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Category : Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips

Christmas is a magical time and many families have traditions that may reach back many decades. One of the things families love to do at Christmas is to take a ride in the family car visiting homes that have spectacular outdoor light displays. Below are some Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips that can spark your imagination to create your own display.

Great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas Need Imagination and Planning.

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas We all know people who are not only lovers of Christmas, but are thrilled with the specialized design of Outdoor Christmas Lighting. Their yards look like their decorations were planned and executed by senior Disney Imagineers. Objects blink, whirl, splash and glow. Children squeal with delight and adults of every age are entranced by the Christmas magic. While we join the traffic slowly gliding by their homes, we think on one hand about their utility bill, while on the other we are consumed with the desire to enhance our own front yards with some of this celebratory cheer. Here are 11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips, using some traditional and other, very creative Outdoor Christmas Light Ideas.

1. Make everything’s light except your pocket.

  There’s no reason why Outdoor Christmas Lighting should cost a fortune. Here are some steps to take to help save the planet by using less electricity and save your wallet by spending much less.
    • Switch your incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. LED means light-emitting diode and LED lights are available in many colors and can be used in many functions. The homeowners who are termed “enthusiastic decorators” use an average of 18,332 Watts costing an average of $310.73 per season. If they switched to LED lights, the savings would amount to 2,369 Watts and cost $40.15. An LED bulb uses from 80 to 90 percent less electricity than an incandescent bulb.
 
    • Use timers to control costs. When timers are used, you totally control the cost of electricity. You can have the lights turn on at 5:30 p.m. and shut off at 9:30 p.m. The neighborhood show will have appreciated predictable hours and you can be sure lights are turned off so that your neighbors can sleep undisturbed.
 
  • Use extension cords to stretch your display. Use extension cords rather than light strings to lengthen your display in less visible areas.

Pick a new and unique theme each year.

You have the lights and the temptation is to use them in the same way in the same places each year. When you think about it, it’s obvious that your lights can be used in any way you choose. Make your home exciting! Your neighbors and the “lookieloos” will begin to eagerly anticipate your new and exciting displays. Use some of the Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas below for inspiration.

2. A Cowboy Christmas.

Who doesn’t love the Wild West? The trail boss and his crew can celebrate Christmas on the Goodnight Trail, tending their herd and sitting around the campfire, sharing stories of Christmases past. The camp cook, always called Cookie, can be pouring coffee or stirring a black iron pot on the back of his chuck wagon.

3. A Child’s First Christmas

The charm of one of the very littlest whose eyes widen in surprise and wonder at the unexpected lights and ornaments, plus the miracle of Santa. A parent might be nearby taking an old-fashioned photo with a bulb that flashes as part of the display. Perhaps a puppy is sitting with them or mom is serving cookies. Use your imagination!

4. Christmas in the South Seas.

For originality and interest, you can’t beat this total flip of the North Pole. Palm trees, fire dancers and ukuleles playing Christmas songs will be a one-of-a-kind celebration. A fire pit roasting a pig, the sound of the waves crashing on shore and a large harvest moon add to the exotic appeal. This is one idea that almost requires (non-irritating) sound effects.

5. Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s House.

This nostalgic trip will trigger memories of the special places grandparents hold in their grandchildren’s hearts, even when the grandchildren are in their 90s. Cookie baking with Grandma and all the kids will bring back nostalgic memories, with an oven door opening and closing after the baking sheet is put inside. Grandpa can teach the boys how to tie a fly, hit a line drive with a baseball or build a tool box. Perhaps a story being read at bedtime will be a charming addition to the scene.

6. Santa’s Workshop.

Make sure that your North Pole workshop is unique. There is nothing quite so exciting as showing an old idea in a totally new and exciting way. This is the time to go wild with your imagination. Is there anything wrong with having the reindeer playing cards or checkers? The elves can help Santa with toy making, but what about changing the expected toy trains with iPhones, ATVs or big-screen TVs. How about a scene where the elves have their feet up drinking hot chocolate while the reindeer are making the toys instead? The workshop almost demands a comedic treatment.

7. Christmas Among the Forest Animals.

Let your inner Disney shine forth! Baby forest animals are adorable and everyone will love the display. How about a Christmas celebration that is held by the unpopular animals? Skunks, porcupines and even Bigfoot would be amusing and show that everyone deserves the chance to celebrate Christmas with those they love.

8. Religious Themes.

The best displays among devout Christians are those that demonstrate one of the Christmas stories. Read through the four disciples’ accounts of the day of Jesus’ birth with a new, creative eye. Try to think of more than the usual manger scene. A great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tip is to “visit” another country each year, using the Christmas traditions of each. Ideas for countries like Germany, France, Great Britain, Greece and Jerusalem will jumpstart your planning for the next five years!

9. A Fairy Tale Christmas.

Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk or Rumpelstiltskin, they will all charm and delight youngsters when they see their favorite characters come to life.

10. Decorate Your Car or Boat

Look around your property with a new eye. You can decorate any object that stands still in the early evening hours. Playhouses, tree houses, jungle gyms and a child’s wagon: each of these would make a charming display.

11. Highlight Your Occupation.

Whatever the occupations of the folks in the house, celebrate them with your outdoor display. An accountant putting numbers in an old-fashioned adding machine and a large paper ledger will be a lot of fun. Have Santa’s elves secretly looking over his shoulder and add other touches of Christmas. Teachers, doctors, librarians and housewives would all make charming scenes. Regardless of how you celebrate the season, the important thing is to celebrate it with friends and family. Planning and executing outdoor Christmas decorating ideas together can create indelible memories for all.

Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas

13 Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas That Will Make A Big Difference!

Feeling squeezed when you walk out your back door? Sometimes, the owners of small plots of land feel they are hampered by their lack of room in their backyard. After all, how do you mow a plot of land roughly the size of a large deck? Actually, it does not require much research to find some innovative, not to mention beautiful and carefree, Small Backyard Landscaping Tips for smaller spaces. Successful Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas depend on planning for who will use the space and how.

Small Yards Can Be Beautiful Yards

1. No Grass, No Worry

Backyard Landscaping does not necessarily demand bluegrass. Ground greenery using Mondo grass, sometimes known as monkey grass, can work wonderfully. This grassy groundcover is practically carefree year-round. Plant them around trees or in interesting patterns.

small backyard landscaping ideas

 

2. Plant Over, Up and Around

A great small Backyard Landscaping Ideas is to use trellises to support vines. One of the most lovely and romantic ways to use trellis planting is to frame a bench or other intimate seating area. Trellis sides on each slope of the seating meet with a top length of trellis, the “roof” of the structure. Use one of the many varieties of clematis, which produces lovely and long-lasting blooms for weeks at a time. Planting one or two grape varieties will pay off handsomely in just a few years.

 small backyard landscaping ideas

3. Water Features for Soul Soothing

There is nothing like the sound, look and feel of water. Water can be used in many ways and many dimensions in the small backyard. Fountains are perfect for a small space. Some of the more interesting uses are moving water displays that run vertically, such as a vertical fountain hung on a fence. Hiring a local sculptor to create a one-of-a-kind piece can make a real statement.

 small backyard landscaping ideas

4. Raised Beds Are Great Everywhere

Raised beds have been used by gardeners for a long time. The ground is double-spaded that is, dug twice to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. The garden bed is framed above ground level, usually with treated lumber or redwood. When planted with vegetables, these beds can easily provide a season of fresh food for a small family. Since the plants grow so close together, weeds are seldom a problem. Raised beds can even be made to be portable.

small backyard landscaping ideas

5. Pots and Pots of Plants

Plants do not have to go directly into the ground. Browsing a local garden center will surely turn up many examples of lovely and unique pots in many sizes, shapes and colors. Best of all, this Backyard Landscaping Idea can be accomplished over several years, until the space is filled with a wonderful collection. By using complementary colors and varieties of plants, and placing of the pots with an artistic eye, the result can be stunning.

small backyard landscaping ideas

 

6. Takeout with Taste

Foodies will love this tip for their small backyards. Planting an old-fashioned kitchen garden takes little space and produces superb kitchen products. Imagine stepping just outside the back door to harvest basil, chives, mint and a few cherry tomatoes for supper. There are many varieties of herbs, many flowering and beautiful as well as tasty.

small backyard landscaping ideas

 

7. Stage the Backyard with Furniture

When we think of outdoor furniture, we see lawn chairs, benches and picnic tables. How about this Small Backyard Landscaping idea? Try placing a bed in your yard, preferably under a shady dwarf tree. A comfy bed made up in pretty bedclothes will create a unique retreat for reading a book or taking a snooze in the afternoon. Simply cover the bed when not in use. Do not forget to include one of many fire pit designs, a must-have for cool evenings.

Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas

 

8. Rock and Gravel Planting

Not every space in your small yard needs to be planted. Sometimes, the majesty of large rocks placed strategically adds depth to a landscaping design. Differing sizes and colors of gravel can produce a work of art, a painting directly on the earth. Keep in mind the ancient art of the Japanese Zen garden. It is not too difficult to learn and produce, and working within its borders is guaranteed to be relaxing.

Small Backyard Landscaping Ideas

9. A Place for the Children

If youngsters live in the house, their needs should of course be included in the planning of the backyard. Raise a platform of soil around the edges of the backyard and cover the soil with rubberized playground mulch for safety. The area can be a base for playground sets, a tree house or a sandbox. Want to keep the outside outside? Install a screened outdoor shower in the yard.

small backyard landscaping ideas

10. From a Tuscan Villa

Many of us long for a Tuscan villa with a long, sloping lawn where a farmer’s table is set with linens and fine china, ready to receive the extended family. Have the next best thing in your small backyard by utilizing a narrow space and fitting it with the longest narrow table you can fit into the space. Go wild with the table setting, from the tablecloth to a candelabrum. Use Backyard Landscaping Ideas for lighting, such as hanging fairy lights over the table and in the trees. Whether you seat a large family or a newlywed couple, the space will be magic.

small backyard landscaping ideas

11. Shade is Possible for the Small Space

Merely because a backyard space is small, does not mean trees are out. There are many varieties of dwarf trees such as evergreen Mugo pines or Japanese White Pines. Deciduous trees such as Bloodgood Japanese maple trees are also popular choices. Be careful. If larger trees are planted, they will eventually need to be removed.

small backyard landscaping ideas

12. Bring the Backyard Into the Front Yard

With the imaginative use of screens and borders, front yards can be joined to the backyard. Seating areas that cannot be fitted into a backyard space can perhaps be accommodated in a side yard or behind a screen in front. When thinking about Backyard Landscaping Ideas, it is useful to consider the entire property for inclusion into the landscape design.

small backyard landscaping ideas

13. Landscaping Steep Hillsides

Many small backyards have a tiny space behind the house that is level and the rest of the backyard property slopes down steeply. Smart Backyard Landscaping Tips include ways to prevent erosion, an important consideration for the homeowner if they wish to avoid watching their home slide downhill. A landscaping contractor can terrace the hill, making several wider spaces down the hill that can be used for seating or planting areas.

small backyard landscaping ideas

 

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