Lynn O'Callaghan took the three Rs to heart for her vibrant decor. She reduced the number of urns on her veranda to a single standout arrangement; reused her old wreath, updating the original lime ribbon with fab fuchsia tulle; and recycled a large birch branch destined for the dump by sawing it up and inserting pieces into the urn. We'll add a fourth R for "reimagined." Instead of plastic ties, Lynn used green dollar-store pipe cleaners to suspend her handsome spruce and hemlock garlands. Brilliant!
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, livinglightingns.ca
The bright Bermuda-inspired front door of Elizabeth and Michael Ryan's 1920s Andrew Cobb home is complemented with a simple homemade wreath. Elizabeth wired small pinecones onto a wreath form; added a few larger pinecones that she and her husband, a Second World War buff, found in Normandy, France; and finished the look with metallic gold sprays and ribbon.
With its luxe louvered shutters, stucco exterior and climbing vines, Lynn Tilley's home exudes French country charm. During the holiday season, an ornate wreath of pink and burgundy flowers, berries and pinecones pops against the stately black door, while a bold yet elegant bow tops the pretty package.
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; wreath, costco.ca
Festive flourishes are no sweat for Larry Swinamer and Susan MacIntosh. Decorating, says Larry, is "a collective, fun endeavour. It just sort of flows." He's in charge of the entryway's delightful arrangement of hanging ornaments, while Susan, who is the owner of Props Floral Design, takes care of the wreath and planter. She breaks up the evergreens with decorative elements made of copper, including whimsical whales – a nod to the couple's waterfront location.
Wreath and planter arrangement, propsfloraldesign.com
"A wreath on the door expresses the circle of love, peace and joy that begins at home," says Catherine Johnston, who had this splurge-worthy statement piece custom-designed to complement her home's dazzling façade. As a personal touch, she added fragrant cedar and balsam fir boughs cut from her winter cottage at Foley Lake, N.S.
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, homedepot.ca
"Every year I'd buy a wreath and it would come with a piddly little red bow," says Cindy Wheeler Ingham, who wanted something more substantial to decorate her Andrew Cobb home for the holidays. Her search led her to this bold ready-made bow in her youngest son's favourite colour – only to find it was too big for her wreath. So...she ditched the wreath!
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; coach lanterns, homedepot.ca
"We really try to achieve the classic Dickens theme," explains Margo Giacomantonio. From the thick pine garland wrapped in 40 feet of ribbon to the pine and eucalyptus wreath, everything in the traditional red-and-green scheme is fresh and homemade. Flanking the door are two massive urns featuring dogwood, gold-sprayed branches and poinsettias."
Ribbon, kent.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com
Why should the front door get all the glory? Graced with a corner lot, these homeowners took much care in creating garden gates that were not only complementary to their Tudor-style home but also pleasing to passersby en route to the nearby city park. The neutral backdrop means the sprays – a mix of balsam fir, white pine, alder and teasel – garner the attention they deserve.
Sprays, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
"Nova Scotia weather is not kind to Christmas decorations," says homeowner Suzanne Morrison. The secret to her success? A collection of fabulous faux adornments, including holly berry and pinecone garland, lit potted plants and a cool contemporary silver wreath.
Garland, walmart.ca; plants and wreath, homesense.ca; planters, halifaxseed.ca; mailbox, michaels.com; sconces, kichler.com
At Laurie Cruess's 1915 American foursquare–style home, a wreath of wide-meshed ribbon, purchased at the Dalhousie University Christmas Craft Sale, shimmers under the soft glow of the period-perfect mission sconces. With the help of a friend who works at the Halifax Public Gardens, Laurie arranged the planters with fresh evergreens clipped from her own garden, along with magnolia leaves, pinecones and dogwood branches.
The Boileau family refreshed the stately elegance of their 1910 Andrew Cobb home by repainting the original sconces and replacing the drafty old door with a handsome replica. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, they choose fun over formality. Take, for example, their wreath, decked with brilliant purple baubles and delightfully unexpected eggplant-coloured leaf clusters.
Silver branches, winners.ca; silver baubles, realcanadiansuperstore.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com; evergreens, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
Janet Willwerth keeps her front-door decor minimal but meaningful. "I find comfort in the familiarity of my Christmas things," she says. "Each time they are brought out, they bring back memories." Her whimsical grouping showcases two special gifts (the Santa and candy cane), a robust wreath (bought from a door-to-door salesperson) to which Janet added a bow, and an antique ship's lantern from Pictou, N.S., that's been in her family for generations.