Well, winter certainly has arrived here at the Live Outside the Box House! No sooner had we gotten through Thanksgiving (I hope you all had a good one, by the way!) and hauled out all the pumpkins and gourds that a copious mix of snow and ice descended upon us.
Luckily, we had just enough time to install my exterior holiday decor…which made for some fun pictures in the snow! Just as with the fall decor, we focused on the front entryway and the two oversized urns that serve as the backdrop for rotating seasonal displays. In case you are looking for a few last minute decorating ideas for your own home, I thought I’d share with you what we did.
Just as I do with our clients’ homes each year, I relied on the genius and expertise of our perennial holiday decorating partner Christopher Todd of Christopher Todd Design to help execute my vision. We went with a look that is simple, yet elegant and relied on mostly natural elements for a few embellishing touches.
We started at the street and the gated entrance to my garden. This gate is possibly my favorite part about the whole garden, and all it needed was a fresh wreath of mixed evergreens and pine cones. For added nighttime effect, I redirected a couple of landscape lights that usually illuminate the columns to shine on the wreath, and it looks great. A quick and simple solution…I love it!
Next, we carried the fresh evergreen theme to the front door with natural cedar garland. It is hard to beat fresh garland for exterior holiday decorating; just beware that it can look a little skimpy if you use only one layer. The garland over my door is layered triple-thick, and I recommend at least doubling it for a full look.
After the garland was hung and lit, we embellished it with sandblasted grapevine, huge sugar pine cones, spanish moss and additional cut greens. I love how the grapevine echoes the driftwood feel of the door.
To compliment the garland on the door and to help fill the spaces under the gas lanterns, we grabbed a couple of planters from the back garden and placed them on either side of the entry porch. In the planters we placed fresh-cut tabletop fir trees from the nursery and wrapped them with lights. Using fresh-cut trees in planters like this is one of our decorating secrets for the holidays. The trees are inexpensive, lightweight and easy-to-install compared to living trees, and they will usually last throughout the entire season and beyond. Living trees are always a fun alternative, however, and the fact that you can keep them yearround (either in the planter or transferred to the ground) gives them added value.
We did exactly the same thing in the large urns on either side of the porch, only with larger trees. I thought about adding some sort of additional flair or embellishment to these large trees, but in the end decided simply to light them. I think the simple contrast of the fresh green tree and the sleek white urn is flair enough…for this year anyway!
After finishing the front, we still had some garland leftover, so I decided to drape the stairs leading to the back door. We decorated it using the same sugar pinecones, but also added just a little bit of subtle bling with some large, shiny ornaments and glittered burlap ribbon…just a little something extra for me to come home to every day!
We wrapped things up just in time for nightfall and the arriving snow storm and a couple of to-do items got lost in the fray. In the garden room just next to the back stairs, a wreath that was meant for the back door but forgotten and a small cedar tree that never got planted look right at home in their temporary, snowy resting spots. Once the snow melts, though, I’ll have no more excuses not to get out their and find them more suitable homes!