While most people spend a great deal of time decorating the interior of their homes for the holiday season, there are plenty of ways to bring that festive sparkle outside and share it with friends, family and neighbours. Check out these 10 trends that are lighting up the front porches, backyards, and landscape designs of joyous folks all over, and find some inspiration to make your outdoors more festive.
1. Animated Lights
You’ve seen the houses that are truly committed to this style: they have lights in the shape of popular characters blinking along to the beat of recognizable tunes. While this imaginative (and laborious) style of light decoration is certainly admirable and appreciated by many, you don’t have to make it such a dramatic event. A few blinking bulbs, placed to music or not, can help create a whimsical environment that’s eye-catching without being overwhelming.
2. Porch Scenes
It’s easy to set up a nativity, Santa and reindeer, or Hanukkah scene on the front porch. Many stores carry pre-made characters that are easy to set up and plug in. If you’re feeling more adventurous, create your own winter wonderland with string lights, sculpture wire, and a free afternoon.
3. Customize House Features
If your house, porch, and landscape have a number of charming features that are ignored during the colder months, bring them out from under the blanket of snow with colourful string lights. Bird feeders, fire pits, fence posts, and lanterns can all be played up with some lights, candles, and garlands.
4. Animals in Wonderland
Again, this is easy to adapt to your level of craftsmanship, but adding some friendly creatures to your front and back yard can instantly elevate a dull lawn into the perfect cozy place to enjoy a cup of cocoa on a snowy evening. For a classy look, tuck delicately lit deer and foxes into bushes and trees, where they would be if they were real.
5. Coloured Ice Lanterns
Inexpensive, fun, and lovely, it’s easy to make some colourful lanterns using water balloons, food dye, and the home freezer. Fill water balloons with dyed water and let freeze (you can leave them to freeze outdoors if it’s chilly enough). Remove the latex balloon and drill a small hole into the frozen globe. Place a candlestick or tea light inside and line the walkway paths or porch bannister with the glowing orbs.
6. Fishing Line Ornaments
Ornaments aren’t just for indoor Christmas trees anymore. String simple, inexpensive ornaments (like homemade salt dough pieces or plastic toys) onto string and hang from window and doorframes, dangle off bare tree limbs, and suspend from chandeliers. Add a few hanging strings of light alongside them to show off the goods.
7. Raining Light Trees
In addition to ornaments, you can hang string lights vertically, rather than wrapping them around trunks and branches, to make leaf-free trees look like fountains of light. One or two trees are plenty, as this is an especially dramatic decoration. It looks great combined with a few more simple festive elements.
8. Upgrade the Mailbox
Routinely overlooked, the mailbox is great place to add wreaths, foliage-based garlands, and colourful lights. The mailman or woman is sure to appreciate the added effort, just make sure you don’t block access to the opening. You can even add a small seasonal scene to the top if it’s flat.
9. Hanging Candles
String lights are the most popular illumination during this time, but using candles—real or battery-operated—can add elegance and glamour to a property. Place the candles in the window, or bury them slightly in the snow near special features. You can also line walkways with them for added beauty and safety.
10. Glowing Gift Boxes
Glowing gift boxes can make an eye-catching centerpiece for the lawn that puts the focus back on everyone’s favourite part of the season: the presents. A little different than the standard decorations, these fanciful boxes will have you standing out from the crowd.
The festive spirit of the holidays should never be confined to the indoors alone; they should extend to the back and front yard where everyone in the neighbourhood can appreciate the beauty. A few lights, some homemade elements, and spare time are all that’s needed to make your landscape an appealing holiday attraction.
We can put together a complete, automated lighting system that will dazzle the neighbourhood this holiday season. Contact us and request a consultation today.
The Emerald Gala was the theme of the 47th annual Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence, held at the Delta Hotel in Toronto.