Holiday Porch Ideas

Holiday Porch Ideas

Nothing announces to the neighborhood and your guests that your home is in full Holiday mode than a festive front porch. And before you think that means spending tons of money and hauling out a lot of junk down from the garage rafters, I’d like to show you how you can segment this project into three simple steps that keep it easy breezy and will not break the bank. Whether you have an apartment-sized teeny stoop or an estate-sized veranda, These tips apply. Here are some Holiday porch ideas for this season!

You can invest as little or as much time as you want. It’s all a matter of the level of detail.

Actually, before you start, let’s set the tone.  Like every project, before we dig in we want to create a blank palette. Depending on how long since you’ve really taken a look at your front porch you may want to grab a bucket, a cloth,  some water, and Simple Green, or at least some paper towels and Windex, and make sure every surface from the porch light to the doorbell, to the threshold is squeaky clean. And go ahead and remove any straggly plants, wayward garden gnomes and the like while you’re at it. Holiday Porch Ideas for this year.

 Tip #1: The Door

To start off our Holiday porch ideas, this is the most common area we think of with regards to decorating.  With a little inspiration hopefully attained from this blog post, it will look anything but ordinary. This part does take the most planning and longer to implement, but take heart- when this is done you are literally I’ve halfway done!

First off, if you’re going to hang something on the door you’ll either want to have a nail or a hook permanently installed on the door. If you’re doing a swag, you’ll need several good anchor points in the center and along the corners of the top. Also, there are plenty of portable wreath hangers that secure over the top edge of the door with no intrusion into the door material needed. (If you’re a  stickler for detail like me, you’ll want to make sure the finish on that matches the finish of your door hardware). On the infrastructure note, if you’re doing lights you’ll also need to plan for clips, nails or staples ( beware staples: easy to tack things down but a bit** to remove). And please, please remember to get a small extension cord that closely matches your trim paint so your lights showcase just what you want and don’t trail away to the outlet.

Next for the decoration itself. Whether you choose a wreath or swag that goes over the top and down the sides, live or artificial, the decor on the door usually sets the theme for the rest of the porch. Most people like to take a nod from the architectural style of the house. For example, my house is a kind of mid-century and I have a chartreuse front door, so the traditional deep-colored evergreen wreath with a plaid ribbon would be totally out of place.

If you got your live or artificial wreath/swag that you picked at a local nursery or at a big-box store, applaud for yourself saving money.  But now that you’re a savvy porch appeal designer, I know you will want to get rid of the often included plaid ribbon… or worse yet velvet red. You can easily replace this and customize by just asking the florist at your neighborhood supermarket for a couple of yards of a ribbon that you think would work with your overall color/design scheme. We’re carefully looking at what you bought and ask if the simplicity the item speaks for itself and you don’t need the additional adornment.  If you’re really intrepid, head to your local party or craft store and you’ll have more options for embellishments. If you’re doing a swag, just buy extra ribbon (very thin twigs can work too) because you’ll want to weave it through the entire length.

Now on the light front,  If your decoration came pre-lit or battery-operated, lucky you. If not, think less is more. You’re not creating a marquee advertising a Broadway show! A traditional, tasteful string of white or amber-hued lights interspersed in your greenery will echo the twinkling lights found in nature.

Now, if your theme is modern mid-century or transitional, the less ornamentation the better. Live decor is best to be pared down to the essentials.

Tip #2: The Floor

This step is the easiest. You’ll just want to swap out your everyday doormat for something that speaks to the holiday theme of your choice. Whether you choose whimsical reindeer hooves or a down-home greeting, put a smile on your guests’ faces as they wipe their feet. I don’t get too OCD on quality here since it’s just a seasonal item. You can find something at Target for $12 or go on Frontgate and spend over $100. The final word on this topic is proportion. You want something that matches the scale of your porch and doesn’t look like a postage stamp against the front door.

Step #3: Plant Decor

As a self-proclaimed garden guy, I love my greenery. Even if you just choose the traditional poinsettia, you definitely want something live and potted to finish off your Holiday Porch. So let’s talk about poinsettias first. They come in multiple hues and colors (please say no to colors not found in nature, and avoid glitter, your porch is not a fairy princess). Scale and proportion are the main things you want to be attentive to here. You have a very small front porch one well-placed mindset it can add just the Right touch. In a large front porch, it looks woefully sparse. The last word on poinsettias is to remove all tags and stickers from the foil coverings. And be sure to choose the foil color to match,  not clash with your overall theme. And you can always catch the foil all together and let the simple black plastic pot blend into the background.

I like mixing other plants and flowers in with my poinsettias. This is where you have to be judicious and think about the budget. But remember some of these holiday ornamentals can be planted in the garden after they live their life on the porch. (I can always rationalize a live plant purchase!) You can’t go wrong with red or white cyclamens, small boxwood. These work well in traditional and modern settings. When grouping plants work with larger items towards the house and taper down to smaller ones towards the front. Generally speaking, you want odd numbers in each grouping; a symmetrical look lends itself to more traditional, l where asymmetry is better for modern. If you have an existing pot on your porch you’ll probably want to give it a critical overhaul so it doesn’t stand out like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in an otherwise lush look. I will often even move plants off the porch and put them somewhere else during the Holidays to keep my theme and look cohesive. If you do have a nice-looking pot on the front porch you can always accent around the base of it with some small pony pack style plans that compliment the overall theme. These can generally be planted right in the pot.

You can also dress up some of your plain nursery pots with burlap wraps and jute cords.

Bonus tip: Natural Candlelight

…Never-ever battery-operated faux candles, please!

Whether you choose something as simple as paper bag luminaries or a giant pillar candle ensconced in a metal and glass case, these can add a great look to the porch during the day. And then when lit for special events during the season, the flickering glow sets your holiday tableau alive.

Thanks for reading, I know I’ve gone into great detail here and I really just touched the surface. The goal is to give you some ideas and inspiration. You can choose to do as little or as much as you want to create just the right first impression on your front porch this season.

I’ve had a hand in augmenting many front porches for a myriad of reasons, so if you have any questions for your own front porch just reach out…. I love to share. And of course, your ideas and input are always valuable!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Holiday Porch Ideas!

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