How to give your Christmas a relaxed, coastal feel

Discover how the Your Home & Garden team created this coastal Christmas look, where al fresco feasts and long, laid back afternoons take centre stage


How to give your Christmas a relaxed, coastal feel

Let your surroundings take centre stage this Christmas and indulge in a relaxed, outdoor family feast. Skip the formal lunch and head straight to the bach, entertain on the deck at home or take a picnic to the beach. There’s no need for fussy decorations when you have the beauty of New Zealand as your backdrop.

For our Christmas cover shoot, the Your Home and Garden team headed north of Kerikeri to Driftwood Seaside Escapes, a collection of gorgeous beach houses tucked amid the bush. With stunning views over the Bay of Islands, all we needed were a few well-placed festive touches.

A festive table

For a stylish Christmas lunch, drape an outdoor table with a white linen tablecloth, and lay fresh foliage down as a centrepiece. Rustic wooden dishes and serving platters will match the casual spirit of the day, and linen napkins and fine cutlery will bring a sense of occasion to the look.


The tree

Keep things natural with a mix of wooden decorations, gold accents and strips of linen tied to branches. You can also tie fabric strips around a foam wreath (we bought ours from Spotlight) to create an alternative, textured look.


Cocktail hour

After an indulgent Christmas meal, retiring to a shady spot for a gin and tonic or homemade lemonade will be welcome. Add a sprig of rosemary and some lemon slices for a refreshing touch – we were lucky to have a miniature citrus grove on hand for our shoot.

The family home sits on a headland, surrounded by views of the water. As well as walkways to the beach, private seating areas are scattered throughout the garden.


Keep it green

Natural tabletop ‘trees’ are a big trend this year. To make your own, trim some stems from your Christmas tree – or a similar tree in your garden – and pop them in a vase. You can also attach stems to a wreath.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Melanie Jenkins.

Home experts are just a click away