Our second “decorating for the holidays” segment on FOX 13 Good Day comes from Home Frosting’s sr. designer Mary McKell. Mary’s holiday decorating theme was “Tampa Treasures. Everything local holiday décor”

If you missed the holiday decorating shows, you can click below to watch each segment.

Segment 1 – Home Frosting’s Karen Post: Holiday for champs, tribute to Tampa Bay Lightning
Watch segment

Segment 2 – Home Frosting’s Mary McKell: Tampa Treasures. Everything local holiday décor
Watch segment | See full story details here

Segment 3Lisa Gilmore with Lisa Gilmore Design: Whimsy and wonderful, a colorful holiday home.
See full story details here

This is the second time Home Frosting has been invited to be featured on the network. Last year we did a three-part segment on home offices, which can all be viewed here.

Some back story on her fabulous South Tampa home.

The home is a renovated 1937 English cottage vernacular in the historic neighborhood of New Suburb Beautiful. Mary and her husband Mark are both Florida Natives. Mark has lived in Tampa his entire life, just a few blocks from their current home.  The extended McKell family have a rich Tampa history.

Mary Mckell holiday decorating ideasMary’s unique eclectic design style created “a very Tampa Christmas”.

Her holiday decorations included a garland for the exterior front door, a beautifully designed Christmas tree, and a tablescape of their favorite Tampa foods.

“Christmas in Florida is not like Christmas around the rest of the country. There is no snow, icicles, or holly berries. There is, however, lots of sunshine and lush green tropical plants. As a designer I always like to use the nature and landscape around me for inspiration, there is no better color scheme!” explained Mary.

Mary chose an unconventional citrus color scheme of orange and green as opposed to the traditional red and green. The garland was made with a faux spruce green garland adorned with lots of lemons and tangerines. Chartreuse velvet poinsettias replace the typical red poinsettias. Layers of sprigs of dark green and brown magnolia were added for fullness. Gray-green fresh eucalyptus was layered in for additional volume and it gives off a wonderful almost balsam-like fragrance. The ribbon used is a wide green tone on tone plaid.

Christmas trees in TampaThen she brought the same color scheme inside for the tree. Carrying the plaid theme from the garland forward, orange, green, and black plaid ribbon was draped from the top of the tree. Sprigs of magnolia and eucalyptus were also placed in-between the branches.

The tree was wrapped in colored lights as a nod to our very rich Latin history. Not forgetting Tampa’s own Gasparilla parade, she added silver and gold Gasparilla beads to create a fun sparkly garland. Gold and Silver Gasparilla coins were sprinkled in for more pirate-themed fun.

Mary is mad for plaid so she just kept that going. The gifts under the tree were wrapped in a madcap mix and matched plaid paper and plaid ribbons. The ornaments and the tree were bedecked with her own collection of blown glass ornaments that represent Tampa’s landmarks and fauna.

Fauna included: Manatee, Dolphin, Pelican, Egret, Stingray, Owls, & Ybor city roosters

Landmark elements included: The Tampa Theatre Marquis, The Don Cesar Hotel, The University of Tampa Minarets, The Oxford Exchange Book Store, & Bayshore Boulevard

The tablescape details

Tampa traditions for the holidaysThe centerpiece was a large vintage gold iron pirate ship. Inside the ship was a blown glass ornament depicting Santa Claus as a pirate holding a map. At the helm of the ship was a sparkly navigating reindeer. The ship was full of plaid paper-wrapped gifts with black velvet ribbon.

The foods Mary showcased: Sangria in a colorful pitcher from the Columbia Restaurant, Stone crab claws, Plant City strawberries, Alessi Bakery Scachatta pizza, & the ever-present Tampa staple, a platter of cuban sandwiches.

Christmas decorating tips from Mary

  1. Think out of the traditional Christmas box. There are no colors or holiday decorating themes off limits.
  2. Shop unique for ornaments and decorations from thrift shops and estate sales.
  3. Mix and match patterns, textures, and materials.
  4. Look to nature for all kinds of design and decorating elements.

Special thanks to Mary & Mark McKell who let us showcase their amazing home, and the Home Frosting team who helped make it happen.

Karen Post: Founder of Home Frosting

Home Frosting is a full-service residential interior design firm and luxury home stager based in Tampa. Book a consultation today or call 813-250-1730 to learn how together, we will make your life and home even more delicious.