Every home’s exterior whispers of things to come beyond the front door. It is that anticipated “promise”, the quiet rush guests feel as they see and approach your home. It’s the lift you feel every time you do too. There are a few paths to dress your home’s exterior for winter or holiday, some short term and some longer term. Here are the key areas with payoff.
The design truism, “Where there is no light, there can be no beauty”, was meant for interior spaces, but it has an outdoor application too. You can add considerable winter warmth and presence to your home’s exterior with architectural lighting. (I’m not talking pretty holiday twinkling lights here). If your budget allows, a landscape architect can objectively determine how lighting can maximize your home’s architectural and landscaping strengths. Don’t be surprised if removing overgrown trees or shrubs is suggested since they can block a larger lighting effect. For the talented DIY’er: Consider an up-light to an ornamental tree, or, some solar powered lights lining your front walk. Illumination is striking.
Planter pots are a 2-step package: there is the pot and there is whatever fills it. The secret to pot size is usually, large enough at the front door for a statement, but not so large as to crowd the entryway. Err on the side of “too small” and the look is anemic, no matter how beautifully they are planted. This is an ideal time to update pots for style or size. Replace things that look faded, worn or dated. Engage a local landscaper to deck out your pots, or DIY it by adding evergreen clippings from your own property to your pots. (YouTube is your friend here.)
This is the longer-term solution but will get you thinking about how you may want to amend things this upcoming spring, for next winter. My colleague Andrea Steinberg, a talented landscape architect and owner of GL Designs and has this to say: “We recommend planning your total landscaping for 4 season appeal. For winter, it’s important to have evergreens like boxwoods and hollies for example, because they provide structure and catch snow beautifully.”(Show of hands if you’ve thought about “winter structure” while roaming the garden center. Gold star to Andrea.)
Andrea added that plants with colorful stems is a winter bonus. “Cornus sericea is a member of the dogwood family and depending upon variety, their stems range from yellow, to orange to red.” She also recommends not cutting back certain perennials like Sedum because they have an interesting wintery show and catch the snow handsomely.
I’m hoping this list helps inspires your thinking creativity. And I’m wishing you a blessed and beautiful home and holidays, lovelies and gentlemen. “See” you next year. Xo - d
About Donna Hoffman: A multi-award-winning Bucks County based designer, Donna heads her design company specializing in new construction, renovation, whole home and full room design to deliver livable luxury to discerning clients. Seen in Forbes, Real Simple, TV and radio, Donna is one of the nation’s design thought leaders and founded, TheInteriorDesignAdvocate.com which provides on-line courses for DIY’ers.