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Tips For Winning The Best Dressed Holiday House Contest


a home decorated with Christmas lights for best-dressed holiday house competition‘Tis the season for outdoor decoration par excellence, and many communities have official contests homeowners can enter. If you’re going to enter, you might as well win, right? Here are some tips to help you create a best-dressed holiday house.

Community decorating contests tend to have more than one category you could compete in, so it’s not just a matter of burying your home and yard in an eye-watering, over-the-top display (although there’s probably a category for that, too).

Pick a theme

Knowing what overall look you want to achieve will keep your design focused and nicely coordinated. If you’re specifically shooting for an award-winning result, find out first what the judging categories will be, then pick a theme that appeals to you and that makes sense for your space and budget. You can welcome Santa and his reindeer and toy bag, tune in to the season with snowmen and snowy trees and scenes, or celebrate the religious aspects of Hanukkah or Christmas.

It might be winter, but your artificial grass lawn is looking good and lacking mud, so be sure to include it in your decorating scheme.

When it comes to lights, all white can be pretty, but so can the traditional assortment of colored lights.   Strings of lights are so popular for decorating year round, you can find styles to match your theme, from tiny Santas or lollipops to palm trees or Chinese paper lanterns.

Sometimes understated says more

It is a fact of physiology that the human eye is uncomfortable when there is too much visual clutter. It’s unconscious, but if there is no place for our eyes to land and focus, we tend to look away instead. You want eye appeal that causes folks to slow or stop to really examine and admire your handiwork. One really great set-up or a simple, well-coordinated design can be amazingly captivating. In fact, minimalism is a trending theme we’re seeing in every aspect of this holiday season.

Be nice, not naughty, to your artificial grass

Your synthetic grass lawn is the ideal place to showcase holiday displays. But you’ll want to avoid hot lights that can melt the grass (no problem with LEDs), and skip decorations that require you to punch holes in the turf. That’s easy, too ­– just choose things that can be stabilized in other ways or decorate around your grass. There’s no rule that says “best dressed” requires inflatables that have to be tethered or other stake-dependent decorations.

Create a presence with presents

Cover a variety of large boxes with colored plastic (or paint them in colors or patterns) to create larger-than-life gifts. Add plastic ribbon or bows. Stack them under lit-up trees in your yard, build a pyramid or a “spill” on your lawn, line the walkway to your porch. Go bigger than huge, by transforming your home into a gigantic present. Form the ribbon and bow with lines and clusters of lights, or use wide plastic red or silver ribbon.

Wrap it with garland

You can twine garland around everything, from your doorway to your fence. Garland doesn’t even have to be green – make your own with burlap, braided colorful rope, or wire together pine cones, twigs, and colorful ornaments. Add lights, and we’re talking award-winning festive!

Go to the dogs

Celebrate Man’s Best Friend with a dog theme. Use a few sheets of plywood or heavy plastic to construct a make-believe dog house (perhaps modeled after Snoopy’s), then trim it with battery-operated LED lights, garland, etc. Don’t forget the tiny wreath on the wall by the front door. And perhaps a tiny picket fence with candy canes instead of pickets.

And, PS – the perfect Christmas present for your favorite pooch? New artificial grass for his run and play yard. Pups love the soft, fluffy surface. You’ll love the fact that it’s pretty, dig-proof, and easy to keep clean and fresh.

We hope you win an award with your house decorating design. But think of it like baking holiday cookies – the process is as much a celebration of the season as the final result.

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