Create A Winter Wonderland Outdoors

With the countdown to Christmas coming closer, decorator Shelley Herod has some quick outdoor holiday decorating tips.

After you finish trimming the tree and stringing the banister with lights and garland, move your creativity outdoors.  Adding that special holiday touch to the exterior of your home will welcome friends and family throughout the holiday season.

imagesA natural starting point when decorating outdoors is the front door.  Wreaths are the most common choice when thinking about holiday door décor.  However, using a different type of leaf (rather than just evergreen) and embellishing them with natural berries or pinecones and a ribbon, gives a little twist to the expected.   Garlands draped around the door frames is also inviting; again embellish them with natural accents and a variety of types of leaves.  Using lights in the garland is very welcoming during dark winter nights.  White lights do create a more elegant appearance while colored lights create a more festive look.

To continue the welcoming hospitality, do not forget to dress up your front porch.  Candles are wonderful accent to the front steps.  Place them in lanterns to block the wind and protect the flame.  A bench is also an inviting piece; merely add a simple arrangement such as a basket filled with greenery and ornaments to spruce it up.  For a natural look, gather sticks and bundle them with a holiday bow.  They make a natural addition to any deck or porch.  If you prefer, you can add lights to them.  Urns filled with evergreen are another obvious accent; however, many times the empty urns are overlooked.

One of the most important areas to decorate is the windows.  It connects your interior décor to the outdoors.  The windows can be accented with lights, but it is recommended to not use flashing ones.  They are very distracting to the interior of the home.  Natural swags or garlands accented with berries, pinecones and ribbon a simple but elegant addition.  For a more traditional look, embellish the windows with a simple wreath hanging in the window.  An adorned wreath can be used to emphasis a single window; however, placing one in every window makes a more dramatic appearance.  If possible the one on the front door should be slightly larger.  If you are using a number of wreaths, keep them simple so they do not appear overwhelming. Inside or out, the windows are one of the most important areas to adorn for the holidays.

The obvious area to share the holiday magic is in the trees and shrubs.  Thinking outside the box will with your décor.  Instead of simply stringing lights throughout the trees, try something different.  Create a warm glow by tucking white, green, red or other colored spot lights under the tree.   Walkways or long driveways could also profit from holiday decorations.  Accented with lanterns create a warm welcome and help light the way.  For a creative touch use galvanized metal pails punched with holes and add a glowing candle. Hanging lanterns are another touch that might fit the bill if you like the lantern look but do not have the space. This will create a winter wonderland.

photo credit ourfifthhouse.com
photo credit ourfifthhouse.com

Use your empty birdbath to create a winter display.  Simply add birdseed and cut up fruits for the wildlife to enjoy while you enjoy the display and their presence.  If you prefer to use the birdbath as a focal point, try decorating it with an evergreen wreath or topiary.  Do not forget about the fence posts or arbors.  Again, this a wonderful place to lavish them with garlands and string of lights.

When creating your outdoor wonderland this holiday season, you can stay as simple or as elaborate as you prefer.  Outdoor décor is warm, inviting and will turn your space into a winter wonderland.

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.