Tactful ways to decorate your home’s exterior for the holidays

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Tactful ways to decorate your home’s exterior for the holidays
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Tactful ways to decorate your home’s exterior for the holidays

We've all seen that house -- the one that is overly decorated for the holidays. Or how about the one that is just plain tacky? At least we can be reassured that its owners have holiday cheer. However, less is usually more when it comes to decorating your home's exterior for the holidays. Consider these tips.

Moderation is key. Strands of lights can be tacky, or they can be beautiful. What's tacky? Stringing the entire house and every tree in the yard with multi-colored lights. Not to mention it can be expensive to power. Multi-colored lights can be tactful when used in moderation. Strategically placed strands, whether white or colored, are much more tactful than going overboard.

The simple touches count. How can something so simple have such a large impact on your exterior decor? Too many decorations can be overwhelming; create a focal point with a pretty holiday wreath or a simple nativity scene. Bells hanging from the doorknob or ice luminaries lining the driveway are simple touches that can leave a big impact.

Enhancing nature's beauty. Even more tactful than lights on the trees or shrubs in a yard? Dressing them up with other bits of nature, or nature-inspired hues. Don't have any trees to decorate? Make your own by placing evergreen branches in a large container, accompanied by dried artichokes, pear gourds, caspia, and the other things seen on this potted frasier fir.

Utilize window boxes. Window boxes can be used in the winter, too. It seems a shame to hide them in a shed or let them sit, bare, in front of the window when the flowers no longer bloom. Purchase a block of floral foam and place it in the box to hold cedar boughs, sprigs of berries, baby's breath, and other winter-inspired items.

Neighborly courtesy. There's just one more consideration to make when decorating your exterior for the holidays: your neighbors. Don't decorate your yard with anything that will annoy them. For example, lights that shine into their bedroom windows or music that plays while they are trying to sleep. Strategic placement is the kind thing to do when it comes to anything that might become annoying.

Tonya graduated from the interior design program at Alexandria Technical College in 2008. She currently lives in South Dakota and writes articles related to design, decorating, and home improvement for various Internet sites.

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