How to Create a Festive Entryway

  • Caroline McDonald


Fall is the time when you welcome friends and family inside to celebrate the season with great food and even better conversation. This year, set the stage as you greet your guests by making your entrance as festive and warm as the inside of your home.

It’s as easy as putting together a few simple decorations for the front door and inside entrance. We happen to have a few good ideas to get you going.

Start with Greenery

Inspiration for a Festive Door

Nothing captures the essence of the season more than greenery. Let flourishes of evergreen serve as the backdrop for your own holiday decorations. For a touch of real texture and the smell of the outdoors, we like to mix freshly picked greenery from the yard or market with no-fuss faux greenery.

And what to do with all this greenery, anyway?

  • Repurpose your year-round faux greenery. We moved our topiaries outside to flank the front entrance.
  • Hang a wreath on the front door. If you have double doors, double your pleasure with a pair of matching wreaths.
  • Go green with garland. Wrap your front porch columns, frame a doorway or decorate the banister.
  • Drop a few sprigs of greenery into a small pitcher or vase for the front console or hang mistletoe in the entry.

Add your style

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to embellish your greenery. It’s a good idea to create a theme, so you can carry the same color scheme or other elements that you may use throughout the house. We love to use fun patterns, whether it’s our favorite animal print or a color harlequin pattern. But a classic solid color like red, gold, or white is always an elegant choice.

Inspiration for a Festive Stair Rail

A great way to add color is with ribbon. Invest in a fabulous ribbon, and you can reuse it every year. (Be sure to iron and rewind the ribbon onto the bolt before you store it.) Add a simple bow to your wreath, encircle with garland and pretty red ribbon or wrap it around pillar candles or decorative urns filled with greenery – any place that appeals to you.

One of our favorite ways to pay homage to the season is to embellish greenery with all the natural elements of harvest time, such as:

  • Gourds
  • Pinecones
  • Wheat
  • Hypericum Berries
  • Green Apples

You don’t need a florist to create a beautiful focal point. All you need is your own creativity. Tuck pinecones and berries into a wreath, stand a pineapple on the bost of your stair railing to punctuate a decorated garland or hang a sheaf of wheat. The possibilities are endless! Just remember to take a few steps back and admire your handiwork.

Set the Mood

The hors d’oeuvres are out of the oven. The music is on. The decorations are set. But what about the mood? As guests enter and shed their coats, welcome them with the warmth of candlelight. Assemble a collection of your favorite candleholders and fit with candles in a single color. Add the collection to a nearby table or console, and you’re well on your way to an entertaining evening.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Cookie Parrish

    October 29, 2009

    I am enjoying reading all these ideas! I sent this to my daughter-in-law who is very creative but I think they are so much fun to read for ideas. I wish my 10 year old granddaughter were closer so we could make the tags together! Thanks for all the ideas!

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