We can’t get enough of those online holiday decorating slideshows. You know the ones, with pretty pictures featuring easy ideas to spruce up your home. As you’d expect, our member B&Bs do a beautiful job in that department. Here are ideas from just a few of our inns on how to transform your home from so-so to so-lovely for the holidays.
The Westby House Inn & Restaurant in Westby is decked out for your holiday get away. The outdoor scene is festive and the indoor will enchant you.
Celebrate the season in vintage style at The Lamp Post Inn B&B, an 1874 Victorian home in Fort Atkinson.
Take in this winter wonderland on 120 scenic acres of beauty at Cameo Rose Victorian Country Inn in Belleville.
Warmth, charm, tradition…Since 1896, generations of guests have loved the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.
Whether inside or out, these Inns have been beautifully transformed for the holiday season. So what can you do to get your home looking as lovely at these B&B’s? Here are a few tips for decorating the outside of your home for the holidays. you don’t have to go all out with lights and inflatables, there are ways to create a warm, inviting welcome to anyone who approaches your doorstep.
Tip #1 – Create your own Porch Pots. Porch pots can be a great way to welcome friends and family to your property, whether they be on your porch or at the end of your driveway. Porch pots can be expensive if you buy them already assembled, especially if you like to have several of them. With a little planning and the right tools, you can create your own porch pots for a fraction of the cost.
By purchasing two Christmas Trees you will be able to get 3-4 porch pots (depending on their size) and a window box or two, again, depending on the size of your window boxes. So, for the cost of two pre-made porch pots from the local nursery, you can create much more. If you purchase 1 balsam fir and one white pine you will have 2 different types of pine needles that will add texture and interest to your decorations. Once you get your trees home cut the branches off, be sure to leave the top 18-24 inches of branches on the tree, this will give you 2 tree tops for two of your pots. If you’re fortunate to have trees on your property, save some of the branches that fall into your yard and paint them with white, silver or gold spray paint, add some glitter for a little extra shimmer. Do you or your neighbors have beautiful hydrangea plants and are at a loss what to do with all the flowers at the end of the season? Don’t throw them out, they add great interest to your pots and window boxes. Those, too, can be spray painted if you like. The best tip ever, assemble your pot before it is cold enough to freeze. Once you have the pot put together, water it so the soil is wet. Then, when it does freeze, the contents won’t be blowing out of the container when it gets windy.
Tip #2 – Decorate your Window Boxes. If you have window boxes, be sure to add some fresh greenery from the trees you purchased to make your porch pots. Using the same tips for creating a Porch Pot can be applied to putting together a window box.
If you use some of the same materials in the window box as you used in the porch pot, this will help tie everything together. Adding some outdoor lights will add warmth to the display, and here in the northern part of the country where it is dark by 4:30 in the afternoon, adds some light to the house as well. If you choose decorations that are not too seasonal, your porch pots and your window boxes will take you well into January or February.
Tip #3 – Add a wreath. One of the easiest things you can do to add holiday cheer to your doorstep is to hang a wreath. Whether you purchase a fresh one, or have an artificial wreath that you hang year after year. If you have the gumption, hanging wreaths from your windows always looks beautiful and festive.
All of the B&B’s in the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Happy Decorating!!