Home Decorating For Dummies
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Add outside Christmas decorations to spread your holiday cheer. Whether you live in temporary housing or on your own estate, outdoor Christmas décor will liven up balconies, patios, doors, and windows. Consider these outdoor decorating ideas for the holidays:

  • Decorate porches, and patios: If you live in an area that has year-round mild temperatures, you can consider these outdoor areas as extensions to your indoor living areas and decorate them just as you would the rest of your home. Well, you’ll want to make sure that you keep outdoor inclement weather in mind, so no fake snow or aluminum Christmas trees, okay? Small arrangements on patio tables do just fine, too.

  • Hang garlands from your balcony: To decorate a balcony, drape garland, lights, wreaths, or bunting. A balcony is a gathering place for barbecues and after-dinner drinks. Make sure to adapt any ideas for weatherproof decorating.

  • Hang wreaths on windows or doors: At Christmas, a wreath hanging on each window of your house makes it look like a Currier and Ives Christmas card. When you glance through the list of other exterior decorating ideas, check each one to see if you can add any of them to the your exterior windows.

  • Create seasonal plantings in window boxes: Window boxes, if appropriate for your home, are great additions to add curb appeal to your house. They require upkeep, watering, and replanting to reflect seasonal and holiday changes, but they really do add a lot to windows.

    Try layering interior and exterior holiday decorating for a great look. For instance, a combination at Christmas of hanging wreaths on each window, doing arrangements of holly and evergreen in the window boxes, and displaying a candle light inside each window. It’s a layered effect that works for me.

If you have a few lovely trees in your yard, you can light up the night by stringing them with lights. The best way of doing this is by starting at the base of the trunk of the tree and following these instructions:

  1. Test the lights to make sure that they’re working, and then leave them plugged in while you work to get an accurate idea of how the lighting will look.

  2. Secure an extension cord supplying electricity to the tree at the base by staking a dowel rod into the ground.

  3. Tape the female end of the extension cord to the dowel rod with electrical tape.

    After plugging in and stringing lights, you may cover this part of your extension cord with a plastic bag; tape the bag to the dowel rod to prevent moisture from seeping into the connection making it a fire hazard.

  4. Start winding lights up the tree.

    Enlist others when necessary and keep adding strands as needed, making sure to wrap each connection thoroughly with electrical tape.

Make sure that you string a maximum of only three strands of lights or less to one extension cord to reduce fire hazards. You don’t want your holidays to go up in smoke, or all your hard work to just short out only moments after lighting it up.

Look for other types of lights that are netted together to cover bushes. They’re perfect for giving a unified look, and you won’t have to worry about stringing the right coverage of lights on a particular bush. Netted lights do the design work for you.

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