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Creating the Perfect Holiday Exterior | EH Design

At EH Design, we love holiday decorating. Whatever you’re celebrating, having a festively adorned home makes the season merrier for everyone. After years of decorating both our own and dozens of client’s homes, we’ve picked up some tried and true tricks that will help make your holiday décor look better than ever. As part of our series on Winter Decorating, this week we’ll focus on tips for putting together a beautiful outdoor look.

Let's decorate the exterior!

Take Stock

We find it helpful to line up our available decorations prior to installing them. After years of forgetting about that new garland we were gifted, or the wreaths we bought during a post-Christmas clearance sale, we’ve learned to be sure of what we’ve got before we start putting it up. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized, this is a perfect opportunity to emulate Santa and make a LIST of your decorations. Not only will it help you with planning your look, but it will set you up for successful storage and retrieval for years to come.

Gather Tools and Helpers

Ladders, ground stakes, extension cords, people to help you, and hot cocoa to bribe them with are all much less frustrating things to need if you’ve got them ready before you begin. We recommend swapping out the staple gun for electrical tape or twist ties/landscaping twine- they’re much less likely to cause injury or damage than a staple gun.

Holiday Front Door | EH Design
My Little Helper | EH Design

Make a Plan

We like to choose the decorations we love the most and design around them, adding and editing to create a landscape that’s festive and tasteful. We have large planters that we change out each season which makes decorating easy. We know we are going to fill our planters with greens and then work in other smaller elements. Use elements you're most excited about and work it into your most visible space-like a front door- and incorporate other elements, like spotlights and lit topiaries to flank it.

Very excited to have a door wreath this year.

Adding wood bundles is the easiest way to create a cozy winter vibe.

Birch wood bundle
We've had this bundle for years! It stores well and is super easy to put in front of a planter.

Always Incorporate Green

We always like to incorporate greenery and natural elements into our outdoor décor. Wreaths in windows and on doors are a simple and impactful way to decorate, and can be easily updated with accents like lighting and ribbons. Our favorite greens that we purchase each year are the spruce tops. These can be found at your local nursery or even Home Depot and are the easiest way to add greens to your pots. We always start with spruce tops and add in other greens to fill in around them.

Spruce tops
We start with spruce tops and build from there.

Magnolia leaves in exterior Christmas arrangements
Add depth with magnolia leaves.

Add in different greens for interest.

Finish by adding in berries and pine cones.

Taking the Stress Out of It

Install in stages. Put up your most challenging, labor intensive decorations in the morning on a day when the forecast looks mild. Stringing lights in branches can be done early, and won’t look half-finished if you need to put down the decorations and pick up the laptop until the following weekend. I like to do my planters when the weather is a bit warmer and the kids are quiet so that I have time to tap into my creative vibes.

Don't be Afraid to Make it Effortless

We’re so lucky to live in a time where you can purchase high quality décor at a good price. For example, many places offer arrangements already assembled. Grab a couple and put them on your porch. Add a few spotlights to your landscape to highlight your seasonal vignettes and add even more magic to your decorating. We love a spotlight aimed upward at a home front, or centered right on a front door. The best part? You can use them all year long for general purpose outdoor lighting.

Local Nurseries, Bachman's, Costco, Home Depot, etc. are all great places to purchase premade planters

We hope these tips get your wheels turning. Check out some of our favorites below!


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