Ahhhhh 2020…The unbelievable year of everything unexpected, so everyone is eager to decorate for the holidays and experience all of the joy that comes with it. Since COVID is causing us to spend more time at home than ever before, we want to decorate earlier and enjoy it longer.
Porch living is a way of the south, and definitely the way of life in my Williamson County neighborhood. Here in Westhaven we even have “Porchfest” where every year (on a normal year), musicians from all over Nashville come and play on our residents’ porches. Every home is required in our covenants to have a front porch, so, we all like to put a little of our own personalities into them. Plus, it could easily be 70 degrees on any given day in the south, so there could be some porch swinging on Christmas! Just like 2020, you never know…
Fall is always my busiest time of year in my job, so sometimes holiday decorating just seems like another task to accomplish. But I have to get out of that mindset, because I do love decorating my home and my daughter, who’s 18, would start putting up Christmas in July if I let her! This year she said to me “Mom, since I’m a senior and this is my last year at home before I go off to college, can we start decorating early and really go all out?” Gulp [choking back tears], how does any Mom argue with that? I agreed with early and “all out” is a little hard for me because I’m a big fan of less is more, not more is more when it comes to decorating. However, in addition to our living room Christmas tree, I did agree to a tree in her bedroom, my son’s bedroom and our bonus room, plus add a little more “holiday fluff’ to our porch. I figure that should count as “going all out”! It’s actually a lot for me!
My personal holiday decorating style is organic, without a lot of color, using fresh Leland Cypress garland and eucalyptus, foraging berries and other greenery from the woods in our neighborhood, pheasant feathers, and deer antlers..anything wintry and earthy. I also try to challenge myself every year to come up with new ways to use what I already have, then sprinkle in a few new things to freshen it up. I choose a dominate neutral color and run with it. This year, I decided I wanted a black and white Christmas. I love how crisp and timeless black and white is, it’s also the colors of our cottage style home’s exterior and I already have a black and white striped rug (from West Elm) on our back porch. So I decided to add more of that onto our front porch and just for fun, add a small pop of red in the Christmas pillows on our porch swing and chairs. The red was a step out for me, because I usually stick to more muted colors. Maybe it was the 2020 factor creeping in again and I needed the jolt of color. To quote a line from my favorite movie The Holiday, “Try it in a happy red, not a Scorsese red.”
I like to keep things simple and easy instead of fussy and difficult. This holiday porch can be put together in 30 minutes to an hour, I promise…and most of it you can purchase online! I’m kindof a lazy holiday decorator. I didn’t even use any zip ties for the garland this year. I just looped it around the porch posts to keep it secure. The only other thing I’m still on the hunt for is a really great rug. I have my eye on this one from Dash & Albert, and since I’m from Birmingham originally, I think it’s meant to be! I hope you find some inspiration for your own front porch holiday decorating this year. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and this year, I’ll definitely be home. Merry Merry!
Labrador Christmas Pillow: Purchased a few years ago but more can be found on Amazon here.
Red Merry Christmas lumbar pillow from Tin Cottage in Franklin, TN
Black & White Striped Cotton Fringed Blanket from Amazon.
Plaid red wool fringe pillows in chairs from Pottery Barn purchased a few years ago, but they have similar styles every year which you can find here.
Black and White Buffalo Check Fleece Throws used as tree skirts on planters from Amazon. This was really the blanket I wanted but they were out of stock at the time. They are back in stock as of the date this was posted.
Black and White Striped Napkin from World Market.
All Leland Cypress greenery is fresh except for the wreath which I bought a few years ago at Stock and Trade in Birmingham, AL (also a location in Brentwood, TN and Destin, FL) because I like to keep my wreath up most of winter and need it to last. I usually purchase my fresh garland from a local nursery or Costco in 25 foot bundles. My porch, front door and fireplace mantle require 5 bundles. If I do my foyer stairwell too it requires 3-4 more bundles.
Black & White Grosgrain Ribbon from Amazon. I love wired ribbon but sometimes it can be too perfect and fussy. I wanted to go with simple and casual look that went with my cottage style home so I chose ribbon without wire. I also like that without wire it more easily catches the wind.