With the rush of gift-giving and year-end obligations, the holiday season can get very busy, often taking up what little time you have to actually get into the holiday spirit. You might manage to put up a Christmas tree, sure, but if the thought of stringing the front of your house with lights makes you break into hives (think of the electricity bill!), then you might want to consider a simpler decoration alternative: the holiday wreath. It’s an easy and festive way to add a little greenery — whether fresh or faux — to your home.
Wreaths don’t have to be limited to your front door. “My best advice for using wreaths is to use them in unexpected ways,” says interior designer Alexandra Rae. “They are the most festive touch you can add to your décor.” While Rae prefers fresh wreaths, she says that artificial ones can feel “just as festive, especially if mixed with the fragrant boughs of the real greens.”
To help you find the best ready-made wreaths, both real and fake, we spoke to five interior designers for their recommendations. Here’s what they suggested.
Best fresh holiday wreaths
According to Rae, “The best place I’ve found for fresh greens is the Home Depot. They get a constant and fresh supply throughout the holidays and the prices are great. I hit my craft cabinet, pull out wire in various gauges and a cutter and just get to work.” If you don’t want to do all of that work, Rae also recommends Harry & David’s fresh wreaths. She loves this one for Thanksgiving, but we think it works just as well for Christmas. The base is made of noble fir, western red cedar, and spiral eucalyptus, and it’s decorated with cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and dried orange slices.
Rae also recommends this wreath from Williams Sonoma. It’s made with fragrant California bay laurel leaves, which she says is a “classic Christmas version.” We love the simplicity of the densely swirled leaves and the addition of the red-and-green tartan ribbon and little bells.
Senior designer Stacy Harwood at online interior decorating service Havenly also recommends a wreath from Williams Sonoma. This is a “modern take on the classic version,” she says, thanks to its incorporation of seeded eucalyptus leaves in a base of noble fir. Clusters of pink pepperberries, white tallow berries, and blue juniper berries add color and texture to create a full look that she thinks would fit best in a modern farmhouse-style home.
For Erin Gates, interior designer, blogger, and author of Elements of Family Style, nothing beats a simple magnolia wreath, which she calls her “all-time favorite.” She recommends this one from Terrain, saying, “The glossy leaves and mix of green and copper tones look especially wonderful on glossy front doors with brass hardware.”
For an even more minimalist option, Gates says that you can’t go wrong with a simple boxwood wreath. This one has no other decorative elements, which makes it especially versatile all year long. She suggests adding a bow to coordinate with your door color.
Roxy Te, founder and creative director of furniture company Society Social, also loves a boxwood wreath. But instead of putting it on the front door, she uses it for indoor decorating. Again, the simplicity makes this wreath “great décor year-round.” She also likes how versatile they are when it comes to decorating, saying that they can be hung on a door, window, mirror, or even a dining chair, or as a candleholder in a centerpiece. If taken care of properly, preserved boxwood wreaths can last between two and five years, according to Te. “I’m on year three of my own collection without doing the proper monthly misting to maintain their life and color,” she says, though she cautions that you should be better than she is at preserving your wreaths by keeping them indoors and misting regularly.
Gates also recommends this wreath, which is made from eucalyptus. She likes the addition of the black-and-white striped ribbon that looks like it weaves in and out of the wreath, as well as the juniper berries. “The gray-blue tones of the juniper berries and the eucalyptus are modern and striking,” she says. She thinks they’d look especially nice against a black door.
Cathy Maready, design director of Wilmington, North Carolina–based firm Elephant Ears, says that using “anything you can find in your yard” would be a great way to decorate. “This includes magnolia leaves, arborvitae branches, red berries, pine cones, or anything that brings the outdoors into your home in an organic nature,” she says. Of course, if you live in the city (or don’t have a yard full of beautiful wreath ingredients), this kind of greenery is usually out of reach. If that’s the case, Maready loves Weston Farms for “stunning wreaths” made from magnolia leaves. Even though this wreath incorporates just one other type of greenery — the lacy foliage of conifer — it looks quite dramatic without being overly fussy.
Best faux holiday wreaths
For those who prefer the utility and reusability of a faux wreath, there are plenty of realistic-looking options. This one, recommended by Harwood, comes pre-lit with LED lights. It’s for indoor use only and has bushy lifelike needles that look substantial.
Harwood also recommends this rangy faux eucalyptus wreath that’s peppered with seeds. “I love how versatile this wreath is,” she says. “This one is so pretty, it could be used year-round.”
Here’s another minimal wreath that’s made with faux cypress. While the specific wreath that Harwood recommends from Crate & Barrel is sold out online (it’s still available in stores), this one has a similar look. She calls the Crate & Barrel one “sleek and simple” with “a fresh, unfussy feel,” and we think that description applies to this one as well.
While Rae prefers fresh wreaths to decorate, she turns to Flora Decor for “the most authentic artificial wreaths at the best price.” We like this rustic option that incorporates pine cones and various faux greenery. Flora Decor also makes undecorated preserved boxwood wreaths that Rae says can always be dressed up to match any décor style.