Local Decorators Highlight DIY Tips and New Trends in Outdoor Holiday Decoration

Professional advice for decorating your home’s exterior this season.
A few creative touches, such as these by Spruced Huis, can add warmth to a home’s entrance.

After you’ve removed the jack-o-lanterns from your front steps, does the idea of decorating the outside of your home feel like a daunting task? Does hanging the wreath that’s adorned your door for years look more bedraggled than bedazzling? If so, business partners Heidi Wilk and Maren Coltvet of Stillwater’s Spruced Huis, and Marianne Buckman of Hudson’s CocoBello Interiors and Design, have some great do-it-yourself (DIY) holiday decorating tips to help spruce up your home.

With exciting outdoor decorating schemes, trends and ideas for every budget, these professional designers can help you get the sparkle back in no time, by hiring them to visit your home or by using some of their tips.

Wilk and Coltvet chose the name Spruced Huis because the Dutch word huis represents the whole house, inside and out. With Colvet’s 10 years of experience in interior design and Wilk’s degree in horticulture and landscape design, the partners offer seasonal front entry and porch design throughout the year. “We are a unique business that [combines] Heidi’s plant knowledge and selection [with] Maren’s stylish accents. Everything we offer is customized to each client’s tastes,” Wilk says.

They believe the best DIY ideas for porches and entries derive from the homeowner’s personal interests. Skiers might start with a set of old skis, or hunters may begin their design ideas with pheasant feathers or antlers. People who like vintage looks might choose an antique sled as a focal point for design. Consider outdoor furniture, area rugs and lanterns, they say. Wreaths can be personalized with monogramming, birds’ nests, or burlap and twine.

For those interested in help, Wilk and Coltvet can arrive at your home with a variety of items, such as sleds, lanterns baskets and plants. Customers choose from the selection and then personalize them as they wish. Should you request their front-of-home decorating services, says Coltvet, “we’ll likely look inside your home to get an idea of your personal style” before creating a customized look.

Marianne Buckman started her design business, CocoBello, in 2003. Her background includes architecture and interior design studies; she’s an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Offering year-round interior design services, Buckman helps clients design spaces, remodel and accessorize. “I take the hassle out of remodeling since I’m with my clients every step of the way, making sure [the final result] ends up exactly how they dreamed it would be.”

When it comes to outdoor holiday decorating, Buckman admits to getting tired of using the same items to decorate year after year—namely spruce, tree tops and berries. “As more of my clients are going toward clean-line contemporary in their interiors, I feel like the exterior also needs to reflect that feeling.”

The trends Buckman sees for the 2015-16 holiday season include metallics such as brass, prints and patterns, LED lighting and organic materials. Animal prints, chevron and ikat (also a print) are being incorporated into holiday ribbons, tree skirts and tablecloths. Also, organic materials like jute and burlap look wonderful when combined with moss and succulents.

To pull it all together, Buckman recommends wrapping a wreath in moss and decorating it with ornaments and ribbon. Then coordinate it with a pot full of twigs, dogwood or curly willow, and top the pot with moss and little lights. The lights will shine off the ornaments and create a warm glow.”

For an entirely different look, Buckman suggests draping your window boxes with magnolia and bay leaf garlands and then adding accents of curly willow, decorative jute, burlap or grosgrain ribbon, and small white lights.