Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December to Remember: Day 1 - The Exterior of CDLV

Remember when I told the story of my childhood home? Well, CdlV couldn't be more different. I grew up in a single story ranch style home, with a large front porch and no real landscaping to speak of. The interior was small, but had an open floor plan which made for easier entertaining when my mother had the time, and at Christmas the whole house was lit - inside and out - with multi-colored lights.

I think back on those windows lined in lights and sprayed with canned snow, the paper cutouts that read: "Merry Christmas" and "Ho Ho Ho", that lopsided tree that took an entire day to put up, and all of the handmade, sometimes less than perfect, and certainly less than chic ornaments my younger brother and I were allowed to decorate that leaning tree with, and smile. It's not a thing like what I do today - but I thank my mother for letting her children have their moment ... I'm sure it's helped to define my taste today. And what is that, you ask?

Firstly, a much more natural approach. Live greens make a 5" wide garland. A few extra pieces of greens I got from a logged pine tree make a beautiful crown.

Then I pulled the final colorful stems from our front bushes. I think their coral/orange color is really beautiful ... and though they won't last through the winter, for now, they give great texture and color to the arrangement.

My friend Dorothy was kind enough to fashion this beautiful ribbon bow for the whole shebang, which gives it a second, third, maybe fourth layer of texture ... depending on where you start counting.

Then of course, the urn. Filled with twigs cut down by the power authority at the gorge edge, greens from a logged pine tree, berry branches, unteachable vines from our grape vine, sugar pine cones, and hydrangeas.

I love the beautiful mahogany color of the branches against the greenery. And the color of the hydrangea compliments the color of the ribbon at the front door.

Of course, the urn is special in and of itself, but I think that this natural and more masculine winter display certainly suits it well.
So there you have it, in a nut shell. From multi-colored twinkle lights and spray snow from a can, to a live, natural, and masculine approach to Christmas.

Come on in! :) Tomorrow we'll take a that tree with all the feathers ... and Thursday - a Christmas Party tablescape. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the exterior decor of CdlV this Christmas. Happy December!


  1. Gorgeous.......very classy and I bet it smells just wonderful!
    Can't wait for the tree.

  2. Beautiful, I would love walking thru your front door! I am looking forward to seeing your tablesetting.

  3. Fabulous! I love the beautiful "crown" at the top. I wish I had room between the top of my door and the overhang to do something like that. You put us to shame! ;)

  4. Gorgeous! And I know it is all real. No faux for you! I bet your tree will be fab--can't wait to see it. -Delores

  5. Oh My God Artie...
    You and Scott have done a phenominal job. I love the arch. It is absolutely breathtaking. I love the idea of taking the real hydrangea blooms and mixing with the real greens and the mohogany colored branches.

    You have mixed Fall and Winter together so beautifully. I absolutely love it. The mohogany colored branches also draw your attention to the door and the beautiful red steps. Oh my gosh it is beautiful.

    Dorothy did a beautiful job on the ribbon bow. I also love the way that you draped the swag out just like a pair of drapes. Love it, just love it. The pinecones really bring it to life. I can smell the greenery. I imagine it really smells like Christmas when you come home now.

    I just love it guys. Do you hear me clapping? Take a bow now, both of you. Job well done.

    Your box is in the mail. Talk to you later. Love ya, Sherry

  6. Absolutely stunning!I adore it.It so reminds of growing up in NF and my mother's decorations.
    I wish we could do that in Florida.
    But it just wouldn't last.
    Kudos to you and Scott!

  7. OMG-well, you have to go look at my tree post that went up for today because once I see yours tomorrow I will be so insecure I will probably delete it! That doorscape (is that a word-it should be) is stunning. I love the color added to it and I also love the way it crowns the door and is long enough to drape onto the porch. Perfect...bravo!


  8. Like I told you before, your home makes me feel all happya nd warn inside. This door is stunning. It's welcoming and beautiful. It's funny how the simple things we did as children can inspire us today...although I don't think I will ever decorate a Ficus (yes, she did!)

  9. I charmed by the delicate balance and simple beauty.
    You take care and thanks for sharing.
    All the very best.

  10. Artie, you are MARVELOUS! Everything looks STUNNING and I can't WAIT to see the rest of it. The bow just flows in the pines, as if it is blowing in the wind. You are so very talented.

  11. What a beautiful entrance...the attention to detail just shows the love and you know whoever lives here cares....I have just posted my front door too....come have a look-see.

  12. I do believe this is the most wonderful door decoration I've ever seen. And I mean this in all sincerity. It is classic and elegant. Love the crown! I think that makes this door. I also like the idea of the branches and greens in the urn. Now I'm eagerly awaiting to see your tree and the table on Thursday. ~ Sarah

  13. Your front door swag and urn are stunningly beautiful! Heck, even your front steps are red and saying Merry Christmas to me :) Beautiful post.

  14. O.M.G. That is one of the most beautiful door arrangements I've EVER seen. Wow. I don't even know what to say!

    Although, for nighttime a bit of white lights would be lovely!

    Justine :o )

  15. Artie -- it is amazing! Love everything you did especially the garland over the door -- so much better than the proverbial wreath (which is on Linderhof's front door!)

    Perhaps, tomorrow back to Costco for more garland!


  16. So pretty!!!! I just love it!!

    Beautiful, elegant, classy. Need I say more?

    Lou Cinda :)

  17. Your front door is so inviting, absolutely gorgeous!!!
    So glad I stopped by....

  18. Beautiful entry. Very inviting. Looking forward to seeing what is inside.

    - The Tablescaper

  19. Artie...this is soooo lovely! Nothing beats the 'natural' Christmas decorations. All who visit are going to feel so special stepping through your front door.

  20. It's startin' to look a lot like Christmas... sing it with me!....
    Artie, this is fabulous - so gorgeous and so inviting. I'm on my way over!

    I can't wait to see what's inside! You are the weaver of magic, for sure!
    xo Isa

  21. Absolutely gorgeous. And you've made me miss the Hudson Valley even more. Just perfect

  22. Wow! Breath taking and woke me up before my coffee this morning!
    G in CT

  23. Hi Artie~ ~ What a beautiful front enterance you have created. You are so talented. I had to laugh at the red barberry branches in your door display. They look so wonderful but I would have never thought of using them as decoration, the thorns and all. You do Color Outside the Lines don't you?

    When I was little girl we had a hedge row of barbarry behind my swing set. I loved to swing and always wanted to see how high I could go. Well one day I was swinging so fast and high that I tumbeled the swing set, the whole thing, over into the thorny barbarry hedge. I remember screaming for Daddy who rushed outside to save me from my thorny nest. Later that day he dug holes and cemented the legs into the ground. Must have been tramatic for me to remember after all these years. Funny.
    Thanks for sharing~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  24. Beautiful! Love that you used things from outside. That makes it so perfect!

    And your door.....what a beaut!

  25. LOVE THIS! You did a fantastic job! I have been looking for some REAL garland like that...cant seem to find it..thought of making my own..?..I've been thinking of you and the way you like to use feathers in your decorating...(remember I am the one whos b.f. goes pheasant hunting), wish I could send some to you with out getting 'bent'. Cant wait to see what you have to show us tomorrow. Cindy

  26. What a SHOWSTOPPER!! This is GORGEOUS!!!!

  27. Artie-This is lovely and a grand entrance! I would never have the nerve to use fresh greenery. Thanks for linking to Deck the Halls. Hope you will come back next Tuesday. Mr. Linky and I have made up :)

  28. OMG, OMG!

    You have 'dressed' your door in the most beautiful finery ever! Larger than life is how anyone entering your home will feel!

  29. Artie, Your door is so majestic! Draping and dripping with Christmas elegance! Love the various greens- they give it so much interest, and the lovely coral/orange frills. How ever did you get it to stay up there? Your urn is wonderful, artfully ( no pun intended) done with rich naturals. I could go on and on.
    What a delight you must have every time you come up to your front door.
    Now I have to get back to ripping apart my tired old wreaths and making them pretty. Keep inspiring!

  30. Incredible, the bow is absolutly amazing.