The Holidays are arriving and this year, more than ever, we need to rely on our own creativity to make our collective spirits bright! Here are 5 ways to bring lightness and cheer into your home and neighbourhood. Happy Holidays!
The kids have started the countdown to Christmas. More and more decorations can be seen in the street. Now is the time to decorate your house front to feel welcome and cosy every time you come home… and make sure that Sinterklaas will find his way to you!
Here are some simple ideas to brighten the dark days and add a smile to you, your family, and everyone passing by your home!
1) Frame Your Window Front with a Christmas Garland
A decorated garland with lights is definitely an eyecatcher and will make your kids happy, every time they come home. The safest and most durable way to do this, is to install weather-resistant yet very discreet wire. Such a simple structure will allow you to fix seasonal decoration and serve a climbing support for roses or other climbing plants.
Natural pine branches do look very nice ... in the beginning, but are expensive and will lose their needles fairly quickly. Christmas garlands in artificial pine can be re-used every year and can be bought in various lengths and varieties in most garden centres like Tuincentrum Osdorp, Het Oosten in Aalsmeer or any Praxis or Gamma.
LED garlands for outdoors in any length and colours can be found at garden centres or Action for example. Their cable is so thin that you can connect it through the window on an indoor plug.
You can let your imagination and creativity run wild when decorating the garland. Just be careful if using any glass items; the wind can break them.
2) Decorate a Wreath with Your Kids and Attach It to Your Front Door
This time of year you will find nice evergreen or pine cone at your local florist or at the market that you can decorate together with your kids. On Albert Cuyp market at “Jan De Grote Kleinvakman” you will find ribbons in all varieties and colours with which to decorate your wreath or attach it to your front door, or to hang in your windows or balcony.
3) Transform your Front Door into a Giant Present:
Tie a bow around your front door. You can use a very large ribbon, but even better is to buy some inexpensive fabric (for example party fabric or tulle). There are many fabric shops on Albert Cuyp market, one of our favourite places is N&N Stoffen. Bring the kids, choose your fabric, and grab an oliebol to get you in the holiday spirit!
4) Place a Welcoming Planted Pot Next to Your Entrance
It is always nice to have some flowers in your entrance. Ideal are pots of approx. 50-80 cm high. An easy way to have beautiful plants is to fill the pot with hydrokorrels and plant seasonal flowers or green plants, and perhaps even a small Christmas tree? Why not?
5) Install Planted Window Boxes with Seasonal Easy Care Flowers
For a long lasting welcoming house front, it is always nice to have beautiful flowers and plants in your windows.
Windows boxes can look untidy and not in harmony with the architecture of your house. That is why we recommend installing a fitted weather-resistant wooden plank. They need to be painted in the official Amsterdam colours (Amsterdam white or Amsterdam green). Perfectly integrated into your façade, they allow you to be totally flexible and change the plants and flowers in your window in every season or whenever you fancy.
Which plants are beautiful at the moment?
- Skimmia: the absolute die-hard and available in all sizes. This evergreen plant typically has white or red flowers, some have nice red berries.
- Cyclamen: exist in beautiful colours from white over red to pink. Tolerate shadow very well, do not like to have wet feet.
- Hellbore: several varieties with white flowers, some special varieties with pink to dark red flowers. Flourishing all winter, give more flowers when you pick out the fainted flowers. While they like humid grounds, they do not like to stand in the water.
- Primroses and pansies add happy colours to your garden, even in winter, but prefer a sunny place.
- Decorative green plants in various shades: hebe, helichrysum, small conifers…
Marie Silvestre and Verena Roffe-Vidal live with their families in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid and are passionate about flowers and decoration. Following the popularity of Verena’s home's flourished façade, they launched La Maison de Verena. As mamas of young kids, they know how much children like to participate in gardening and creative activities, and offer to organise the decoration of your house front in combination with a little creative Christmas workshop.