The Washington Post

Decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays

This time of year many people are inspired to create a festive home inside and out. While our friends over at Local Living can give you tips on making the interior of your house merry, we’re here to help you bring some holiday bling to the exterior.

Bethesda designer Kelley Proxmire designed this wreath to hang on the front door. (Angie Seckinger)

Proxmire rarely focuses on the outside of a home but last year she worked with a client who was hosting the neighborhood Christmas party and wanted her home to look as good outdoors as it did indoors. 

She used fruit and magnolia leaves to decorate the transom. (Angie Seckinger)

Proxmire hung a wreath on the door and the architectural interest above the door. She decorated the wreathes, using a glue gun to apply fake fruit and bows

“I really wanted to do the fruit,” she said. “It’s classic and the house is really classic and that fit. . . . Fruit is really popular with the season.”  

She strung lights on the small trees that guard the front door and placed luminaries along the walkway.

The entrance to the home (Angie Seckinger)

“Understand there is wind,” she said. “I had to go over a couple times and re-glue some of [the fruit and leaves] because when the wind comes, it blows away the leaves if they’re not anchored.”

Proxmire’s advice for achieving classic simplicity is to keep it natural.  

“Even if they’re using artificial garlands down the handrails, they could put in some real leaves,” she said. “Forethought went into it. I just didn’t say, ‘Oooh, that would look nice, and now that will look nice.’ . . . Plan ahead, rather than wing it. Just don’t wing it.”


Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.


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