Decorating Your Home Exterior for Christmas

Decorating Your Home Exterior for Christmas

‘Tis the season for cheer, holly, and showing off your decorating prowess. Most people are so busy hanging up stockings, mistletoe, and garlands to remember that the outside of the home can also benefit from some decorative touches.

Even simple exterior holiday décor items can deliver a warm, festive aura about your home, making it look welcome to all visitors and passersby.

When decorating your home’s exterior, however, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind – as well as some materials that will be absolutely necessary.


Laying the Groundwork

One of the most basic first steps is purchasing Christmas lights. Multi-colored lights give off a festive vibe, while white lights deliver a more simple and elegant feel. The choice will depend on how you wish to present your home to the public.

Plan where you wish to hang your lights accordingly. Some basic places include:

  • Along fences and banisters
  • Along the eaves
  • Under window panes

Wherever you have long, stringy decorations (such as lights or garlands), it’s helpful to have a nail gun handy. Nails are sturdier than tape or adhesive hooks, and a nail gun makes it easy to place multiple nails in a linear formation.

The Importance of Symmetry

One key factor to keep in mind when decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays is symmetry.

Horizontal and vertical symmetry helps tie together the whole decorative product. That means, if you have a multi-story home, add decorative touches to the top and bottom halves. Make sure that the decorations on the left and right halves of your home are also well-balanced.

Symmetrical House Christmas Decorations

Horizontal symmetry is especially important in your home’s entryway, as that is the basis of most first impressions. Small poinsettias on both ends of the front porch, a well-centered wreath, a couple of nutcracker statuettes on either side of the doormat. All of these establish entryway symmetry.

However, vertical symmetry is often much harder to achieve. Roofs and second stories get neglected because of their inaccessibility. This is where a ladder or even scaffolding might come in handy.

Roof decorations go a long way toward giving your home exterior a cohesive look. Place wreaths on the friezes and lights along the eaves. Even these simple touches make all the difference.

Lawn Ornaments & Decorations

Simple Christmas Lawn Decorations

With lawn decorations, the key is not so much symmetry as it is simplicity. While it can be tempting to go all out on lawn ornaments, you don’t want to give your home’s exterior a cluttered appearance. If you have a tree on your front lawn, line the trunk and branches with Christmas lights. Or, even better, buy a real Christmas tree and place it on your lawn.

Pro tip: You may need extension cords to make all of this possible.

At minimum, line the walkway to your door with festive lighting. (Did someone say illuminated candy canes?) And, don’t shy away from committing to a color scheme. If you’re going with multicolored Christmas lights along the trim of your home, go for multi-colored ornaments. If you’re lining everything with all-white Christmas lighting, keep that theme going.

Too much mix and match with your Christmas decorations can quickly take the aesthetic from tasteful to tacky.

For the budget-oriented or environmentally conscious, solar-powered Christmas string lights are available. Similarly, plenty of DIY Christmas lawn decorations can be made out of paper mache, plastic cups, cardboard boxes, and even beach balls (yay for giant replicas of Christmas tree ornaments!)

Final Accents

Decorating your home’s entire exterior takes a lot of dedication. Even decorating the small accents will get your home to evoke the holiday spirit. Here are some quick, easy, and frequently overlooked ideas to bring more cheer to your home’s exterior

  • Mailbox: Wrap it up in a garland and Christmas lights, with little pieces of holly sprinkled throughout for more merry mail delivery.
  • Planters: Place planters filled with pinecones, holly, and evergreen sprigs on railings and under window sills.
  • Birdbaths: The birds have flown South for the winter, so why not take advantage of the empty birdbaths? Place a wreath atop the bird bath and fill the center with plastic pinecones, holly, and red and green ribbon.
  • Benches/patio furniture: Line patio furniture with fir branches and consider sprinkling them with fake snow (unless you live in an area where you get plenty of real snowfall, of course).

Christmas Lawn Decorations

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