The Best Holiday Wreaths Are Festive—But Not Necessarily Fresh
No one has to know it’s faux.
Updated Oct 12, 2018 3:19 AM
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The wreath is a perfect symbol for the holiday season. Hung on a front door (or apartment entrance), it offers a dose of cheer to visitors and lends a festive, fragrant reminder of the holidays each time you come home. To find out whether to go fresh or faux and how to hang a wreath, we tapped two experts with different design expertise and one thing in common: an obsession with all things holiday decor.
Jan Goodman, the founder of Cityscapes, has a whole room in her basement devoted to Christmas decorations. Eddie Ross, an entertaining expert, design magazine alum, and chief content creator of Maximalist Studios, has been known to put a wreath on the front of his car. She transforms hotel lobbies and residential spaces into winter wonderlands; he knows how to make a picture- perfect holiday display. Here are the 10 best holiday wreaths plus insider tips from Ross and Goodman for a high-design winter.
- Best classic: Creekside Farms Woodland Tallow Berry Wreath
- Best faux: Afloral Real Touch Norfolk Pine Wreath
- Best value: Green Eucalyptus Wreath
- Best nontraditional: Anthropologie Maison Wreath
- Best minimalist: Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath
- Best modern: Faux White Pampas Grass Wreath
- Best fragrant: Creekside Farms Fresh Fragrant Bell Wreath
- Best eco-friendly: L.L. Bean Woodland Berry Wreath
- Best dried: Creekside Farms Citrus Wreath
- Best pet-friendly: West Elm Faux Holly Berry Wreath
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Design: “Ranging from simple to very ornate, wreaths are a great tool for holiday decorating,” says Goodman. While she works on a lot of hotels and building lobbies, she notes that wreaths are also ideal for small spaces because they don’t take up floor space. A single-species wreath is a low-key option or can be an opportunity for creative play; multispecies wreaths will have a more textured, layered look, and natural flourishes like dried citrus or berries will read as traditional. Ross likes adding a strand of battery-powered white fairy lights for a warm glow on dark winter days. We say holiday decor is a great opportunity to dabble in maximalism, since the transformation will only last a few weeks.
Material: Faux wreaths are looking more real than ever these days. A diversity of branches and a bit of asymmetry in the leaves will help fool the eye: “You don’t want it to look too perfect,” says Ross. He also likes to pull clippings from the yard and tuck them into his faux wreaths. Pine cones, juniper berries, and appealing greenery can all work. The best part of a faux or dried wreath is that you can use it again year after year. As for real, natural wreaths, Goodman recommends the traditional balsam fir for that Christmasy smell you know and love, but she’s also a fan of multispecies wreaths, particularly those with cedar and spruce. “They look good and last longer than a single-species wreath,” she says.
Size: A typical front entry door is 36 inches wide; 22 to 24 inches is considered a standard diameter for wreaths. To keep proportions right, a narrower door will call for a smaller wreath, but if you have a larger door or like the look of a bigger wreath, try a 30-inch option. Oversize designs—36 inches or more—work well above the mantel. Goodman has been known to take down a piece of art and hang a wreath on the existing hook for a high-impact swap that doesn’t damage the walls.
Inside or outside use: “Outside, I always use fresh because it lasts longer,” says Goodman. Inside, with the heat on, real wreaths are prone to drying out and may not last through the season. With faux wreaths, pay attention to product descriptions. Some faux options marked as outdoor friendly can only be used in a covered space, and not every front door is protected in that way.
Longevity: To keep real wreaths fresh, fill a spray bottle with water and spritz the branches every few days. Dried-out greenery, including Christmas trees, can quickly become a fire hazard indoors, so make sure you don’t have candles near your wreath. When buying a wreath in person, Goodman suggests giving it a shake. If a bunch of needles fall off, it’s old. Look for something fresher.
Our Top Picks
Best Classic: Creekside Farms Woodland Tallow Berry Wreath
Best Faux: Afloral Real Touch Norfolk Pine Wreath
Best Value: Green Eucalyptus Wreath
Best Nontraditional: Anthropologie Maison Wreath
Best Minimalist: Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath
Best Modern: Faux White Pampas Grass Wreath
Best Fragrant: Creekside Farms Fresh Fragrant Bell Wreath
Best Eco-Friendly: L.L. Bean Woodland Berry Wreath
Best Dried: Creekside Farms Citrus Wreath
Best Pet-Friendly: West Elm Faux Holly Berry Wreath
Styling Tips for a Design-Forward Holiday Entry
- Line up pillar candles in your entryway to instantly set the mood.
- No room for a tree? Get creative with your wall and some greenery.
- Whether it’s red and green, textural whites, or shades of blue, picking a color scheme will give your space a cohesive look.
Q: How should I hang a holiday wreath on my door?
Ross is a fan of a simple nail in the door: “It’s charming and adds character,” he says. Julie Vadnal, Domino‘s deputy editor, uses a Command hook. Over-the-door wreath holders are a great way to avoid making marks or hammering nails: Here’s a statement silver wreath hanger and a simple matte black one. Goodman points out that they don’t work with all doors, however, including those that have a particularly tight seal or run thicker than standard, so make sure you try it out before hanging a wreath.
Q: How should I store my holiday wreath?
In the off-season you want your wreath to keep its shape and not accumulate dust, says Goodman. Pick up a bag specifically meant for wreath storage. Here’s an affordable option (but because it’s not hard-sided, don’t plan to put other boxes or bags on top). Here’s a heavy-duty version that’s larger and will facilitate storage for multiple wreaths.
The Last Word
Whether a Christmas wreath is your singular nod to the holidays or something that appears on every window of your home, it’s a great way to get into the spirit.
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