Happy Holidays from Crane Island and the 2019 Southern Living Idea House!

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On December 23, 2019

Happy Holidays from Crane Island and the 2019 Southern Living Idea House!

Earlier this month, Crane Island wrapped up the tour season for the 2019 Southern Living Idea House with a bang. Thank you to the more than 15,000 guests who paid us a visit since we opened our doors in June, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Whether you were a frequent visitor this year or missed the chance to see the Idea House decorated for the holiday season, we wanted to share some of our favorite decorating ideas and hope you may find inspiration for your own home.

We all know that what makes a house feel like a home is the personal touch. When tasked with decorating the Idea House for the holiday, John Hillman, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Crane Island turned to his own family for help. John’s wife, Dawn, brilliantly oversaw the festive decorations in true island style.



PSurrounded by natural beauty, Crane Island residents don’t have to look far to find inspiration for authentic decor. To complement the incredible views of the Intracoastal Waterway as well as the color palette assembled by the Idea House’s interior designer, Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Dawn selected holiday decor in shades of blue and green inside the house.

Incorporating palm fronds and other local greenery to our holiday decor was another must and added a delightful touch to the front porch. Meanwhile, on the back screened porch, a natural Christmas tree was decorated with Southern-inspired ornaments made out of dried orange slices and strings of cotton.

Throughout the interior and exterior of the home, additional timeless touches like wreaths, garland and bunches of mistletoe were hung from ribbons with care. As this year’s Idea House is all about laidback luxury in the Lowcountry, a few extra pillows and cozy blankets were an easy addition — complete with plaid fabrics and tasteful wintertime motifs. Many of the items in the house were also sourced from Dillard’s Southern Living collection for the holidays.

In line with Crane Island’s vision for creating places where people can unwind, relax and enjoy, Dawn didn’t forget a few playful touches. For the young and young at heart, a mischievous Elf on the Shelf can be found in the upstairs Bunk Room while dreidels and a menorah made of puzzle pieces adorn tables in the Game Room. We hope these encourage a dialogue about the meaningfulness of the season and the many ways people celebrate and honor this time of the year.

Of course, there are wrapped gifts under the many Christmas trees throughout the house. But ultimately, a home wouldn’t be complete at the holidays without the presence of family, friends and good cheer. On Dec. 6 and 7, Crane Island was honored that the Idea House was included in the 2019 Amelia Museum of History Holiday Home Tour. On Dec. 13 and 14, we also celebrated the final weekend of tours with live music, appearances from Santa, sweet treats and a full house of visitors.

What a wonderful and inspiring year it has been, indeed. From our family to yours, we hope your holidays are warm and bright. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements from Crane Island and the Idea House in 2020!

Photos of Idea House for Christmas :





After completing our second round of tours through the 2019 Southern Living Idea House, we donated proceeds from ticket sales to our very own Main Street Society in Amelia Island.

Alice Park

Alice Park

At the center of the community, we memorialize Miss Alice with Alice Park. All of Crane Island was once her park. We cherish a space at its very heart, in Alice’s name, to remember that no matter how far we have come, it all began here.