Festive & Inviting Holiday Décor

12.05.2019

Decorating for the holidays is a timeless tradition we anticipate and embrace each December. This week – with fresh snow blanketing New England – our attention quickly turns from this year’s late Thanksgiving to the magical season ahead. If you haven’t decorated yet, you’re among many who are feeling a little behind this year, so we gathered a few tips on where you should focus your holiday curb appeal.

A festive and elegant holiday home begins with the exterior. When designing our houses, we carefully choreograph the arrival sequence from the street up to the front door. This sequence draws one into the property and creates anticipation for what lies ahead. During the holidays, we have the chance to accentuate that sense of arrival with layers of decorations that welcome guests with seasonal cheer.

When decorating the exterior of a home, we consider ways to highlight different architectural features in meaningful combinations. The journey begins at the property’s edge, where seasonal garland strung from a fence helps define the property – and sets a festive tone. Similarly, adorning a post light or mailbox with small lights warmly marks the entrance and creates a beautiful, welcoming glow.

Including layers of light throughout the property introduces dimension and romance to the holiday experience. For instance, adding strings of white lights around larger trees helps create warmth to evening arrivals. If the trees are too tall to safely light alone, consider hiring a truck with a boom to help light them as a signature piece to the property. Likewise, trees framing smaller outbuildings can be lit to highlight charming moments along the arrival.

The tastefully lit trees framing this pool cabana add sparkle and holiday charm.
The use of soft lighting on the home’s façade and its lower foliage helps draw guests through the property.

If the home does not have “Christmas-like” trees, introducing seasonal, potted trees (which can be used elsewhere on the property come spring), is a wonderful alternative. These trees, when softly lit, can help can define a walkway or entryway with warmth and charm. We also like adding smaller, seasonal trees and greenery to a home’s window boxes. Including lights will help further animate the arrangement with a festive, three-dimensional quality.

Window boxes filled with seasonal greens help animate the home’s facade.

When we imagine a holiday arrival sequence, we always consider ways to accentuate a home’s architectural moments. We want the approach to resolve itself in a warm and welcoming manner. Soft up-lighting of primary features – or hanging a large holiday wreath – are wonderful ways to highlight meaningful focal points. Wrapping porch columns in garland and displaying a beautifully lit wreath on the entry door sets a spirited and welcoming tone. Lastly, a Christmas tree visible in the window offers a warm glimpse into the home’s interior – a final touch for the arrival sequence.

A Christmas tree can be spotted on the second floor from the entryway.
The lit wreath on this stone chimney helps highlight a major architectural feature of the home.

Dressing up your home’s exterior spreads holiday cheer to your guests – and those just passing by. So if you, like many, were caught off guard by this season’s late Thanksgiving, we hope you find these ideas helpful. And for those who are local to Boston, the annual Lighting of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall occurs tonight from 8 – 9 PM. Enjoy this beautiful season and happy decorating!