With only a few days left to fulfill your friends and families’ wish lists, check out these original beach-inspired gift ideas.  If you’re done with all your holiday shopping and you’ve been nice (and not naughty), go on and get a little something for yourself.  You deserve it.

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Malibu shot glass

For the stylish party animal, the Beach Set glasses courtesy of Sisters of LA and available from Kitson.

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It’s cold outside but why go out when you can grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa with the kids and enjoy a little down time in your own slice of paradise?  These days it’s out with the formal (and stuffy) living room and in with the casual eat-in kitchen/family room.  Make the area where the family congregates for breakfast, snacks and even homework a cozy and stylish nook by incorporating a banquette (built-in bench).  Have fun mixing and matching chairs with interesting upholstery to reflect your own personal chic style.

Aerin Lauder kitchen nook Elle decor

Aerin Lauder uses a breezy blue geometric patterned fabric on her chairs and banquette and personalizes the space with art and personal photos.  Photos courtesy of Elle Decor.

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Those classic vinyl webbed lawn chairs from the 60s and 70s bring back great memories of  lazy days at the beach and the good old family barbeques by the pool.  But you can take inspiration from them to incorporate some summer nostalgia into your home with a more modern take on the classic chair.

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Reupholstering furniture takes fine motor skills and a love of textiles.  It is an old school trade that requires the right tools and a good amount of patience.  If you have always loved grandma’s wing back chair but not its weathered blue fabric or you discover a well-made piece of furniture at the flea market that just needs a little freshening up, all it takes is a little vision and a few necessary tools (perhaps even some simple sewing skills) and you could have the most interesting chair on the block.

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If you often fantasize about your dream home but don’t know where to start, consider exploring the design-friendly web site, Pinterest.  Even if your budget is a far cry from allowing you to purchase designer tiles, custom upholstery or even new bedding and pillows, all the design pros agree its best to do your research to understand your taste by collecting images of what you like in a notebook or file folder.  Pinterest is a tool for creating your own virtual inspiration board.  So come on — dream a little.

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