Once you’ve put up your tree and decorated your interiors, give exterior spaces the same treatment. Festive outdoor Christmas décor is a wonderful way to welcome family and friends into your home. Best of all, you’re sharing Christmas cheer not just with guests, but neighbors and passers-by.
Watch designer Jennifer Lutz share styling tips for your porch, lawn, patio, and outdoor tablescape. Then, scroll down for festive decorating inspiration for your al fresco celebrations.
How to Style Your Porch, Yard, and Patio with Outdoor Christmas Décor
1. Create a décor plan.
When planning outside Christmas decorations, there are three things to consider:
- Home style – Keep the architectural type, color scheme, landscaping, and pathways in mind. Identify what outdoor areas you want to decorate.
- Pick a theme – Once you have one, identify key items that will pull the look together. A simple way to create a cohesive effect is to apply your indoor decorating theme to your outdoor spaces. If you’re undecided, draw inspiration from your favorite things. For instance, let your prized snow globe inspire a winter wonderland motif. Start with a frosted outdoor wreath and garland for your front door Christmas decorations. Then, build on your theme by adding complementary elements, such as snowflakes or snowman décor.
- Placement – Christmas lawn decorations vary in size but tend to run larger compared to indoor ones. This is so they’re visible from afar. To determine where to place them, it’s important to consider the scale of your garden or yard. Position them in such a way that they don’t block walkways. Remember, too, they shouldn’t prevent you from seeing the driveway or road.
2. Greet guests with fresh and festive holiday foliage.
Christmas greenery is an effortless way to update your home’s exterior for the holidays. Start by hanging an outdoor Christmas wreath, garland, or both on your doors and window frames. Then, echo the look with the same type of foliage arranged in pots or baskets. Attach window boxes to sills and on top of handrails or a bench. Wind outdoor garlands around columns or drape them along railings and fences. Don’t forget to add color to your mailbox with a decorative swag.
Expert Tips for Hanging Outdoor Christmas Garlands
- If your outdoor garland is pre-lit, make sure you have the right type of batteries to last the entire season.
- Use eyehooks and twine to secure garlands.
- When hanging a garland, decide between a straight line or a swag.
- Swag long and heavy garlands in the center for additional support.
- Always fluff your garland before and after hanging it.
Expert Tips for Hanging Outdoor Christmas Wreaths
- For your pre-lit outdoor wreath, stock up on batteries to last the entire season.
- Use outdoor adhesive hooks for hanging wreaths. For doors and windows with smooth, non-porous surfaces, clean the area with alcohol before applying the adhesive.
- After sticking the adhesive hook, wait at least an hour before hanging a wreath. This ensures it stays in place.
- Always fluff your wreath before and after hanging it.
3. Set up a Christmas tree.
There’s nothing quite like the magic and joy that Christmas trees bring. Why not share it with others, including passers-by? Most artificial trees are safe to use in covered outdoor areas. They’re ideal for front porch Christmas decorations. However, areas exposed to direct sunlight call for an outdoor Christmas tree. These are designed with UV protection to withstand the weather and preserve their color for years.
If you don’t have space for a standard-sized holiday centerpiece, try small Christmas trees. Flank the steps with tree clusters or align them symmetrically to frame the doorway. Leave them undecorated to enjoy their natural beauty. Or, style them like your main Christmas tree.
4. Add warm and homey accents.
Make outdoor seating cozy and comfortable with throw pillows and blankets. Choose colors and textures that complement your theme.
Not only does a hot beverage cart give guests a warm welcome, it’s also functional porch or patio décor. Fill it up with all the fixings for hot cocoa, coffee, and tea. Don’t forget to add sweet treats like marshmallows and cookies.
5. Design an inviting Christmas tablescape.
If the weather outside permits, the back patio is a lovely spot for entertaining family and friends. Create an elegant holiday outdoor tablescape with simple layering techniques.
First, use a decorated garland as your centerpiece. Then, add tapers or pillar candles of varying heights. They add dimension to your table setting and create a soothing ambience for your gatherings. Choose LED flameless candles as safer alternatives. They’re perfect for outdoor celebrations and won’t go out with the breeze. Next, layer your tableware. Start with a charger, dinner plate, salad plate, then a napkin. Finish your setting with a distinctive touch like a handwritten place card or personalized party favor.
6. Make it dazzle at night.
Draw attention to your outdoor Christmas décor in the evenings by keeping exterior spaces well-lit. For the yard, consider large and lighted outdoor Christmas decorations. Life-size holiday figures, Christmas silhouette lights, or oversized outdoor Christmas ornaments are some options.
For the porch and patio, use LED Outdoor Christmas lights to frame doors, windows, and ceilings. You can even use them to decorate nearby trees. Create a welcoming sight in the evening with pre-lit Christmas trees, greenery, or potted plants. Make sure wires are covered so they don’t pose safety risks. For more convenience and decorating flexibility, choose battery-operated foliage. This eliminates the hassle of stringing the lights yourself. Not to mention doing away with long power cords and outlets.
Another beautiful way to light your exterior spaces is to use lanterns and LED candles. They’re versatile and safe to use outdoors. Place them on the ground as pathway Christmas lights. Use them to frame doorways or as charming outdoor table décor.
Spread the holiday warmth and cheer all season long. With these outdoor Christmas décor ideas, you’re well on your way to having the most inviting house in the neighborhood.
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