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How to update your front door for the holidays.

The holidays are right around the corner, and your front door is a great place to add holiday inspired curb appeal. Whether your style is trad, modern or somewhere in between (that's me!) here's how you can step into the season with a front door refresh.  Simple holiday inspired touches create a festive and wintry welcome that will look good long after the holiday season.  I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post to create a mood board, and share some tips and ideas about how to add some festive cheer to your front door for the holidays.

Here are 7 easy ways to update your front door for the holidays.

Lay out the welcome mat.

Set a merry mood as your guests walk through your front door with a festive doormat. The cute greeting sets the tone, provides a place to wipe their shoes, and because it's not too Christmasy, you can use it all winter long. Want to DIY your own doormat? It's easy. All you need is a stencil, outdoor acrylic paint, foam paint daubers and a blank coir mat.

Hang a wreath.

Whether you choose fresh or faux, adding a wreath to your front door is one of the easiest ways to add a little holiday cheer to your front entry. DIY a wreath with fresh greenery from your local greengrocer or garden centre, or buy a ready-made wreath and add some velvet ribbon or vintage looking bells. Then, add a little sparkle with battery-powered twinkly lights. Hang the wreath with a standard wreath hanger that suspends from the top of your door, or try a removable, self-adhesive hook or magnetic wreath hook. Fishing wire helps to discreetly hang the wreath.

Update your entry door with a new handle-set and lock.

Although paint is a nice way to refresh a door, it's not the right season for exterior paint, so that will have to be put on hold until spring - however, adding new smart lock and handle-set to your door, is an easy update you can tackle now.  It's like jewelry for your door.

I love the ease of Schlage's Sense Smart Deadbolt system. It's keyless and digital. I'm always fumbling for my keys so I love the idea of using an access code instead. I'm curious about the Bluetooth Smart Technology that lets you pair it with a smartphone. Does that mean I can ask Alexa to answer the door? Apparently, it does! The Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt and Wi-Fi Adapter are easy to install using a screwdriver and doesn't need to be hardwired, because it's battery operated. I like that too.

Dress your planter in something seasonal.

Whether you prefer to buy a premade planter that you can drop inside a decorative urn, or you like to flex your floral design skills and do-it-yourself, a seasonal planter filled with aromatic cedar, boughs of pine, and sprigs of boxwood brighten any entrance. Ready to go planters can be picked up at almost any grocery store or garden centre, as can the materials to make one.

I like to design my own, it's usually less expensive and it's fun to put together. I start with heavier boughs of greenery such as spruce, in the middle, to create a base to hold everything together, then I add something tall such as birch in the centre. Next, I add in spiller branches such as cedar and pine, that spill over the sides, and layer in boxwood and sometimes magnolia leaves. Finally, I finish it off with something sparkly. I recently saw Carson Arthur share a great tip on Cityline about building planters. He suggests using mulch, instead of soil or floral foam as the base for your planter. I'm going to try that this year.

Drape your door with something green.

Frame an entry with a garland of seasonal greenery. I prefer something fresh and aromatic as you walk through the door, however, like wreaths, there are so many great faux varieties available to buy. We have small finishing nails around the frame of our door so it's easy to hang a garland. I usually use fishing wire. Jennifer at Rambling Renovators recently shared some great tips on gadgets for hanging holiday decor including garlands.

Add some sparkle.

Is there anything prettier than the twinkle of holiday lights? Whether it's a string of fairy lights or the glow of lanterns, try to incorporate energy saving LED bulbs in your outdoor lighting plan. It's better for the environment and your wallet. A new light fixture is also a great way to update your front door. I love the look of a barn light. It works with so many styles.

A pop of colour helps you stand out from the crowd.

Colourful accessories such as house numbers or a chic red mailbox are a great way to add a little personality to your doorstep.

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.

4 Simple Holiday Decorating Ideas You Can Do In 5 Minutes

At this time of year, I like to ease into holiday decorating, taking my time and above all, keeping it simple. Incorporating natural elements and using what I have on hand, including my collections of vintage ornaments and jars (I have a lot of those too) keeps things simple and easy to live with.

Here are three easy holiday decor ideas to incorporate - that you can pull together in about 5 minutes, depending on how much you fuss over things.

A jar filled with fresh greenery is a great way to display pretty ornaments.

A simple bunch of greenery from the grocery store looks festive in an oversized jar placed on a console table, buffet or kitchen island. It's also a great stand-in for a holiday tree if you are short on space. Just add ornaments. 

A cocktail station gets the holiday treatment with a jar full of fresh greenery.

I love adding different size versions of this throughout my home. Be sure to add fresh water often to keep your boughs healthy.

A holiday cocktail bar.

I like to fill glass jars with pinecones, bells and ornaments to create a little holiday vignette. 

A simple holiday vignette.

Make your own dipped pinecones with a little white paint.

A simple holiday wreath made using stems of eucalyptus and a wreath form purchased from a local florist. I sprayed the wreath form with gold paint, let it dry and then tied a bunch of eucalyptus to the form with jewelry wire. If you are painting the wreath form this diy will take a little longer than 5 minutes, but it's so quick and easy!

You'll need:
  • A wire wreath form. Ask your local florist if you can purchase one from them. 
  • Eucalyptus
  • Gold spray paint
  • gold jewelry wire

DIY eucalyptus holiday wreath

Tie the eucalyptus branches together with the wire and secure to the wreath form. Add a velvet ribbon if desired.

A minimal holiday wreath using eucalyptus.

It's easy to swap out the eucalyptus for another type of fresh greenery, dried flowers or berry branches to change the look.

Spray paint a metal wreath and then add fresh eucalyptus.

A modern holiday wreath made with fresh eucalyptus.

Deck your halls, mantle or tree with a Scandi-inspired garland made with unpainted wooden beads. The easiest of projects, that needs no instruction.

You'll need:
  • Wooden beads
  • String

These are simple diy's that are easily customizable. Paint your wreath form a different colour and get creative with the botanical toppings. Fill your jars with your twinkly lights, holiday cookie cutters or one of your holiday collections - cardboard Putz houses would look great too.

4 holiday decor ideas using fresh greenery

When you're not quite ready to deck the halls, but you want to add just a touch of festive cheer, how do you ease into the holiday season? I love to use fresh greenery. For less than $10 you can buy a bundle of fresh boxwood or boughs of pine, cedar or evergreen and sprinkle it throughout your house. The scent is divine and the colour adds just enough fa la la to ease you into all things Christmas.  Here are four easy ideas to help ease you into the spirit of decorating for the holidays.

Group jars or vases filled with fresh greenery together on a mantle or shelf.


Gather some vases and fill with fresh greenery for an eye-catching display. I like to use a single palette of vessels but vary the size and style, such as a collection of white milk glass. You can get a similar look using clear vases that can be found at thrift stores or by upcycling jars and bottles. Display the vases or bottles on a mantle, open shelving or as a centrepiece on a holiday table. Add in some pinecones dipped in white paint and a few ornaments to complete the look.

Add an understated holiday touch to a table.

Gather a stack of vintage books in pretty shades of green, some candles and a few other objects such as a snow globe and a bowl of pinecones on a tray. Finish it off with a touch of fresh greenery. Vintage books can be found at thrift stores and antique markets. Add pieces with varying heights and texture to keep it visually interesting.

Hang fresh greenery in unexpected places.

Tie some fresh greenery together with floral wire to create a mini bouquet. Add velvet ribbon and tie it to a doorknob or the handle of a cabinet. It's a small, perhaps unexpected holiday detail, that's simple and understated.

Embellish simple candles.

Pick up a set of plain white candles and embellish them with sprigs of holiday greenery tied with string. I used a little glue to help the greenery stay in place.  Take a stroll through your backyard or a park to gather up the green bits needed to create this simple but festive candle display.

 There are so many ways to incorporate fresh greenery into your everyday decor to create simple holiday moments throughout your home.
*These images originally appeared in a story I photographed and wrote for The Toronto Star.