Coastal Christmas decor: how to bring the sea breeze into your home over the holidays — from $8.95

These coastal Christmas decor ideas and buys are quirky, chic and affordable

Three pictures of coastal Christmas decor: one of a mirror, one of a fireplace, and one of a mantelpiece
(Image credit: Carn Mar / @ourblessednestof4 / Amazon)

If you’re a sea lover like me, coastal Christmas decor may be the way to go this year. You might not think that sandy vibes and snow vibes go together — but trust me, they’re as great a pairing as.

I’m spending my Christmas this year by the coast, which I’m super excited about. That mixture of brisk sea air, matched with cozy fireplaces and hot cocoa, is going to be so gorgeous. Do you know what’ll make it even more fabulous? Pretty decorations. As the interiors writer of the family, I know I’m the one who’s going to be responsible for decking the halls.

If you want to mix up your Christmas decorations this year and think coastal decor could be the way to go — I’m here for you. I’ve spoken to design experts to find out how to decorate with it, plus rounded up some pretty buys I’m adding to my cart. Think seashells, draped netting, starfish, and glam clams. Whether you've got the coast on your doorstep or want to soften your city abode — the interior world is your oyster!

How to decorate with coastal Christmas decor

If you like neutral Christmas decor and coastal decor, you're going to love coastal Christmas decor. Here's how to bring it into your home.

1. Put up a flocked Christmas tree

A flocked Christmas tree in front of a large window

(Image credit: Viv and Tim Home /

Opting for a flocked Christmas tree, rather than one with a fully green base, will allow you to incorporate beachy colors into your festive decor. “This is a great way to introduce a subtle blue-green color, which gives it more of a neutral foundation compared to other regular green trees,” says Vivianne Chow, interior designer and owner at Viv and Tim Home.  If you have a Christmas tree that you want to flock yourself, you can use a DIY snow spray.

Vivianne Chow and her husband Tim on the couch
Vivianne Chow

Vivianne Chow is an interior stylist and founder of the home decor blog, She's passionate about sharing the best modern home decor to buy and recently built a dream custom home with her husband Tim. Together, they're tackling decorating room by room and sharing design tips and ideas along the way.

2. Incorporate Christmas elements with beachy twists

A fireplace with stockings, pine garlands, and a mirror

(Image credit: @ourblessednestof4)

This decor style is all about marrying beachy shapes and colors with classic Christmas finishing touches. For example, you could do this with driftwood, seashells, and starfish within your decorations. “A driftwood garland or a Christmas wreath adorned with seashells can make for a charming entrance,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight. “Also, consider rope-wrapped candleholders or a nautical star atop your Christmas tree.” 

Got candleholders that you want to DIY decorate yourself? This Hdviai macrame cord on Amazon is so pretty and nautical.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

3. Get creative with classic coastal pieces

Five Christmas tree decorations on top of a fireplace

(Image credit: Amazon)

You can also get creative with materials that are used around the coast. “Tangling a heavy tow rope with your banister garland will instantly make you feel like you’re at the beach,” says Emily Piepenbrink, Christmas designer and owner of Made Merry. “You can also drape netting in small swags around your Christmas tree.” This will add a marine theme to your holidays instantly. 

The netting pictured above can be bought on Amazon, and would look especially festive when layered with fairy lights.

A picture of Emily Piepenbrink in front of a bookshelf
Emily Piepenbrink

After working for interior designers to decorate clients’ homes for Christmas, having holiday designs and photoshoots published in magazines, Emily Piepenbrink started Made Merry to share her passion for Christmas decor.

4. Go for minimalistic decor

A table with Christmas lights with a mirror above it reflecting a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Carn Mar)

Yes, I know — it can be easy to throw everything glittery and sparkly into your home for the holidays. But, in order to achieve a coastal look, you need to go for minimalistic Christmas decor.“ Avoid overcrowding your space — instead, opt for key decorative pieces that evoke the seaside charm, ensuring the decor feels light and airy,” explains Kropovinsky. 

5. Be thoughtful with your color palette

A gray couch next to a Christmas tree, coffee tbale, and a blue sideboard with colorful houses

(Image credit: Snug)

Blues and greens are popular colors for coastal Christmas decorating, are but far from being the only ones. “If you love a neutral Christmas palette, a seaside look is perfect,” says Piepenbrink. She suggests adding pale sand dollars and starfish to your tree of whites, creams, and metallics. “A bowl of mercury glass ornaments and oysters looks seasonal and whimsical,” she adds. This set of Wondershop Christmas ornaments on Target would pair well with any beachy elements.

Adding white coral and silver ornaments to a tray of white candles also makes for a seaside-inspired centerpiece.

More coastal Christmas buys

Most of us will be entertaining inside this Christmas, so bring the beachy vibes inside with a multi-sensory vibe. Salty room fragrances will instantly transport you to the sea and don't forget to pair that olive-brined Martini with a coastal-inspired coaster for that social-worthy aesthetic. I've trawled the net for some shoppable items, but you could use a metallic pen (like this trio of Sharpie permanent markers on Amazon) to decorate cleaned oyster shells to use in place of placards.


What is coastal Christmas decor?

Coastal Christmas is about integrating all of the magic and tradition of Christmas with the wonderfully unique lifestyle of waterfront living. “Basically, imagine if Santa and Mrs Claus spent their off days in a lakeside cabin or an ocean front villa,” says Piepenbrink. “It’s all festive fishes, snowflakes and seashells, and a palette the color of sea glass.” 

How to decorate with coastal Christmas decor?

Whether you’re lucky enough to live with a view of the water or not, anyone can add coastal Christmas decor to their space. “Integrate your Christmas decorations with the treasures and textures of the sea,” says Piepenbrink.

Now you know how to decorate your home for the holidays with nautical Christmas decor, you might be wondering what other coastal styles you can incorporate into your home. Coastal grandmother is a stylish trend that matches timeless touches with beachy elements.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.

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