Holiday Style at the Beach
A couple realizes their longtime dream of owning a coastal getaway with this simple retreat that sparkles for the season—and all year round.
Yes, sometimes it's completely okay to sacrifice the view! The main attraction of the tiny Dillon Beach, California, cottage during the holidays is the 9-foot-tall tree in front of one window. It's covered in seahorse, starfish, and sailboat ornaments, and surrounded by gold-and-blue packages.
In the dining area, gauzy napkins tucked in starfish rings complement blue-and-white dishes, while glittery deer, clear ornaments, and shiny sea-colored trees anchor the tablescape. Cyclamen are potted in galvanized buckets with seashells, a nod to the season and the beach.
The clean, comfortable furnishings in the den—a plush, slipcovered sectional and a high-backed wicker chair—get a bit of interest thanks to the azure-and-taupe pillows from Pottery Barn, giving a cottage-by-the-sea feel.
Simple accents, such as a tray full of shells, glass jars, and conch artwork in matching whitewashed frames reinforce the calming look.
Chair backs provide a sweet spot for simple green wreaths decorated with starfish. For an ethereal, monochromatic look, spray wreaths with glitter flocking (artificial snow), available at crafts/hobby stores, before attaching decorations.
Sometimes it's not enough to just enjoy breathtaking water views from inside the house. Carve out a cozy outdoor niche with references to sea life, all-weather seating, and lots of overstuffed pillows.
Leave oversize windows bare to allow the landscape itself to steal the show.