Getting Ready for Christmas: Dressing Your Home’s Exterior

It’s coming up to that time again….  We must start decking our halls and trimming our trees!  But let’s not neglect our house’s exterior this year, as so many people do… Let’s take the festivities outside too and cheer the place up with some traditional Christmas décor. Let’s start getting ready for Christmas.

Here’s how!

ExteriorThink sophistication!

There are many ways to personalize your Christmas celebration while welcoming holiday guests and spreading some cheer throughout the neighborhood. While your personal style might involve a plastic Santa (sorry, but we classify that as a major decor faux pas!), this blog post focuses on the more sophisticated looks for your home’s exterior this Christmas.  Think of classic items, such as wreaths for the front door, twinkling lights, garlands or small trees framing the doorway.

Wreaths and Garlands

One of the favorite exterior Christmas decorations has traditionally been the wreath, which welcomes visitors to the home. These circular decorations are typically made out of pine needles, ivy, and holly and may also feature other items woven or glued on, such as pine-cones, ribbons, and ornaments. Here are some tips on adding a wreath to your exterior door:

  • You can opt for a fresh wreath or one made from silk flowers and plants. The fresh ones often smell nice but can dry out fast and do not last longer than one Christmas. The fake wreaths can be stored and used each year; if you want to make them smell like fresh, you can even buy a scented spray.
  • A DIY wreath is a low-cost way to decorate, as well as making it your very own with the style and colors you like.  It also makes a fun craft to do with the kids! All the supplies can be found in a craft store or even a garden center.
  • Be sure to size the wreath to your exterior door. You don’t want a wreath that disappears on a large, dark door nor do you want a wreath to be so huge that you can’t quite find the entrance!


Garlands also make a nice touch on the home’s exterior. These can be pinned or nailed up around the exterior door-frame or around a window. Like the wreaths, these can be fresh or fake plus can be combined with lights for a special touch.


Choose soft, white sparkling lights that add an elegant and charming glow to your home’s exterior.

Go green by choosing the environmentally friendly solar powered LED lights that can be found widely in shops and garden centers at this time of year.  You’ll be surprised how well they work, even in gloomy November!

LightsKeep your décor charming with small white lights that look like icicles and snowflakes hanging from your windows and eaves. The lights can also be strung throughout trees and bushes for an intricate, magic-forest light effect.

Garden and Front Landing Décor

Another place to add the traditional Christmas touch on the exterior of your home is your front garden and front landing if you have this space.  If it fits and is appropriate, you can erect a decorated Christmas tree or decorate dwarf Christmas trees in urns on either side of your exterior door.

If appropriate and in good taste, you can add other decorative features like a nativity scene, snowman, or Santa in his sleigh. Just be sure you avoid anything plastic or inflatable as these lack a sophisticated and traditional look. Instead of anything this garish, consider using natural items like pine cones and boughs to decorate chairs, planter pots, and benches along with cranberries, small lights, and ornaments.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some other things to remember when it comes to decorating the exterior of your home for Christmas:

  • Stick to one theme like a traditional Christmas or even a Victorian or Edwardian Christmas theme to match your home’s door, windows, and overall architecture. This also means keeping the colors coordinated so it does not become too busy looking.
  • Think about where you can plug in anything that requires electricity and plan accordingly. No one wants to look at miles of extension cord!

Good luck and have a happy Christmas!


This article was written on behalf of Old English Doors, who hand make traditional wooden front doors in their workshop in Nottingham, UK.

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