holiday wreath time

Halloween is officially over. 

You know what that means....

Christmas explosion in every store that sells things. And this exceptionally chilly fall weather really gets you in the mood to start the early decoration (unless this is your official time of year to decorate, anyway). 

So let's talk about another design pet peeve of mine (how many are there?--I may never know): 

Tacky Wreaths...

Front doors are your home's first impression. How you decorate them takes it a step further. So let's keep it classy. Timeless. No sparkles, no loopy monograms, no chevron bows. Let's get serious, people. 

Wreaths are one of those things that bites a little in the beginning. They're not cheap, but they're a good investment. If they're preserved correctly, they will last you several years. And a good one won't go out of style quickly. The reason they cost what they do (for a good one) is because someone put a lot of work into it. I made wreaths once for Christmas gifts and it took FOR. EV. ER. I don't really wanna talk about it...

Instead, let's take a look at some good-looking front doors, shall we? So you know what I mean when I say a GOOD wreath...

{click on images for source}

 Classic boxwood with a nice ribbon (which could be changed out seasonally)

Classic boxwood with a nice ribbon (which could be changed out seasonally)

 This one has a lot of elements to it (that normally I wouldn't like), but the wreath-maker kept it monochromatic, with an interesting pop of color in the green apples. 

This one has a lot of elements to it (that normally I wouldn't like), but the wreath-maker kept it monochromatic, with an interesting pop of color in the green apples. 

 Love thinking outside of the box! A basket with greenery! 

Love thinking outside of the box! A basket with greenery! 

 A nice evergreen wreath with a few small pinecones. Loving the color of that door, too!

A nice evergreen wreath with a few small pinecones. Loving the color of that door, too!

 Grapevine is popular because it's easily found at craft stores. However it quickly becomes the poor target of a Pinterest DIY and it's simple beauty gets lost. Here is a great way to mix in a bit of greenery that's not overdone.

Grapevine is popular because it's easily found at craft stores. However it quickly becomes the poor target of a Pinterest DIY and it's simple beauty gets lost. Here is a great way to mix in a bit of greenery that's not overdone.

 I'm not against a yarn wreath. They can be elegant, and they speak to my quirky/artsy side. But you've gotta be careful with these too. They can get too elementary or too busy really fast.

I'm not against a yarn wreath. They can be elegant, and they speak to my quirky/artsy side. But you've gotta be careful with these too. They can get too elementary or too busy really fast.

 Side note: I love the wire basket planter idea!

Side note: I love the wire basket planter idea!

 I mean, if I had chickens, I'd give them a coop wreath, too.

I mean, if I had chickens, I'd give them a coop wreath, too.

 Not a front door, but if you have a lot of windows, you may want to decorate those, as well!

Not a front door, but if you have a lot of windows, you may want to decorate those, as well!

Ok, so, now maybe you want to know how to stray away from a tacky wreath. Here's a few guidelines to help you out:

1. Less is more. When in doubt, go with something simple. Weed out the snowflakes and the fake woodland creatures and the ribbons and the sparkle pears. You can still have a lot of detail and interest by just using one or two elements.

2. Stick with natural materials when possible. If you don't think you can pull off a crafty ribbon, yarn, or felt wreath, then don't. Natural ones are more classy and timeless. And you have a ton of options in this department: evergreens, olive leaf, bay leaf, twigs, grapevine, holly, flowers, pinecones...

3. Choose faux materials wisely. Make sure they aren't too fakey--that's a given. No one says you have to go with real greenery, but keep an eye on them. Groom them, dust them, and if it fades in the sun, replace it. Don't be that person with the grayish-teal wreath that used to be a nice evergreen color.

4. Go with the pros. Unless you're REALLY good at crafting, don't follow a Pinterest DIY (trust me on this one...just trust me), and don't buy your wreath from some festival crafty booth that seems to be drawing in all the college students. If you are not a college student, don't dress your front door like a dorm room. The same goes for cutesy knick-knack stores. You know the ones. Buy your gifts there if it suits you--not your wreaths.

Need help finding a good wreath? Gotcha covered there, too. Check it out.

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Most of these aren't too bad cost-wise, considering you should get a lot of good use out of them. And some of them are preserved natural materials--even better! 

If you're into shopping local (which I always recommend), many of the florists around town should have good natural wreaths. And if you have a great farmers market, I bet around this time a few vendors will have out bay leaf, olive leaf, or evergreen wreaths. 

Spot any good wreaths out while doing your holiday decor shopping? Leave a comment and tell us where! 

Until next time...