Homes - Exteriors

Dressed for the holidays

Turn your great outdoors into a winter wonderland with STYLE at HOME's decorating guide.

Creating a fabulous outdoor display isn't necessarily difficult. Whether you prefer a simple, elegant look or an all-out celebration in lights, here's how to design a scheme that has all the magic of the season.


THE FRONT DOOR
For most homes, the front door is the natural focal point of a scheme. Use a combination of these ideas to give it holiday cheer.

Wreaths
Choose a minimum diameter of 24 inches.

Fatten up a cedar or pine wreath with materials from the garden, like wisteria vines, magnolia leaves, pinecones and berry sprigs. Alternatives to standard greenery include grapevines and boxwood.

Add colour with outdoor wire-reinforced ribbon. For a dressier look, try spray-painting embellishments in gold, copper or silver.

Or consider more unusual materials: Michael Renaud of Horticultural Design in Toronto suggests a wreath of juniper boughs and lichen moss for a stunning grey, blue and green combo.

To hang a wreath on a metal door use magnetic clips from florist, garden and hardware stores, which won't mar the surface (for glass doors, use a two-sided version). On wood doors, opt for a picture hook, or try a “cradle,” a long hook that hangs from the top of the door.

Garlands
Beef up artificial or evergreen garlands of pine or cedar with additional greenery, or add natural embellishments such as pinecones, berries, or dried or artificial fruit.

How to hang: Snap the garland at the corners for a crisp turn. Screw small eye hooks into the wood frame and use floral wire to tie the garland down. On brick, use masonry nails to anchor the wire.

Lighting
Battery-operated lights won't interfere with the operation of the door.

Urns
Greenery-filled urns can last a long time.

Alternatives
Hang a lush bouquet or wicker basket of dried flowers or grasses on the door.

Display an evergreen bough over a door like an eyebrow; attach pinecones, berries and silver balls along the length.

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