Christmas Decorating Ideas: Porches, Doors and Windows

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving behind us now, this is the time so many of us get busy decorating for Christmas. It’s time to swag that garland, hang those wreaths and spruce up the mailbox. In case you could use a little inspiration, I’ve pulled together a few pictures and ideas for decorating the outside areas of our homes.

Of course, the front of a home is always a fave spot to decorate since it’s the area we see as we leave and come back home each day. It’s always fun to hang wreaths on windows, but if hanging wreaths on windows won’t work for your home, consider hanging them on a blank wall or even on the wall beside the front door.

If you have a front porch with a railing, drape garland across the front for a beautiful display. I would love to have a front porch rail so I could do this…love this look! Notice how they used bows where the garland attaches to the porch. It really finishes it off nicely.

Porch Decorated with Garland Draped on Porch_wm


When I go on Christmas home tours each year, pictures are not always allowed inside. But it’s fun to take pictures of the exteriors of the homes to share with you. Some of the photos in this post today are from past home tours, including this one. What struck me most about this home was the beautiful symmetry. Notice there’s a tree inside on the left and on the right and there’s one up high on the balcony above. So beautiful!

Balcony with Christmas Tree_wm


If you don’t have a porch rail from which you can drape your garland, swag it from the porch ceiling. If it’s lit garland, it will be as beautiful (if not more) at night as it is during the day.



Of course, you can hang wreaths on windows, that’s always a great look for the holidays. (Tutorial for hanging wreaths on windows can be found here: Hang Wreaths on Windows at Christmastime



I’ve always loved this picture from Southern Living Online! It’s from several years ago.

Make Magnolia Wreath for Windows
I couldn’t find the article again to link to it but I remember it said that the owners of this home make all these magnolia-leaf wreaths by hand and they do it every year!

Southern Living Magnolia Wreaths


If you have window boxes under your windows, those can be a lot of fun to decorate for Christmas.



It’s great to use really big ornaments in those so they will be visible from the road. Some greenery, a little ribbon and some big, colorful ornaments and you’re all set.



If you’re not keen on hanging wreaths on your windows or can’t easily do that due to the design of the window, consider swags of greenery above the window, instead. Here they have used magnolia which stays fresh for a long time, especially when used outdoors.

Decorate for Christmas with Swags over Windows_wm


Of course, it’s always wonderful to add garland around the front door. This door is draped with cedar garland. Notice that even there’s a screened door, they figured out a way to hang a wreath from it using a ribbon. I’m guess it’s tacked in place on the other side. Not sure I would do this in an area that’s super windy, but I do love how it looks.

Wreath for a Screened Door_wm


This same house had cedar draped along the eves up of the back porch…so pretty!

Garland for a Christmas Porch_wm


Have a fence? Fences look great decorated with garland!

Picket Fence Decorated with Garland for Christmas_wm


I took this picture while on a candlelight home tour. So enchanting! See that lit object off to the right? Can you tell what it is?

Tree Swing Lit up for Christmas_wm


It’s actually a tree swing that’s been decorated with lights! Magical!

Tree Swing Decorated with Lights for Christmas_wm


Do you decorate your mailbox? Some years I do and some I don’t. I have a brick mailbox so it can be a little bit of a challenge trying to figure out how to attach the decorations. It’s so nice to decorate them when you can because everyone in the neighborhood gets to enjoy it as they drive by.

Decorate Mailbox for Christmas_wm


Have any old wagons left over from when your children were little? Drape a piece of burlap inside or fill it with pinestraw and create a lovely vignette with greenery. Pansies look especially pretty tucked inside. Greenery draped over the edges and hanging down would be beautiful, too! It’s nice to have something tall in the center for a little height.

Child's Wagon Decorated for Christmas_wm


Even something as simple as a red pail or bucket filled with pine boughs is beautiful! So easy, so simple and just gorgeous!

Red Bucket Container with Greenery for Christmas_wm


Hope this has given you a few ideas for decorating the outside areas of your home. Now, I’d better get back out there and finish up mine! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    That Southern Living house!! *sigh* I love all of those long French windows. That’s exactly what I’d like to have in my own house. So, pretty. And I love that simple blue house with the red door. So humble and elegant.

    Thanks for the ideas, Susan. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I’ll do my mailbox this year.

    Oh, and btw, after reading that you get 100 + emails a day ๐Ÿ˜ฎ (yikes) I won’t be emailing you any more, lol. I don’t know how you keep your sanity. (although some might say that’s debatable.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Beautiful ideas for decorating the front of the house.
    I hold off until December 1 to put out any decorations, but I am working on ideas.

  3. Wish we had Christmas Home Tours around here…I’ll just have to “visit” vicariously through you. Thanks again for a great post…maybe there is hope to spruce up our windows even though none of them are the same size. Will work on the bottom ledge swag idea. I’ve always wanted a way to use those really big ornament balls.

  4. These are all such great ideas. I love driving around and looking at how people decorate the outside of their homes for the holidays. xo Laura

  5. I wished we had Christmas tours around here that red screen door and the lighted tree swing. It really does look magical, doesn’t it? We visited in Savannah one December and we so enjoyed all the decorated homes plus our Hampton Inn lobby was breathtakingly beautiful and elegant! Savannah and Charleston are two of my favorite places to vacation. Wouldn’t mind living at either city.. to me they seem like magical cities at night.

  6. Hello Suzan,
    I regularly read your blog and have noticed that you keep yourself busy embellishing your home! That’s great!
    I noticed also that you are no longer posting Ideabooks on Houzz. com. I still enjoy doing it and, if you wish, you might found interest in my latest pictures, regarding Christmas decoration and Holidays tablescapes, at Michelle. Frenchflair. Some of them have been published in Better Homes and Garden, last year.
    I don’t have time to have my own blog, since, apart from my passion for Design, I spend a lot of time writing, in French. My second book should be published soon.
    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  7. Beautiful ideas Susan! We don’t have open houses up here…not til Spring….so I can always use inspiration! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Love them all!! Thank you for the inspiration pics ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Such beautiful decorations! I love the way wreaths look on a window and that rope swing with all the lights on it is adorable! Hugs, Leena

  10. Susan, I’m so glad I found your blog from pinterest! Your house is BEAU-TI-FUL! Ugghh…I miss living in the suburbs. Your house is lit up! I love it. I will browse more of your posts — your blog is perfect for my holiday decoration project. I will surely post on my blog and credit you for the idea! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  11. First of all, I remember many of these images. YES! I do decorate my mailbox too. My hubby says, “keep moving or you might get decorated”:):) This year I am reall going all out. Thanks for all this beautiful inspiration.

  12. OK, I will send you pics of the house ASAP. I haven’t had a chance during the DAY to get pictures. Hopefully tomorrow.

  13. I love that little wagon. It’s so cute! Thanks for giving me so many ideas on how to do my porch!

    Heidiโ€™s Wanderings

  14. I enjoyed this post very much! All of the houses are so beautiful & I’m sure I will come back & take a second look.
    I am trying to figure out how to decorate our mailbox this year & haven’t quite figured that out yet. I have also decided to decorate an outside window sill and hope it turns out to look similar to the decorated flower box in your posting today.
    Thanks for all of the interesting things that you post & I appreciate how hard you work at your blog. It’s always great inspiration!

    • Thanks, Linda…appreciate that so much! That would make a great post…all the ways to decorate mailboxes. I will have to look for some ideas, maybe I’ll find enough for a whole post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Really enjoy your blog! I wonder if something like this would help with engineering your mailbox decor. I find them very useful both inside and outside at my house. Merry Christmas!

  16. Opps! ww.lowes.comw/pd_86463-37672-122354_0__?productId=3044632&Ntt=brick+clips&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dbrick%2Bclips&facetInfo=

  17. A quiet Sunday to relax and get inspired for decorating. And I am! Love the farmhouse porch wiht red screen door especially. Can’t wait to adapt it to our brick farmhouse! Linda

  18. I didn’t do much on the outside last year and my plan is to at least decorate the front doorway. There is no shortage of inspiration here. Thank you!

  19. Susan,
    I started reading your page 2 yrs. ago and I LOVE Your IDEAS!!! I LOVE your tutorials and used MANY from your Wreaths, pottery barn inspired garland, pumpkin topiary, scarecrow crow dรฉcor, fall, 4th of July, and many, many more!! LOL! I am looking for the fabric of clocks and I cannot find it anywhere. I want to do the time plates for New Years Eve. If you know of any ideas I would love to know. Thank you for all your help and inspiration.

    • Thanks, Crystal! Appreciate that so much. It makes my day to know those tutorials were helpful for someone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay!
      I wish I knew where to tell you to find some. I just used an old ironing board cover I found in Marshalls. If I see some when I’m out Christmas shopping, I’ll let you know! XO

      • Ann Marie Rose says

        Loved all of the pictures – I did decorate the end of my railings when I saw the one picture. I live in the mountains in Northern Nevada so we get plenty of snow. Did call a Christmas Lighting company one time but their ideas were too generic and very pricey.

  20. OMG! I want this! Very cute , Thanks for inspired! If you let me , i want to add these photos to my decor blog decorazilla? please let me know ..

    Thanks for this inspiring post! Have a great year!

    • Sarrah, I’d rather you not use any of the photos you find at BNOTP because it doesn’t appear that you link back to the source of the photos you post on your site. Whenever you use a photo from another website or blog, you need to link back to that source under the photo or in your wording so that the source will get credit and maybe even a few new visitors from you site. So, all this is to say, I’d prefer you not use any of the photos you find on BNOTP.

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