Throughout the Keys, creativity reigns in nearly every aspect of life, especially during the festive holiday season. And those spending the holidays at home can create Keys-style magic thanks to local offerings that can be ordered online and shipped to them.
Artistry abounds with original works by artists lured to the Keys because of natural colorful outdoor palettes that have to be seen to be truly believed. Visual artists have made their way to the Keys since John James Audubon visited in 1832, entranced and inspired by the ever-changing subtropical light.
There’s nothing like marine life in the Keys, a region surrounded by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and several creatives are recognized for wall-worthy works capturing the island chain’s spectacular underwater world.
Marine and underwater photographs by Stephen Frink, globally acclaimed as one of the planet’s most talented and prolific underwater photographers, include stock prints suitable for framing. stephenfrink.com
Jessica Ann Cecil, a Keys marine life artist and owner of Painting the Keys, sells original works, prints, hand-painted clothing and holiday ornaments. She has holiday paint night kits featuring Santa and palms, kits for painting holiday ornaments and a new holiday kitchen collection. jessicaannart.com
Islamorada artist Michelle Lowe has watercolors, oils and colored pencil renderings capturing the personalities of tarpon, hogfish, angelfish and other sea creatures, along with palm fronds, pineapples and island pelicans and flamingoes. michellenicolelowe.com
Art galleries and artist co-ops can be found throughout the Keys with works available for home décor. Shady Palm Art Gallery in Marathon sells offerings by over 50 creatives. shadypalmartgallery.com
Seaglass Creations by Cornelia crafts ornate decorative hangings and keepsake ornaments from sea glass. seaglasscreations.net
Scenic Key West features galleries galore. The nonprofit Key West Art Center, believed to be the first federal Public Works Administration Art Project created in the 1930s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, showcases all types of art. keywestartcenter.com
The Gallery on Greene offers Peter Vey’s stunning paintings, works from the Mario Sanchez collection that recall Key West’s earlier days and creations by noteworthy artists with a Keys connection. galleryongreene.com
Mood lifting and upbeat music, evoking warm Keys memories, helps to create a soothing holiday home atmosphere.
Dave Feder, a popular Islamorada guitarist known for his “Bohemian Flamenco” technique, performs at outdoor venues throughout the Upper and Middle Keys. Surrounded by Latin culture in the Keys, Feder has adopted a variety of styles into his jazz and classical background to create his own sound, described as a blend of Flamenco-infused folk. Pay what you wish to download his music.
Also a prolific artist, Feder offers an extensive line of wall art, home décor items and lifestyle goods such as pillows, shower curtains, towels and bedding. davidfeder.com
Lower Keys musicians Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24, with Jason Miller and Dave Herzog, are beloved for their fun Keys “trop rock” tunes. Livingston brings his giant 1952 Johnson 5.5-horsepower outboard motor to concerts to blend margaritas for his audience. Happiness tunes including “Living on Key West Time,” “Meet Me in the Keys” and “Blame It On the Margaritas” are featured on CDs and DVDs. MileMarker24.com
Margaritaville crooner Jimmy Buffett’s newest album is “Songs You Don’t Know by Heart,” which grew out of video segments directed by his daughter Delaney. Buffett also released “Life on the Flip Side,” with some tunes produced at his waterfront Key West studio, in May. mailboatrecords.com/collections/jimmy-buffett
Unique Keys-style holiday home décor goods — such as wreaths created from shells, island-style pillows and seaworthy tree ornaments — can be ordered from shops throughout the Keys.
Shell World, a shopping destination for those in the know for over 35 years, offers an amazing variety of eclectic home goods designed to please virtually all tastes. shellworldflkeys.com
The Upper Keys’ Old Road Gallery is known for its unique pottery and finely built sculptures from bronze, copper and clay. oldroadgallery.com
The Rain Barrel Village artist community showcases watercolors, handmade items for the home such as holiday ornaments and artisan soaps and scents. rainbarrelvillage.com
In Key West, colorful historic homes traditionally are well-lit and dressed in lavish holiday attire both inside and out.
At Island Love Story, merrymakers can purchase a unique door knocker, coastal-style entertaining items and glassware, artisan tea towels, hand-printed pillows and hand-painted Key West ornaments. islandlovestory.com
Salt features home collectibles of art, pottery and books. saltislandprovisions.com
The boutique Besame Mucho sells fine homeware: textiles, kitchen and hardware, cookbooks, books and mugs. besamemucho.net
The Green Pineapple offers eco-chic washable paper wine bags and candles among many other wares. greenpineapplewellness.com
For more holiday inspiration, the recently created organization Mom and Pop Key West promotes local businesses. momandpopkeywest.com