Seasonal Holiday Decorating Ideas for Elegant Displays

Seasonal Holiday Decorating Ideas for Elegant Displays

In the classic holiday film, Bing Crosby dreamed of a white Christmas. Had he lived in Minnesota, one could be certain that dream would be realized.

White Christmases are a part of life in the Midwest. Glistening blankets of ivory snow covering streets and sidewalks, trees and bushes, businesses and homes … it’s what we know.

Now imagine using your decorating flair to take that further.

At Architectural Landscape Design, we celebrate the holidays with a mixture of modern outdoor lighting and traditional festive decor that creates a classic look for your home, one full of grace and elegance, but also one full of color and flair.

We’ve got some pro-tips for decorating this holiday season that will have you saying goodbye to the ordinary and  hello to colorful ribbons, bulbs, berries, and lights.

Radiant Colors That Warm Your Heart

Nothing adds a pop of color against a white backdrop more than the color green. Yes, we’re talking about the enchanting world of wreaths and garlands and what a wonderful world it is.


While historically symbolizing such concepts as victory, power, honor, and joy, wreaths have now become synonymous with seasonal celebration. Adorning your front door with an eye-catching Christmas wreath is a visual way to warmly invite family, friends, and neighbors into your home for the holidays. So, just how do you go about creating such welcoming wreaths? Well, it all starts with the greenery.

Evergreens, whether fresh or faux, are the go-to vegetation for Christmas wreaths because they retain their leaves or needles all year long and, despite their name, actually come in a variety of colors, including blue-green, yellow-gold, or even chartreuse. You can bolster the “depth and contrast” of your holiday wreath displays by blending these varying colors.

In the same vein, add an assortment of textures to enhance the visual weight of your wreath. This can be in the form of earthy pinecones, vivid red berries, or magnolia leaves. You could also embellish your wreath with brightly colored ribbons, ornaments, or bells, which will add a special contrast to the natural elements on your wreath.

You can purchase these items or simply go outside for a supply hunt. Consider customizing your wreath with what you find in your own backyard, the result of which will be festive and personal holiday decor that you will cherish all season long.


Similar to their wreath sibling, garlands are comprised of evergreen varieties, including cypress, pine, cedar, spruce, hemlock, and juniper. Each type of evergreen comes with inherent benefits, which should be considered before starting the decorating process. For instance, cedar and pine can stand up to the cold better than other evergreen types, but juniper has flexible branches, which can make it easier to rope around such items as outdoor columns.

Once you’ve considered the style and function of your greenery options and have subsequently chosen one as a base, make sure you have enough of it for your decorating needs. Always buy more than you think you will need as you must take into account garland draping. Better Homes & Gardens recommends a generous garland that is about 50% longer than its intended space.


And now for the fun part. There are a multitude of garland arrangements at your disposal, each with a unique combination of natural and artificial decor items. Take your pick from this partial assortment:

  • Bright bows with long, whimsical tails
  • Silvery juniper berries
  • Colorful felt balls
  • Wooden beads
  • Brass shapes
  • Multi-color leaf crepe paper
  • Pine boughs
  • Grapevines
  • Fresh floral blooms
  • Red pops of holly
  • Wide colorful ribbon of various lengths
  • Silver and gold ornament bulbs of various sizes

The list goes on and on! From festive wreaths to striking garlands, your options for traditional Christmas decor are as limitless as the imagination from which they are created.

Seasonal Holiday Decorating Ideas For Elegant Displays

Classic Lighting That Sparks Joy

With the splashes of color that wreaths and garlands bring, you may want to opt for an understated lighting approach this holiday season. Nothing showcases traditional elegance more than simple string lights, which can be used to spotlight the delicate curves of your front porch or the elegant architecture of large planters. The warm yellow glow of the string lights mimics the flickering of a winter’s fire, creating a truly charming ambiance for any visitor.

For a more modern take on elegance, try a mixture of red mini-lights with oversized white-light bulbs, the effect of which is a sensory treat worth digging into! On a similar note, create your own big bulbs of light by twisting and securing (zip ties work well) Christmas light strands around a cylinder of hardware cloth or chicken wire. Hang these balls of glimmering light in your large, mature trees and watch them bring your property to seasonal life!

You can also use string lights in other unique ways, such as to light a marquee, a tomato-cage tree, or wooden stars. These simple, yet classic touches of holiday cheer give Christmastime the warmth and joy that makes it special.

Designs That Bring Holiday Cheer

Now that you have an overflow of holiday decor ideas at your disposal, it’s important to be strategic with your decor placement. Consider how you can create rhythm and flow throughout your spaces while being sure to highlight and punctuate key areas of your outdoor environment.

From driveways to pathways, porches to stairs, natural foliage to potted planters, or to retaining walls, there are numerous features to consider when planning your decor placement.

If getting up on a ladder or the colder temperatures have given you the chills, consider calling on Architectural Landscape Design for some holiday decor support. We can assist with design, installation, and taking down your Christmas decorations so that you can enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Architectural Landscape Design: Experts in Christmas Cheer

Holiday decor is a service we have come to truly love at ALD. We know the pride you take in your home and using festive wreaths, garlands, and lights to showcase it is a way to celebrate that pride. Yes, we enjoy (most of the time) a white Christmas like any true Minnesotan, but we also enjoy pops of color and splashes of Christmas spirit. Contact us today for a free consultation about your holiday decor desires and plans. Let’s deck the halls…together!