When the time comes to deck the halls for the holidays, you spend plenty of time selecting garlands, lights, and trees for your interior celebrations. However, your home can look even more festive and inviting if you take as much care with your exterior as with your interior. With the right decoration, you can even use your outdoor landscape as extra entertaining space.

To make your home and landscape look as beautiful as possible, you need to find the balance between classic and unique decor that highlight the best features of your property. Consider these design ideas as you plan your winter decor scheme. 

1. Wrap at Least One or Two Trees With Lights

Have you tried to hang lights on a deciduous tree only to have the lights look a little sparse because the tree’s branches are bare? The way to decorate these trees is to wrap the branches in lights so that you highlight the winter structure.

This approach to tree decorating requires more lights, but the end result is a tree that literally glows in the dark, making it the focal point of your landscape.

If you have several trees in your front yard that could have lights, assess which tree has the most attractive branch structure and wrap that tree.

If you are able to wrap more than one tree, consider using different or complementary colors so that some trees still stand out.

For example, when wrapping three trees, you might do two trees with green lights and one tree with bright white lights. The two green trees then serve as a colorful backdrop for the white tree, instead of each tree competing for attention. When you have several objects competing for focus, the overall effect can become muddled or busy.

2. Use Lights That Make Snow Look Nice

Instead of putting strings of lights along a landscaping path, you might instead put small lights down on the ground with plastic coverings. When the snow falls, these small lights shine through the snow, providing gentle spots of color that mark the way. The snow mutes the colors, so this a great place to use brighter colors like blue, pink, or yellow.

3. Consider Timed Light Displays

If you want to highlight different parts of your landscape at different times, talk to a landscape lighting professional about getting a timed display. If you have a nativity scene, for example, and several lit trees, you might want to highlight the nativity scene some of the evenings and showcase the trees other evenings.

You can also time your displays to music or to complement the time of day. Many people have lights that follow the beat or rhythm of Christmas carols. Others have lights that gradually turn on as the day turns to dusk and then turns to night.

4. Bring In Seasonal Landscape Items and Greenery

Make your landscape even more festive by bringing in more seasonal features. If you have no permanent evergreens, for example, you might get a few potted smaller trees for your front porch. You can wrap lights on these trees. Place a wreath on your door made from fresh pine, spruce, or cedar boughs. You could even hang a small pine corsage around your doorknob.

On trees or bushes in the yard, you might add greens and berries to the bare branches. Hang mistletoe or holly berries from a tree. Attach pine boughs to your fencing or hang wreaths on each fence panel. If you have a more traditional style of home, you might hang an exterior wreath on every window.

5. Change House Lights to Match Seasonal Colors

If your house has exterior lighting, why not change the yellow or white lights for more seasonal colors that match your tree and roof lights? If your theme is silver and blue, you can change your normal landscape lighting to blue or turquoise bulbs.

If you do more traditional green and red colors, use green and red for your accent lights. Even your standard porch light will look festive with a blue, green, red, or golden hue.

6. Use Standard Indoor Decorating Techniques Outside

When you’re inside, you might put up a train set, display some glowing Christmas village houses, decorate a banister with red bows, and hang glass ornaments from your tree. You can take all of these ideas outdoors.

Why not set up a larger Christmas village on your front lawn? You could attach bows to your fence posts. And you can find large ornaments to hang from the branches of your tree. These ornaments should be larger than typical interior decorations and be able to catch the light of your trees and reflect them so people can see the decorations even at night.

For more information about professional holiday exterior landscape and home light installation, contact us at Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.