casual winter porch | Christmas decorating

by | Dec 13, 2021 | All Things Home, Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 19 comments

I did not marry a man who likes to fuss with Christmas lights.  If I want lights, I typically have to do them myself.  It’s not that Jeff won’t help but it’s just not his thing at all and I get that.  He’s never going to suggest it or start untangling and testing lights on his own.  He’s okay if the outside of our house looks just as it does the rest of the year.  But, the style of this particular house makes decorating for the holidays pretty easy.  I can just address the porch and it’s festive enough to leave the rest of the house alone.  So, I focus on creating a casual Christmas porch that can transition nicely into winter.

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

This casual Christmas porch actually started with a freelance writing assignment for  My editor asked me to create a door decoration for the holidays that wasn’t a wreath.  I immediately thought of a trapper basket and purchased a beautiful one from Etsy.

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

I didn’t want to leave the antique basket exposed to the elements, so I ended up moving it inside on the butler’s pantry, which I love even more!  You can read more about that HERE.

antique trapper basket | christmas decorating | miss mustard seed

butler’s pantry makeover

But, I had fun styling it in a few different ways for the photoshoot.

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

The knitted mittens were my favorite, but I also liked these brass bird ornaments hung from ribbons…

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

To match the greens in the basket and fill out the empty concrete urns that flank the door, I added greens, dried hydrangea blooms, pine cones, sticks, and even some dried wild onion blooms.  I combined fresh greens from the store with things that were foraged and free.  I love the variety of textures created…

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

I keep the faux boxwood topiaries up year-round to add greenery and height on either side of the painted wooden bench.  Even though they aren’t specific to Christmas, they still work with this casual winter porch.

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

black planter | welcome mat | jute rug | black & white checked outdoor pillows

I hung fresh garland around the windows and doors and wove some white lights into them to add some sparkle.  I especially love them at night!  I also hung two fresh wreaths on the windows with some black and white checked ribbon to match the pillows.  You know I’m generally a blue girl, but black works much better with our pinky-beige siding and green front door.

casual christmas porch | miss mustard seed

It took me less than an hour from start to finish and I think it’s definitely worth the effort to have a welcoming, casual Christmas porch greet us each time we come home.

You can find more Christmas decorating ideas, crafts, and recipes HERE.


  1. Betsy

    My dear husband went out last year and purchased 6 new strands of outdoor lights. It was a sacrifice because he doesn’t enjoy dealing with them. We took them out last week and 5 of the 6 don’t work. Needless to say he tossed them in the trash and never looked back. From now on we’ll be putting candles in the window . I like the look and he’s very happy too. I love everything you create Marion. I also want to thank you for all the great sites you talked about this past year. From candles to linen clothing you have helped me tremendously with gift ideas.

    • Jamie

      My husband bought lights to put around my new greenhouse and one of them didn’t work. It’s SO frustrating!

    • Sandy

      It all looks lovely. The basket was such a good idea.

  2. Deborah Saaranen

    So gorgeous! Love that trapper’s basket with the mittens! Loving all of your blue touches!

  3. Jeffrey Favreau

    Your garland is just gorgeous, could you give e a hint where you found your greens. I would assume you made that beforehand and it was not included in the hour to decorate the porch?

    • Marian Parsons

      I bought my greens from Home Depot this year and they were already strung in a garland. The hour timeframe included hanging them, weaving the lights, foraging from my yard, etc. I arranged the greens in the basket from foraged items and some store-bought bundles of greens. Same with the urns.

  4. Jo Ann Bohannon

    Have you considered painting the siding inside the porch area? You could paint it the color of your trim and just like that you’d have a beautiful setting without that pinky beige.

    • Marian Parsons

      I think that would open up a whole can of worms! It would look odd having just one section of siding painted and painting or replacing it would be a huge job. We’ve looked into it, but decided it’s not really worth the expense at this point. Maybe down the road. Next on our list is to replace the deck.

  5. Rita

    It looks lovely. We skip the lights at our house too. I just decorate our porch with faux trees, wreaths, and lanterns. Easy to add a lot of punch without a lot of work.

  6. Barbara Ann King

    Our Home Depot must not be the same as yours when it comes to fresh garlands. Ours had some less than lovely wreaths–quite expensive this year–and live Christmas trees–also quite expensive comparing to a few years ago. I’ll be foraging in our yard for greenery for sure!
    I love your casual porch decorating since it can stay up for a while after Christmas all the way, maybe, till the last of January1

    • Marian Parsons

      Ours were more expensive this year, too, but they had a nice selection. I supplemented with a lot of greenery cut from the yard to keep the cost down. I might’ve skipped it if I didn’t have a freelance photo shoot to do!

  7. Beverlee Lyons

    It is beautiful, just beautiful. Every single thing.
    You are smarter than I am. We put them up and get into it every time. His idea to put them up, and doesn’t like any help, which I have yet to learn.

  8. Sandy Hiatt

    Your posts are so inspiring! I saw your post on drying hydrangeas and clipped some at the end of the season. I love, love, love them in my Christmas tree, but how do you keep them from shedding or falling apart? Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • Babs

      Have you tried spraying the dried floral heads with hair spray? The “hold” might be enough to keep shedding to a minimum. Worth a try…

  9. Irene Kelly

    Marian it all looks so nice and understated I hang all the lights outside also and our lamp posts drapped with fresh Garland that I make cut from our evergreens. I use only LED faceted lights which give off a really nice glow plus lasts so much longer than other string lights. Love all your ideas and how you found a better place for your trapper basket in your pantry.

  10. Addie

    When I saw the mittens I thought you would be like, “Oh!!! I would like mittens on the door. So I will just sit down and whip them up while the salt ornaments are in the oven!!!” Thank you for being real and buying them!!! You almost gave me a heart attack. If you had more time, I know you could knit them.
    Everything looks homey and cozy.

  11. Wendy Selego

    I want to try the sparkle swallows you made but where did the brass ones come from? Could I ever find them?

    • Marian Parsons

      They were from Anthropologie, but have been sold out.

  12. mary m

    I have a similar basket that I bought in south western Ohio. Actuall it is a chids back pack basket with the original straps. I have potatoes and onions in mine but next year will have a rerun with it. I have almost the identical mittens that belonged to my father back in the day.
    Your decorations are lovely. Back in history that is all anyone did with greens. No twinkle lights or plastic delights. We can thank Queen Victoria for the christmas tree tradition.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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