Sponsored: Deck the halls with the help of Lisa Pyden

Hundreds of visitors will walk through the doors of the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown this holiday season. In addition to overnight guests, many others will descend upon the historic hotel to take in the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, check out the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, attend the annual New Year’s Eve party, or pose with Santa under the large Christmas tree in the hotel’s main lobby.

In preparation for these festive events, and to ensure a magical setting for visitors, the Harbor View enlisted the help of local photographer and interior designer Lisa Pyden. Ms. Pyden and the Harbor View team worked together to decorate the entire first floor of the hotel, including the function spaces, Lighthouse Grill, Henry’s, and the main lobby, to capture the essence of the holiday while staying true to the distinctive style of the waterfront Harbor View Hotel, originally built in 1891.

Ms. Pyden first began working with the Harbor View as a photographer for the hotel’s Captain Cottages. Her interior design expertise made her the hotel’s first choice for their holiday decorating project. Over months of planning, Ms. Pyden and the Harbor View marketing department found a balance between elevating the hotel’s holiday decor to the next level and celebrating the historic space. With a focus on silver, gold, red, and cream, little touches were added around the hotel to make it just the right kind of merry and bright. By playing up the architectural details of the Harbor View, and investing in some new, yet timeless decorations, Ms. Pyden helped establish a new holiday look that the hotel can build on year after year.

A combination of new and old ornaments make an affordable redecorating option. – Photo courtesy the Harbor View Hotel
A combination of new and old ornaments make an affordable redecorating option. – Photo courtesy the Harbor View Hotel

According to Ms. Pyden, pieces were purchased from Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrell, in addition to wholesale retailers. New, more expensive ornaments were complemented by existing pieces that the hotel already had, giving new life to old things. Ms. Pyden also selected several ornaments from Rainy Day in Vineyard Haven, including the popular Bonne Annee bell jars for the hotel’s New Year’s celebration. “Rainy Day has an amazing assortment of Christmas ornaments — the Island’s best,” says Ms. Pyden.  

To complete the new look, brass-edged collectors frames were purchased and filled with vintage photos from Edgartown to be used as tree ornaments. She added other historic photos from the Island’s past to snow globes from Restoration Hardware.

Additionally, Ms. Pyden wrapped 80 gift boxes, using brown craft paper for some and custom wrapping paper for others, tying up each with high end ribbon for a beautiful finished look. The boxes decorate empty spaces in the hotel, proving that a combination of basic and exquisite can create the perfect look.

Ms. Pyden says a beautifully designed space doesn’t need to cost a fortune. “By shopping sales and mixing and matching affordable pieces with high end ones, anyone can spruce up their space at a reasonable price,” she said. For holiday decorating, the designer suggests repurposing items you might not otherwise think of as being seasonal. “Embrace an unconventional Christmas item. Maybe it’s something you used to catch clams, but think about how it can be repurposed for a holiday look,” says Ms. Pyden. She also suggests using burlap and other natural fabrics in your design, to give it that Vineyard feel.


The holidays will be celebrated all month long at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, 131 N Water St, Edgartown. The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite through Wednesday December 23. Harbor View’s fifth annual New Year’s Eve Celebration begins at 8 pm on Thursday December 31. For more information call 800-225-6005 or visit harbor-view.com.