Beacon Hill Decorates for Christmas

The nearby neighborhood of Beacon Hill in Boston is charming anytime of year, but I especially like to walk there during the holidays.  Many of the doors and window boxes of these historic homes are beautifully adorned for the holidays and a walk around the neighborhood is a good opportunity for inspiration and ideas.

This pale blue door is my favorite. Most of the doors on Beacon Hill are painted glossy black.  The blue is a nice change and really sets off the evergreen wreath and miniature trees.

This striking facade with a statue of a reclining woman is very unexpected.  The soft greens and grays of the plants in the window box complement the gray trim of the window frame.  She looks to me like she is waiting for someone to return.

Here's a window box filled with a classic combination of evergreen, ivy, pine cones and red berries.

An unusual, but pretty yellow door with traditional swag and wreath.  A classic gas light is just to the left, with an equally classic Boston "no parking" sign.

Another black door. This time with a contemporary container and traditional window box fillers arranged in a modern style. 

A pretty window box filled with a variety of greenery

A vibrant cherry-red door

I was taken with this gray brick house with gray shutters and a bare tree.  It's difficult to see, but the homeowner has hung gilded wreaths on the windows inside the home.

Plantings don't have to be elaborate.  Here, simple boxwood and variegated ivy in black containers are all that's needed to enhance this simple entry way.

A closer view

This box has leathery magnolia leaves tucked behind miniature evergreens. The magnolia leaves provide an interesting contrast to the lacy ornamental kale at the front of the box.  I like the variety of textures used here.

Another simple and striking arrangement.  Evergreens and ornamental kale with pink highlights.

This entryway caught my attention from down the street.  A beautiful stained (instead of painted) door is paired with tall copper planters and small concrete containers.  I'm not sure what the green vine-like plant is, but it's a nice alternative to evergreens.

A closer view of the copper planter

Colorful fall gourds and kale.  They still look fresh, even in December.

I hope this post has given you some ideas for decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays.   Even if you don't have an elaborate home or your own gardener (I have neither!), a little greenery and color can go a long way to brighten the outside of your home during the winter months.

All photos by me and my trusty Olympus D-520 Zoom camera


  1. My family asn I visited this part of Boston in the spring and I loves it then. What fun to see some of the same doors all dressed for the holidays!

  2. hi deborah,

    you know this is my kind of christmas decorating. what beautiful doors and planters. it actually makes me want to start decorating and i haven't had that urge yet so thank you.


  3. I love Beacon Hill and we always make time to wander when in Boston. Such beautiful and inspiring images, thank you!

  4. Thanks for the tour! When I lived there I used to wander around the "rich side" of the hill (as opposed to the street I lived on!) and wonder at the beautiful decorated doors!

  5. Thanks for sharing all those tasteful and classic doors. Gorgeous. Boston is so beautiful. David and I are thinking of coming for a visit in the next year or two!!

    xo Terri

  6. I LOVE the black door and the window boxes! Thanks for the great tour. Love your blog.

  7. Deborah - This is an incredible selection of images. I am absolutely in love with your photo of the photo of the window with the reclining woman. It's my favorite of 2010!

  8. These pictures are great, thank you. Nobody does door wreaths as well as the Americans!
    My French Country Home

  9. Beacon Hill is always so much fun to walk thru but never more beautiful than at Christmas time!! Such pretty photos - Love them!

  10. Deborah, I just returned from the city and kicked myself for NOT bringing along my camera. But, you have beautifully captured what I feared would have to remain in my memory (for however long that might be!). Boston certainly is lovely this time of year - and we were even graced by a few snow flakes for good measure. Just lovely - thanks for the inspirational shots.

  11. Oh, the window boxes are fabulous!! Love how the magnolia leaves are turned both ways for contrast...may have to try this!!

  12. Beautiful!! Love the pale blue door as well but how about that arched black one - amazing!!

  13. Hi again Deborah, I had to pop back for some inspiration as I bought a plain wreath and need to decorate it. I want big tassels for it but unless I make them I don't know where to find such a thing. So maybe I will do a bow and call it a day! I love decorating but with a crazy work life, there is little time for frittering away on craft projects! You know it sister.

    Yes, the bins at my house arrived by themselves. I wish the tree would trim itself (tonight). I do love all this stuff but not the hectic pace. I dream of taking off the month of December some time. Maybe when I am dead.

    xo Terri

  14. Thanks all so much for your comments! I really appreciate it.

    RDH - So nice that you were able to visit Beacon Hill when you were in Boston.

    Janet - You are welcome. Good to know that the photos gave you some inspiration.

    Acquired Objects - I never tire of walking in Beacon Hill.

    Linda - I wish I lived in the best part of BH too. It's fun to dream though.

    Terri - We'll make a plan to meet, as mentioned, when you come to Boston (soon, I hope).

    Teresa - Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll be back again.

    Michele - You made my day with your comment. I could take photos all day long.

    Sharon - Thanks so much.

    Gina - There's always so much to see in BH. I love it in the summer too.

    Maria - Lucky you to have seen some snow flurries. Have not seen any yet downtown.

    My Design Chic - I hope you'll post some photos on your blog if you give the window box a try.

    Quintessence - It was so unusual to see a pale blue door. It really was a stand out.

    Terri - You always make me laugh. I agree, it's a fun time of year, but with work and other goings on, it's difficult to fit in shopping, decorating, etc. I don't think you're asking too much, by the way, to take the month of December off some day. Let me know how it goes when you get around to asking your boss.


    I'm glad you've spent some time in Beacon Hill. our fine city of Boston.

  15. What wonderful images. Each time I thought I had chosen a favorite, I would scroll down to another one! I love Beacon Hill and what a treat to see such a variety of decorated doors and windows. Thanks! Ann

  16. ahhhhh, beacon hill

    loved the diversity! thanks for sharing deborah

  17. Wow, that was a great tour! I love that arched door, how cool is that! The planter with the kale and small evergreens caught my eye too.... We have to put everything away to protect it here from the harsh winter. We've already received 42" of snow this season... ugh.. Anyway, back to the tour...I like the vine in the copper planters too...I thought it was Mandevilla at first, but they have pointed ends to their I have to figure it out!

  18. Such a lovely post. I used to live in Boston ('70-'73 - I was born there, then again '95-'97), and Beacon Hill was always my favorite part of town for long walks.

    One of these pictures just gave me a fantastic idea for a planter that I am planning on either side of my front door - the boxwoods with ivy. Thank you!!!!


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