Nov/Dec
2012

Light up the Night

Written by Penny Marshall
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light-up-the-nightWhether your outdoor holiday decorating includes an illumination of your entire residence, a simple swag or an inflatable Santa and 12 tiny reindeer, a bit of exterior festive décor not only welcomes your guests but charms those passing by as well.

With a full-scale outdoor lighting company and many wonderful florists in town, you can do all the decorating yourself or hire out part or all of it, giving you many options for brightening up those long November and December nights.

 

Professional illumination installation
When deciding to decorate the outside of their home for the holidays, Lori and Larry Kirkland wanted to have the job done professionally. Because their home (pictured on page 54) has a lot of variation in the roof line, they wanted to ensure the lighting was straight, the corners sharp and that the decorations were maintained.

“With a very tall roof, it’s just not feasible as a do-it-yourself project,” says Lori.

The Kirklands chose Red Nose Lighting and discussed several design ideas.

“Originally [the design] was all white lights, but I wanted to add some color, so they allowed me to modify it a bit,” says Lori, who added red and green lights on the bushes.

All the items were priced out individually, so the Kirklands could look at the proposed design and decide what to have Red Nose do and what they wanted to do themselves.

“We provide all materials and do projects of all sizes,” says Jonathan Zimmerman, owner. “If the homeowner does part of the decorating, we’ll wait until they have their work done, then do ours and tie it all together with electric timers.”

Ultimately, the Kirklands chose to have Red Nose install everything: white lighting along their home’s roofline, festive lit garland, two spruce tops potted in outdoor containers with brilliant red bows and red and green lights on the shrubs for color. Best of all, neither Lori nor Larry had to haul out boxes of lights, climb up on a slippery ladder or find extension cords.

“It’s a great feeling to drive up in the dark and see the house lit up,” says Lori. “It definitely puts you in the Christmas spirit before you even walk into the house.”

Other festive decor
If outdoor lighting isn’t on your list or you prefer a simpler outdoor feature that doesn’t involve machinery to install, try adding a winter topiary, sprucing up an outdoor container or having an elegant custom wreath made. Rochester has a wonderful selection of florists and they, like Red Nose, will do as little or as much as you need.

If you are trying to match an unusual exterior color or just looking for something out of the ordinary, try a custom wreath for your front door.

“We custom design silk and fresh wreaths and swags to match requested designs and colors,” says Phil Schroeder, owner of Renning’s Flowers.

Maybe you have a window box or winter-safe outdoor planter you’d like to brighten up. Local florists have lovely cut stems of seasonal foliage they will arrange for you or you can take home and do yourself.

“We have spruce tops, dogwood branches, rose hips, birch branches and logs and a very large assortment of mixed greens, wreaths, lighted branches and lights for decorating your outdoor area,” says Scott Moon, manager of Sargent’s on 2nd.

Perhaps you already own an artificial wreath you love but feel it needs a little more color. Consider having it refreshed.

“After a few seasons outside, even artificial wreaths can look a little worn,” says Jessica Pearson of Flowers By Jerry. “We can refresh them with some new ribbon or other decorations.”

Or maybe you simply want a few bows to hang from exterior lights; local florists do that too.

“We’re happy to make bows for a customer,” says Jessica. “They can bring in their own ribbon or choose from the colors we have here.”

If you enjoy creating your own outdoor designs, check out our easy do-it-yourself tips in “Creating Holiday Interest” on page 59. For more design ideas and inspiration, there is no place better to ignite your spirit for the season than the area holiday floral open houses (see our listing on the page 57).