Living

Come on in

Three doors, three looks and 15 tips for greeting guests with personal style

Nothing establishes your personal style more overtly than your front door. Would yours say a modernist, a traditionalist or a romantic lives here? Here, a guide to all you need to know about decorating your door this holiday season, complete with florals and embellishments tailored to your signature look.

Gracious grey

If you love history, you’ll appreciate the simple beauty of this Victorian door. Elegant and charming, an overstuffed urn makes this style a perfect choice for romantics.

Expert tips for the romantic
Dani Elwell, owner and floral expert at Cindiloowho in Toronto, suggests keeping it simple, even when going for a softer appearance: “Too many elements spoil a fresh look.”

1. Urns add height, texture and softness to an entrance.
2. Think big bold shapes rather than small fussy details.
3. Choose fresh natural elements, never fake.
4. Load up on lush colours, red especially.
5. Use magnolia, hypericum, rosehip and skimmea.

Boldly black

Love simple lines, sharp contrast and graphic details? Modern is your look. Pick simple boxwood wreaths and soaring birch branches to create a clean black door. It’s a bold statement in pared-down style.

Expert tips for the modernist
Floral designer Michael Pellegrino of Toronto’s Teatro Verde advises, “Look at the door before deciding on your florals. The look of the house should dictate the scale of the decorations.” When creating a modern look, contrast textures and materials rather than colour.

1. Stick to simple shapes and play up unusual textures.
2. Pick bold, clean colours. A single tone, used throughout, works best.
3. Square is the new round.
4. Resist the urge to add ribbon and embellishments.
5. Use birch, boxwood, pinecones and evergreens.

Radiant red

Like glossy red lips, a scarlet door leaves a searing impression. Dressed up with elegant florals and a touch of plaid, the look says “timeless chic.”

Expert tips for the classicist
For a traditional look, Douglas McLeod at Parterre in Toronto often uses landscape lighting to highlight the florals and lend a home stately elegance.

1. Use different types of greens to create lush, full wreaths and arrangements. Think cedar, fir, boxwood and eucalyptus.
2. Create visual interest by grouping florals and berries into clusters.
3. Consider a swag across the door to add texture and drama.
4. If you are using a bow, choose the materials carefully so it weathers gracefully.
5. Use dogwood, Douglas fir and whole fruit.