How to Make a Front Yard Look More Christmassy - 9 Tricks to Create Festive Charm and Curb Appeal

Designers unwrap their exterior holiday decorating ideas for festive curb appeal

Snowy front porch decorated for Christmas
(Image credit: Getty Images / dszc)

Of course flashing Santas are one option. But if you're wondering how can I make my front yard more Christmassy, without draining the grid or startling the neighbours, our experts have plenty of festive ideas.

From subtle and stylish touches to more fun and flamboyant decorations, there are numerous ways to spread seasonal cheer to your modern front yard

Whether you're expecting snow, or likely to be basking in winter sunshine over the holidays, our experts have something to suit everyone.

1. Take your door wreath up a notch

Festive berry everlasting wreath

(Image credit: Everbloom London)

Decorating your front door with the best Christmas wreath is the traditional way to make your front yard more Christmassy. In recent years, wreaths have become more flamboyant, with fruit, flowers and wilder styles. 

Make your own or buy one ready-made with fragranced foliage and added extras.

'We all love a bountiful wreath on the front door,' says Chassie Post, lifestyle expert. 'Of course, classic evergreen wreaths will always lift your spirits, but keep an eye out for eucalyptus. Whether mixed in with boxwood and berries or on its own with a pretty velvet ribbon, eucalyptus is a handsome alternative to your more common evergreen.'

2. Flank the entrance with fir trees

Extra large zinc lined rattan planter and eucalyptus and mixed berry wreath

(Image credit: Marquis & Dawe)

Fir trees are synonymous with Christmas, but bringing them indoors isn't the only option. Decorating your front porch with a small pair of potted pines, spruce or fir either side of your front door will add a charming festive touch. 

'Adding Christmas tree-type evergreens to the garden or entrance way, either in the ground or in pots, will feel festive,' says New York-based garden designer, Amber Freda. 'Decorate them with red bows and ornaments if you live somewhere the weather will allow.'

3. Add a pile of (pretend) presents

Nothing says Christmas like a pile of beautifully wrapped presents. And there are times it's worth faking it.

'Wrapping bricks in hessian fabric or burlap, topping them with large red bows for pretend presents and putting them in a pile near the front door looks lovely,' says Sydney-based Lucy Gough, stylist, art director, author and online interior styling course creator.

4. Let trees twinkle

traditional warm white connectable string lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Decorating trees outdoors with pretty string lights will add seasonal sparkle and curb appeal to your front yard. Wrap the trunk and bare branches of deciduous trees, or choose cascade lights for evergreens. Just don't forget to turn the lights off when you go to bed at night, so as not to disturb the local wildlife.  

'One of the easiest ways to add Christmas cheer to a front yard is by adding string lights,' says New York-based Kat Aul Cervoni, landscape designer and founder, Staghorn NYC and The Cultivation by Kat. 

'Wrapping string lights around trees, shrubs, lamp posts, columns, railings and more adds a dazzling bit of magic. Whether you like classic white lights or pops of color, this is one of my favorite ways to add Christmas spirit to a front yard.'

'Wrapping a tree trunk in outdoor clear-cable fairy lights means they are fairly inconspicuous in the day and magical by night,' adds Lucy Gough. 'Make sure the battery pack or electrical plug end is at the base of the tree, not the top.'

5. Create a festive window box

festive window box on a window sill

(Image credit: Getty Images/ alohadave)

'Despite cold temps, Christmastime is still primetime for adding a bit of pizzazz to planters,' says Kat. 'An array of mini evergreens looks colorful and lush in window boxes or containers, as do boxwood, cyclamen and hellebores.

'For a bold pop of red, try incorporating the stems of red twig dogwood or branches of holly berries into your planters. Even a bundle of evergreen boughs can add lushness and fragrance and don’t forget to add lights.'

6. Wrap your front door with a ribbon

Lights4fun outdoor lights

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

The best Christmas garlands and wreaths aren't the only way to decorate your front door. We love Sydney-based stylist and art director, Lucy Gough's suggestion.

'I love buying a few packs of red crepe paper and stretching them out along the length and width of our front door to give the appearance it's wrapped in a large ribbon,' says Lucy Gough. 'You can tape the crepe paper sheets to the top and bottom of your door using a piece of gaffer tape to adhere it.'

7. Create displays with berry branches

branches and berries in an outdoor urn

(Image credit: Getty Images / lillisphotography)

Displays of berry branches and evergreens in tall vases or arranged around mirrors and mantels look beautiful dotted around the home. They can look just as lovely outside too, whether in huge urns or attractive arrangements. 

'Create garden displays using red berry branches, white painted branches, and evergreen garlands,' says Amber Freda. 'These work especially well around trees, evergreens, or other focal points in the garden or porch.'

8. Have with fun ornaments

giant inflatable baubles in a front yard

(Image credit: Lightinthebox)

Christmas garden ornaments are understandably not to everyone's taste. Yet it's possible to find those that are more glamorous than gaudy. 

'A metal conical Christmas tree-shaped garden ornament is a beautiful object to wrap in warm outdoor fairy lights,' says Lucy Gough. 'Choose one with a black or dark green cord to merge in with the black metal. 

'It's a real centerpiece for your garden. For added ease you can put your garden fairy lights on an electric timer to turn them off at bed time.'

9. Drape garlands around door frames

front door with foliage and bauble garland

(Image credit: Getty Images / Anastasiia Krivenok)

Foliage garlands draped around doorways aren't just gorgeous inside the home, they look spectacular around exterior doors too. 

For natural festive fragrance, choose or make a garland with real evergreens such as fir, spruce or conifer. Attach baubles if you live somewhere they can withstand the weather. Otherwise, add berried branches for a pop of color. 

'A garland can look as festive on a banister or a front door,' says Chassie Post. 'Those that feature fragrant evergreens can really set the holiday tone. Add a plaid bow and some gold or silver jingle bells or ornaments for a jolly touch.'

'Garlands are a lovely way to make a front yard more Christmassy and look beautiful draped around doorways and wrapped along railings,' says Kat Aul Cervoni, @thecultivationbykat.

'Synthetic options have come a long way and can be more cost-effective in the long run, or opt for fresh cut garland for a bit of that classic evergreen fragrance.' 

Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites

A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written  for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.