ranch country as places here in Tx. I agree with everything you said. Christmas needs color. And aromas and vibrancy.

      Wind Chime Girl on December 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    • WCG-That's what I thought when I first visited central Florida -Ocala. It's a lot like Texas! I was kinda surprised. People in "Dungarees" and Western Boots. Well perhaps the aroma was a little more like fertilizer and manure depending ……..lolo
      Sorry those beige-neutrals leave me a little blue and depressed. I'm no professional decorator. Obviously decorator is most familiar with northern areas. Birch logs???Juniper? Starfish? Florida should be "Sand Dollars and Palm Fronds. Very surprised at choices shown on this blog-Florida????

      Ashtabulannie on December 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    • Amen, my mothers family was from Kissimmee , before disney it was rural cattle farms and oranges.Lots of hunting…cowboys and rodeos.

      Susan on December 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm
  6. What ?? No pink Flamingo's with Santa Hats? It can not truly be Xmas in Florida. Classic! What's with the "Neutral" color theme?? Big Yawn. Seriously?? Hey we are in Florida or are we????

    Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    • Clive on December 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    • ROFL :)

      Eugenia27 on December 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    • How about this for decorating outside the house? :D

      Clive on December 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    • NOW tha'ts what I'm talk'in about!!! Great job Clive!! Those photos get me in the spirit!!! Those neutrals leave me depressed. Big Thumbs UP to ya'!!! Get out the Wassail and go caroling. Much more pleasant to do in the warmth of a Florida nite than up north for sure.

      Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm
    • It was -1F when the kids were getting on the bus this morning with a wind chill nearly -20F. Not good for man nor beast. I hear the carol 'In the deep mid winter' playing somewhere but this is only the first few days of winter. Not looking forward to this one at all. :S

      Clive on December 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm
    • OH Where the heck do you live? How can CHILL-dren go out in that type of weather???? Guess that makes you the Popsicle? Here in the Washington DC metro area the sun came out, the ice is melting and the government is closed. Go figure????? Cleaned up the downed tree branches did the laundry. Didn't loose electricity this time and the heat is working. Life is good. Stay warm . Betting you could use a Florida Holiday! Crossing fingers you win this one.

      Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    • The "Frozen Tundra" aka Wisconsin. We're used to it but that doesn't mean we all like it.:) Some kids still wearing shorts or short skirts and tennis shoes. Antifreeze for blood. ;)

      Clive on December 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm
    • Wisconsin. I tried to write more but was sent to blog 'sin-bin' No time for more now. :)

      Clive on December 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    • My goodness Clive! You must've been very naughty???? minus 3 thumbs? OUCH??? Guess you won't be able to pinch anyone??? Something seems amiss? I tried to give you an UP but nada! Really weird.

      Ashtabulannie on December 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm
    • Clive just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our visit to Wisconsin last summer. It is a beautiful state. Got 10 lbs of freshly harvested cranberries and am making scones this afternoon with the last few remaining cups. Great People, beautiful country and wonderful…… in the summer! Stayed mostly in Rhine lander…… home of the Ho dag. Stay warm and out of the sinbin. I also tried again to give another thumbs up. Perhaps I am not doing you any favors???? Sorry….

      Ashtabulannie on December 12, 2013 at 11:20 am
    • Thanks Hokiemom. :) I hope you kept an eye open for the Hodag. You can never be sure when they will appear. Usually, later in the evening after several refreshments and a good campfire seems to be the best time for spotting one. ;)

      Clive on December 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm
    • We had -19 deg at 9am…burr, bring on the flamingos with the Santa hats.

      vicki_in_Utah on December 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm
    • Good grief – 9 in Utah! That makes our 4 degrees in Michigan seem like a heat wave.

      RLDorf on December 12, 2013 at 11:47 am
    • It has been more like Jan. weather not December. I hope that means Jan is going to be warmer. WOW 4 deg in Michigan that is warm. I have a grandson that lives there.

      vicki_in_Utah on December 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm
    • Here we go Vicki, as you requested ;)

      Clive on December 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    • Thanks Clive now i fell better LOL

      vicki_in_Utah on December 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    • so true…how bout santa's sleigh being driven by pink flamingos and one with a red nose

      twoTERRIERs on December 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    • LOL twoTERRIERs, thats is so funny.

      vicki_in_Utah on December 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    • i think if we did this we'd have to modify santas sleigh (maybe a surfboard or jetski); the elves could be dolphins; and of course santa and the elves attire would have to change…

      twoTERRIERs on December 10, 2013 at 9:44 pm
  7. Hi Kayla, I have to agree Christmas in Central Florida should be colorful and not neutal! Colors reflecting the bright sunshine, blue sky, citrus groves, beautiful Southern Magnolia wreaths, red poinsettias (can grow them in the garden and bring them inside in central Florida!). Check out Pinewood Estate at Bok Garden that's some real Christmas Inspiration even for those of us up north! I can see that little Central Florida Cabin by Lake Hamilton now….ahh beautiful! ;-)

    LRN on December 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm
  8. I'm enjoying the weather here in FL. Warm but breezy days. Nice that I can still wear those shorts I just bought this summer. ;) It was pretty cold here on Thanksgiving, and I remember saying that it probably wouldn't even be as cold as that on Christmas! Christmas is often warm, or raining!!

    We have a fireplace in our home, though we never use it, I always enjoy decorating the mantle for the holidays. I think the color scheme is refreshing. The beachy natural hues and pop of nature's greenery, is really relaxing.

    JenniferAnn on December 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm
    • Since you don't use your fireplace in FL, the idea of lining up logs in it (as in the picture above) will probably work great for you. I really love the way that looks! This year in southwestern Ohio, I have the fireplace going almost every night. I expected the snow and cold when I lived in the Adirondacks, but not here!

      TwoCorgis on December 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    • TwoCorgis, we are keeping up with the weather in Ohio for the first time in our lives. Our youngest is stationed at Wright-Patterson, Dayton. His wish list includes all kinds of 'keep warm' gear.
      Winter this year is going to be bizarre, I fear – for all of us. We still look like a Winter Wonderland here 70 miles SSW of Ft. Worth.
      The ice storm we had has been the strangest weather event I've ever seen.
      Stay warm, Two C's and keep that fire going. I wish I could send you some of our oak for you to burn, we have piles of it.

      Wind Chime Girl on December 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm
  9. Photo #1 and 2 are my favorites. Very nice!!!

    Summer on December 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm
  10. You create a Full, All-Natural Tables-cape With Found Shells + Greenery? That was an awesome idea! Innovative ideas like this one can make everyone to be impressed and inspired through this, that's a good thing that we share each ideas to come up with a little joy and fulfillment of us. LOVELY!

    holidayhomedecor on December 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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