Friday, November 21, 2014

At Home: Get merry and bright!

 Rituals are an important part of our lives, even if they can be boring at times.  My official marker for winter is an appointment to get the tires changed on our car.  It's happened. Winter is officially here, even if we only had a dusting of snow followed by torrential rain.

 Each year as I  approach the end of November, Christmas creeps into my thoughts.

red chair, Christmas sign, outside porch, Christmas decorating

 While I love to look at all the seasonal additions other people make to their homes, and I marvel at the time and creativity it takes to decorate, I keep things as simple as possible.  I'm a vicarious decorator,  enthralled by others' efforts and the numerous possibilities without the physical work and outlay of cash.

 Here's a good example.

Every time I visit my daughter's house I am greeted by her inviting red door (now there are boxwoods in the planters) ...

red door, front porch, Christmas decorating,

and covered porch large enough to have two tables, a bench (made by her dad) and a chair.  

black and white patio, porch, outside decorating

This space is calling out for Christmas decorations now that the cushions are stored for the winter. 

Don't get me wrong, my daughter  doesn't need my help to decorate, and she's very independent.  For the last several years she's had some great looks for her front door, but this is the first Christmas for the bench on the porch. 

red door, DIY natural wreath, outside decorations, Christmas patio, porch
 2013 Wreath made from  her garden shrubs 

feather wreath, red door, Christmas wreath, porch decorations
2012 Sparkle and glam wreath 

snowballs, planter decorations winter, outside, porch, Christmas
2012 Glowing snowballs and white sparkle twigs
  What I liked about the feather wreath and snowball planter was its longevity into the winter months.  If you are putting effort into a project, you should aim to get the most from it. 

This is a "what if" post... what if I had that porch.  If my daughter is reading this now, she's rolling her eyes. I'm always on about something, and in the end she'll do her own thing as daughters usually do.

Let's start with the boxwood planters on either side of the door.

I have the cedar and my daughter has lots of silver balls.  Anchoring things because of the high winds is always a challenge.  I use tree ornaments and stick a wooden skewer  through the top and down into the soil.

Then there's  twigs and berries to add height and colour.  This is a great solution when planters bank a door because the added height and colour would be at eye level. 

porch decoration, Christmas, natural elements, silver balls

Following the dictate that simple is best, here's an idea to build on. This is an easy look to achieve and it invites modifications.  Not sure where you would ever find  gigantic pinecones in our neck of the woods, but you could certainly carry off the rest of it and make some bright additions.

front porch, plaid blanket, natural Christmas, black bench

How about a plaid blanket or plaid pillows for a nice splash of pattern and colour?  A definite considering plaid is very in this year (so I've been told).  I'm thinking about the  red plaid scarf my daughter just purchased.   It  could be folded around a summer pillow and pinned.  A piece of fabric would achieve the same look.   Presto!  Job complete - one plaid pillow.

black bench, plaid pillows, Christmas decorations, porch,
Here's a simple idea along those lines I just whipped up.  I know how much my daughter  loves happy little signs!  Not!  


burlap pillow, red chair, red polka dots, porch, outside decorations

 you could make burlap cushion covers with stencilled polka dots (a great kid friendly project)....


red pillow, red blanket, outside decorations, Christmas, porch

 you could use a  plain red blanket and blend it with  the summer white/black cushions for a very graphic look

... and 

Just a few simple changes to pillows 

and add bright arrangements for the table.... 

outside decorations,  red lantern, red table, natural Christmas, porch

Then there's always lanterns and greenery for the tables.   Get the spay paint out if you already have black lanterns.

natural Christmas, twig balls, outside decorations

Lit twig balls are always a big hit, and they could be added to any container depending on the size.  You can also spray paint twig balls and just go with colour and no lights. 

natural Christmas, red container, bird planter, winter decorations, porch

Why not take an idea from my sister Vera's  red bird themed Christmas pot from last year?  It continued to look good for months after Christmas. 

swag, door, skates, Christmas decorations

Love the idea of skates in a swag for the front door.  This would be super easy with a red door and lot of accessible greenery on one's  property.   And I just found my daughter's  little white (now yellowish) skates in the storage room clean out!  Ideas! Ideas!

bench, wreath, Christmas decorations, outside

Or just give in and put a  plain old wreath on the bench. How simple is that?

No pressure!

What are you doing with your entry for Christmas?

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