Thursday, December 8, 2011

Exterior Decorating

I am a lucky woman, my husband will do whatever exterior holiday decorating I want (unless it involves getting on a steep roof…did it once, never again). However, he is even luckier, because I prefer a less is more approach and it feels like every year the magnitude of decorating outside dwindles…Not that I don’t like being festive-but I get so irritated with decorations that become more hassle than they are worth. For two years we fought with the stupid light strands on garland draped around our garage, front door and porch. I hated coming home to see yet another set of lights burnt out after we had just re-strung them. Grrrr. So, for my sanity I stick with what has been successful. Now that our shrubs are getting bigger and almost touching each other, next year might be a candidate for lighting them up. In the past, I did get some estimates on having our house decorated with lights-yikes. For what little I wanted, it was over $500. To me-I feel like that is a lot of money and could be better spent on something more important. So, DIY it is, which I frankly enjoy more.

Anyway, here are some pictures at night of our house “decorated”. Brrr, it’s getting cold in the evening, but I think for our decorations, the pictures had to be done at night to see the lights.
I have to say, a simple spotlight adds so much to our otherwise sparsely lit house.

Do you think I should add another wreath to the window under the porch? I go back & forth…my reasoning for not was would it really be visible, I say “yes” now seeing a picture.   Another reason for 'not' is our living room tree is usually better seen from that window so I didn’t want them to “compete” along with competing with the wreath on the door???? This year the tree isn’t in front of the window now that we added a sofa table to the room-the tree is too big-but it’s on it’s last year anyway. I am going with something way smaller.  Thoughts?

Christmas Decor 128softurban
Christmas Decor 134softurban
I really wanted to have the wreaths “hang” from ribbon but didn’t play around with the logistics of doing so before Jeff put the pressure on me to get it figured out since he was putting them up the day after Thanksgiving while it was still in the 50’s. Can’t blame him, I totally dropped the ball on this one putting it off until the last minute. I just couldn’t think about Christmas stuff yet, I was busy getting things ready for hosting Thanksgiving. The whole issue was if the ribbon would be enough to hold the wreath-didn’t we need wire?  Ironically, I figured out how I could do it while hanging the wreath on the mirror over our mantel so now I know how I can do it on the outside wreaths next year. Yeah! 

Instead of putting a screw or nail in your windows, Command Strips makes an exterior version. We used them last year with GREAT results. A friend who’s house is professionally decorated for the season had to have her wreaths put back up when they were blown off her house when we had some crazy winds last year. How ‘bout that for good ‘ole command strips?
Christmas Decor 136su

Christmas Decor 138su
BTW, the wreath on the door is DIY PB inspired. I had a plain wreath and lots of red, white and champagne colored ornaments in different sizes-I was determined to try and replicate the look.
The lanterns are from Ikea-big lanterns can cost a pretty penny but I think the large one was $15 (the small was $8). I so am loving Ikea these days. The problem was there was a prong in the bottom that wouldn’t work with my outdoor flameless candles. Had hubby use his wire cutters, no problem! Yeah!!! I did splurge and get the Restoration Hardware outdoor flameless because that’s all I could find in the larger size I needed. I used my 20% off friends & family holiday discount when they had that going on, though.  Smile

“Greens” are from Hobby Lobby. They are actually large wreaths that have long & short greens that you can bend and mold into shape. Twig branches I just picked up at local flower market. I like these better than the ones in the craft stores as they seem sturdier and are much longer so you can anchor them down in the dirt good and still have some great height above the greens.

See the little lights on the branches? I am in LOVE with these. This is what I ordered more of from QVC  for my mantel (which by the way is totally redesigned but I still think I am going to add these lights to it, which I hope get here soon!!!). They are battery operated tiny lights on the finest wire. I used 2 strands on each planter. Restoration and Pottery Barn both carry something similar but these not only cost less but are safe for outdoor. And, most importantly they have a timer-which I am all about-especially outside-I am not going out in the cold to turn on & off! Incidentally, the wreaths are also from QVC and are battery operated with a timer or photo sensor function.  I tell you, I love QVC for certain items-they really offer some great selection and really GREAT prices.

Whew, sorry if I am too chatty today! I just thought I would share some tricks I have learned. When there are ideas you would like to replicate, isn’t it nice when the info & sources are there to achieve it? It’s like looking in a magazine and seeing a paint color you LOVE…you flip to the back and everything in the room but the paint is sourced… Drives me bonkers.

See some more of my Holiday Home Tour HERE.

I linked up to:
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Home should be the safest place on earth…
Are you wanting to make your home the clean yet safe and non-toxic? Shaklee’s products do just that! They are the BEST I have ever used.
Email me : greenwaylifeandhome@


  1. I love your house! The wreaths on the windows look wonderful! I'm your newest follower from the finding fabulous party. If you get a chance, I'd love you to stop by my blog & maybe follow along too!

  2. So lovely. I've always thought about putting wreaths on my second story windows, but never end up getting around to it. Now, I'm kicking myself after seeing yours! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Such a lovely decoration has been done with the exterior House Design to give a bright and attractive look.