Property Pad

13th December 2012

Let there be festive lights!

By Sherry Fitz.

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The magnificent outdoor festive light displays, being officially turned on in cities and towns across Ireland over the past weeks, signify that the countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway! – presenting the perfect yuletide inspiration to deck your home with festive fairly lights and bejewelled baubles. An inspiration to us all in this season of good will and luminosity, William Tilley’s Bath Avenue home is transformed each year into a dazzling display of festive fairy lights in support of the Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross click here to read article. William, who began his ‘Christmas House’ display six years ago, being a veteran of the ESB has more than the inside know how on how to light up your home exterior safely. However, for those of you who are novices to the nations new found obsession with igniting our homes to match our festive interiors; even to the point of neighbourly competiveness – do not darken your festive spirits, as we give you some twinkly top tips on how to instil a little or a lot of safe and inexpensive Christmas magic into your garden and exterior this season.

Even in the season of giving – less is best!

Remember that your home exterior is a focal point and therefore the first impression of your ‘Christmas House’ that family and friends will encounter. You can make a seasonally cheery statement with carefully placed decorations and lighting without feeling the need to cover every last inch of space. A few strategically positioned items are just enough to leave a warm, inviting impression on everyone who passes by.

Make a list and check it twice

For that polished and well finished look always use quality products. They don’t have to be mega expensive, but they should look well. From icicles to lanterns - Ikea, Tesco and Home store + more all have an extensive and fantastically priced range from €20 – click on brand names for more information. It may sound obvious, but is very important to check firstly that your chosen lights are suitable for exterior use. Get started by laying out all your lights along the floor and plugging them in. Check for broken lights and missing pieces, replacing and fixing them as necessary before you endeavor to take them outside. Look at recycling interior decorations such as wreaths and fabric bows that should be clean and perked up. With just a dusting and fluffing, you can revive well-loved pieces into festively fresh decorations. The key to good decorating is to highlight and accessorize the interesting and striking features of your home whilst being mindful to tie in your chosen décor with surrounding homes. Before you add any decorations start with a clean slate, clear out any old leaves, cobwebs and dying plants that may detract from your décor. Give your garden path a festive sweep and clear out those winter gutters. Choose one main piece that will set the stage for the rest of the decorations – it may be a berry and acorn laden wreath or on a period fronted home a large classic Victorian-style gift wrapping bow spectacularly hung across the door can be easily self -assembled, click here for instructions.

Have yourself a Merry and Safe Little Christmas

For most people, the best Christmas childhood memories involve partaking in traditional family rituals passed down from generation to generation so, get the whole family involved. With little ones excitedly anticipating Santa’s arrival, there’s no better way to keep them occupied than getting them on board in the Christmas decoration process. Safety should always be paramount, so be sure to limit little hands to jobs that don’t include light fixtures. When hanging your outside lights remember to make sure the ladder is secure and take into consideration the outside elements taking precautions to prevent any slips or falls. Make sure that the lights are in working order, prior to hanging and that hooks and attachment clips are in place. Keep in mind that all lights should be pointed in the same direction, up or down, keeping them uniformed and tight. Remember to highlight your house by tracing the lights along the door frame or gutter while maintaining a balanced look. Distribute the lights evenly, so, if you position your lights around one window, position them around all windows. Having the lights plugged in while you work really helps with the alignment. Setting little trees or urns on each side of the front door and adding accessories such as lights or ornaments according to your chosen theme, is a really lovely touch and economically incorporates items you may already have in your garden. In fact all elements that exist in the garden can be tastefully adorned so, why stop there! Fencing, garden trees and hedging all make beautiful green natural hosts for a touch of Christmas pizzazz and sparkle. Speaking of green, for your light display try and source energy saving bulbs or LED lights and Christmas garden ornaments, available also from the above stockists.

Top safety tip:

Lawn ornaments (snowmen, Santa, deer) are clever and eye-catching, but be careful, especially if you have a small garden as it will fill up quickly. Keep the safety of your own children, visitors and guests in mind. A maze of hidden electrical cords can be hazardous to people and pets.

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Christmas lights are a great way to get that seasonally snowy white effect without the icy temperatures, so when you’re hard work is complete stand back, switch on and enjoy your frost free winter display. If you’re still feeling short on inspiration or ideas, perform a Google image search for ‘Christmas lights’ or why not simply walk around your neighborhood and ‘borrow’ ideas that catch your eye?

And finally, have a very happy Christmas.

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