The cold, cloudy days of winter can make the exterior of your home look bare before the spring months arrive. Without brightly-colored flowers or a fresh, green lawn, even the most beautiful home can start to look a little drab.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on nature to add curb appeal to your home’s exterior. With just a few low-effort and simple exterior design projects, you can give your home the perfect dose of color and warmth it needs to stand out for the rest of the winter.

String Lights

If you’ve ever dined on a restaurant’s outdoor patio, you’ve probably noticed that string lights are no longer just for the holidays.

Keep the spirit of warmth and light alive with strategically-placed string lights on your porch, above your deck, or throughout your backyard all year long.

To keep things from feeling too Christmas-y, stick with white or clear lights. It also helps to choose bulbs that are rounder and larger than typical holiday lights. If you choose to decorate trees, consider wrapping bare trunks and limbs with lights instead of circling pine trees, which can also create an off-season holiday vibe.

Lanterns That Illuminate

Winter may bring longer nights, but instead of dreading the dark, use this opportunity to add more light to your home! Lanterns have become especially popular in recent years, and they make great accents along sidewalks, driveways, and garden paths.

Arrange the lighting  in clusters on your porch or patio for decor that transitions from day to night. You can also add battery-operated candles for a realistic light flicker that won’t be snuffed out by chilly wind.

Everyday Wreaths

For a sustainable pop of color, add a wreath to your front door, garage door, porch wall, fence or any other place that can use a bit of natural greenery!

If you don’t have space for a wreath, you can add a handmade swag (made with branches, leaves, or other natural materials) to your mailbox or porch lights for a lovely winter adornment.

Porch Pots

When the ground is frozen, planters offer an alternative to homeowners who are waiting for things to thaw out.

Fill weatherproof containers with mini trees or plants like the cold-friendly Winter Gem boxwood featured above. You can showcase these hearty plants around your front door, porch stoop, garage door, or along your patio for a pop of green — no digging required!

Repair, Replace, and Update

No detail is too small when it comes to your home’s exterior, and that includes materials that are often regarded as purely functional.

Take a look around: are your house numbers a bit weathered? Gate hinges looking rusty? Doorknobs unpolished and outdated?

Take a second look and consider repairing or replacing worn-out accessories for an instant update. Minor changes can make a big difference!

Cozy Things Up

If you have a covered porch or live in an area without a lot of snow or harsh winter weather, add some cozy blankets and outdoor pillows to your furniture! It’s a great way to add color and warmth to your winter.

Add A Touch Of Vintage

Featuring vintage props like wagons, milk crates, or a pair of snow skis can add charm to your home’s exterior without being tacky.

Start with wood pieces with natural finishes or oxidized metal antiques, add some natural greenery, or combine with any of the elements mentioned above.

The key to an attractive setup? Keep things simple and stay within a predetermined color palette. Avoid red hues and patterns to steer away from Christmas-focused themes.

Bird Feeders

No matter how you decorate during the winter, nothing can replace the color and liveliness that comes from watching live birds outside your window. The bright reds, blues, oranges, and yellows of seasonal birds offer a stark contrast against gray yards and white snow. By setting out a birdfeeder, you could have (depending on where you live) many of these colors in your yard every day.

If your neighborhood is prone to squirrels, you might consider selecting a feeder that’s specially-designed to keep unwanted seed thieves away.

Warm Decor for Colder Months

Regardless of where you live, the exterior of your home doesn’t have to go through a slump during the long winter months.

No matter how you choose to change up your home’s exterior, make sure to use elements that bring you joy. You’ll not only love coming home at the end of every day, but your house will also become a favorite gathering place among friends and a source of inspiration among your neighbors.

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