Ahhh, the beach at Christmas time. What a unique experience. I actually relish being on the beach when it is not sweltering hot. No beach umbrella or sunscreen necessary - just you, the waves and a cool breeze.
Decorating the cottage was a fun endeavor. I wanted to add some special holiday decorations, however, I didn't want to go overboard. Our storage at the cottage is limited, so I decided to focus on the front door and great room. Also, I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I tried to make the most of things we already had on hand. Finally, I wanted to stay with a color scheme that reflected colors already in the house - the color aqua made a lot of sense, and the use of burlap worked well with our casual style.
I didn't want anything wrapped around the top of the banister railing as this could get in the way as people walk down the stairs. I originally wanted to use 3M hooks to hang the garland on the outside of the spindles without any damage, but the ones I purchased were too large. However, I ended up just tying everything to the top of the spindles with twine and this worked out fine.
The fishnet from Hobby Lobby was cut into three strips. Then used some light beige paint and painted the net randomly with a roller. The reason I did this was originally not planned. I had fishnet left over from my "failed fishnet paint technique" attempt and it was covered in light beige paint (see that post here and the paint on the fishnet will make more sense). When I used this fishnet on the Christmas wreath - I liked the effect. Repeating this same effect on the banister was an easy choice. Without the light beige paint - the fishnet comes across as brown and dingy. It's an extra step to put the paint on it, but I think it's well worth it.
I thought about winding burlap ribbon through the tree for additional garland, but I didn't think of that until after it was completely decorated. I'm glad didn't try to add the burlap in there, as I pictured myself knocking off ornaments and having them break on the tile floor. I'll keep that idea in mind for next year...
The starfish on top is a resin starfish. I emphasize this is not a dried dead starfish, as I really dislike having any of those around. I am a scuba diver and I get to see these beautiful creatures alive in their natural environment. To me, that is where they belong, and no need to have creepy dried ones around your home. (Ditto for sand dollars - have you ever seen a real one? They are super cool.) The twine works out perfectly to secure the resin starfish to the top of the tree.
DINING ROOM TABLE
The centerpiece made use of the Coca-Cola crate that always sits on the table. See post here on how I painted and distressed the crate. I brought the bells and candles from our home in Alabama. Rosemary from our bushes out front worked as a nice accent around the candles. Since I used only items we already had on hand - total cost $0!
The napkin rings were a last minute DIY made from the extra burlap ribbon from the bows on the banister. I just folded the ribbon in half and secured it with hot glue. Then I cut them into 8 inch strips and used hot glue to configure the strips into napkin rings. Some extra silver ribbon was tied on the outside, but this can easily be changed out if I want to use these plan or embellish them for another occasion. The napkin rings are another item I can brag about being free! The blue napkins were purchased from Pier One and they go perfectly with the tablecloth I found at Homegoods.
The seashell dishes were purchased from Target and used year round at the cottage (an awesome find). The wine glasses are from Old Time Pottery - you can buy them in a box of a dozen for less than $1.50 a stem. If one breaks or chips - who cares - just buy another box!
Note that the main elements of this table setting are not holiday specific (the dishware, glassware, napkins, tablecloth, etc..). This table can be modified slightly to be used for any occasion. Can you imagine switching out the bells in the centerpiece for some red flowers, and some red ribbon around the burlap napkin rings?. . . and "poof" you have a 4th of July Table!