Sometimes, even crafty, creative, visual people just aren’t sure how to decorate the front door for Christmas. There’s certainly nothing wrong with hanging a wreath on the door, and turning your attention indoors for the real show. But Chris and Julia of the aptly named DIY blog Chris Loves Julia wanted to do something more than the ordinary with their front door this Christmas.
We know this because we invited them to take part in our Holiday Style Challenge. We sent out mystery boxes of Christmas decorations from The Home Depot to some of the best DIY and design bloggers we could find. Then we wait for them to amaze us with their Christmas decorating ideas.
They came up with an idea that’s pure holiday decorating genius. It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas. Julia shares with us, in a most entertaining way, how they made their front door something special for Christmas.
As DIYers, you’d think going overboard on holiday décor is a given for us. Sad to say, it’s never really been that way. We’ve hung lights on the roof, and decorated our tree different ways each year, but outside that, we’ve been pretty bland. That’s why we were so stoked when The Home Depot asked us to be involved with their Holiday Style Challenge. It was the motivation we needed to focus on making one area of the home extra special. And, to top it off, they asked us to do the front door. I mean, if you’re gonna go all out, the front door is the place to do it. It’s like an open invitation to all passersby to join you in celebrating the undisputed champion of most wonderful times of the year.
We moved into this home not long ago, and are still making friends with our neighbors. We not only wanted our front door to be an invitation to be of good cheer, but a warm welcome to all of our holiday visitors. Because our front door before this challenge? Dang.
Booooooriiiiing. I think that may even be our dog, Charly (she makes a lot of appearances), in the window, yawning from all the ho-humness. Don’t you worry, pup. We’ll get those sleigh bells ringling and ting-ting-tingling in no time.
So as part of our mystery box, The Home Depot sent us a bunch of globe lights, made by GE. [“Super Sphere Lights,” to be precise. -ed.]
Let me tell ya, those things are awesome. We immediately knew we wanted to use them, but weren’t sure where they’d fit best. I think they are designed to hang as a sort of outdoor light garland, but either way, they’re definite attention grabbers, which is awesome.
Our front window expands about eight more feet to the right in the photo above, and that’s where we were planning on putting our Christmas tree, inside the house. But we didn’t want the lights to take away from the Christmas tree, do we?
Of course not!
Well, what if we take the globe lights inside and hang them on the tree? Still visible from outside, and really adding to the tree. Maybe like so, shown below?
Hmmm… yeah… but better yet…
Boom. Christmas tree outside.
Once we decided we wanted a tree outside, everything else fell into place.
Don’t you love how inviting it is??? I don’t even know what my favorite part is, but let’s talk more about the tree before moving on. Because this front door area is on the tall side, we picked up the 9ft pre-lit Carolina Fir artificial Christmas tree (yeesh, that’s a mouthful).
While this tree isn’t meant for outdoor use, our front patio has enough coverage to ensure the lights and cords stay nice and dry. We also bolted and chained this sucker to the concrete in a place where the drill holes won’t be visible after the tree is taken down– not only to keep it extra safe from Christmas “Grinches”, but we also didn’t want it swept away by any potential gusts of wind.
Once the tree was up, we covered it from top to bottom with silver, red and gold ornaments; red and a plaid ribbon (my favorite!); silver snowflakes; and a star for the top – all from the Home Depot. A few garlands from a local craft store sent this runner home.
Speaking of runner:
This outdoor rug from Home Decorators Collection was just what the stairs needed to feel warm and welcoming, as Charly is so effectively demonstrating above. Seriously, every time we go outside now she just lies at the top or bottom of this rug.
We actually ordered two of the smaller runners and attached them at the bottom of a tread so it was a bit more discreet. It only took a little indoor/outdoor carpet tape to keep them in place, and it’s there for the season.
The difficult part was deciding where to lay the rug. You see, the door isn’t centered in the stairs, but we wanted the rug centered with the door. This left the stairway feeling slightly lopsided and uneven. We knew we had to/wanted to fill up the space to the left, and add a little color.
To fill the void, we stacked wreaths from The Home Depot to add a little greenery that ties in nicely with the tree. One wreath in the front and two in the back for varying heights. The gifts cover the holes so the wreaths read as garland and not wreaths at all.
Those “gifts” you see in the photos are actually just baskets-turned-presents to round out the “indoors-moved-outdoors” effect. We just flipped over two straight baskets we had on hand (tapered ones wouldn’t give the same gift effect) and dressed them up a bit. They filled the space, created balance and added that pop of color we needed.
Lastly, the door.
From the day we moved in, we knew the obnoxiously glossy maroon had to go. We plan on replacing the front door entirely sometime next year, but until then we’ll be getting by with a paint job. This created the perfect canvas for more wreath “stacking,” but this time vertically. We had a total of five wreaths in our mystery box, so the last two mixed with a red one we’ve had for years made the perfect trifecta. We simply tied each wreath together with the same ribbon used on the tree and hung all three on the door.
The three wreaths fill up the door with color, and are so festive. But even after hanging them up, we decided there needed to be some contrast or sparkle or something.
We hung a few of the silver and gold ornaments we had leftover from the tree on the two green wreaths, and it was a wonderful finish to our front door holiday “makeover.”
More pictures, comin’ atcha:
And a night shot. We weren’t kidding when we said Charly is obsessed with lounging out here now.
Our style isn’t necessarily this traditional inside, but after five Christmases together, it’s comforting to see some red and green and ribbons and wreaths– all the things that remind us of our childhood holidays– in front of our new house. It really feels like home.
The Chris Loves Julia blog is where Julia Marcum and her husband, who by coincidence is the Chris mentioned in the blog title, write about working on their fixer-upper home, as well as home decor, design, DIY and other stuff. They live in Utah with their daughter Greta and family dog Charly.
Chris and Julia used these Christmas decorations from The Home Depot to style their front door:
- GE Holiday Classic 100-Light Clear Super Sphere Light
- 9 ft Pre-Lit Carolina Fir Artificial Christmas Tree
- 2 in. Gold Christmas Ornaments
- 2 in. Silver Christmas Ornaments
- Martha Stewart Living Merry Metallic 6 in. Christmas Finial Ornaments