DIY: Island Decor

When you take up residence on one of the most beautiful islands in world, you want your home to reflect island style.  A modern, nautical look.  While many retailers are happy to help you do that for a pretty penny, natural resources on St. Croix make many projects easy to do yourself.

Take for example, these beautiful preserved sea fans from Restoration Hardware (priced from $395.00 to $1,495.00 depending on size):

Coral Fan

Photo Credit Restoration Hardware

St. Croix residents Leah and Kirk Chewning crafted their own versions at a cost of $5.00:


Photo Courtesy of Leah Chewning

Here are the steps they took to create them:

  • Frames were sourced at the Animal Shelter Flea Market
  • Frames were spray painted black
  • Backing was cut from solid peg board
  • Matting was pressed linen
  • Matting was attached to backing with hot glue and screws
  • Coral fans were attached with spray adhesive (3M Super 77)

For another example, if you’re a fan of the popular wooden signs made of re-purposed wood (from pallets, etc.), you can achieve a similar look with drift wood.  Island artist Laura Ballard (aka Art by Oz) creates and sells beautiful signage with fun island sayings.


Art by Oz signs pictured for sale at Undercover Books & Gifts. Now available at The Blue Mutt.

Here are few home decor resources you’re sure to find around St. Croix:

  • Sea shells
  • Sea glass
  • Chaney
  • Coral
  • Drift wood

Please note that we do not advocate for snorkeling or scuba diving to retrieve live coral or shells from the ocean floor.  Coral fans which are dead and dried up often wash up on the beaches of St. Croix and can be readily found.  

Ready to find your idyllic island home and start decorating?  Chris Hanley can help you find it, as the top broker on St. Croix in 2014 and the authority on Virgin Islands real estate.  Contact him today and download our free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.