The Front Door: The Holiday Edition


I am sure you can tell that I have finished my winter and holiday work for clients.  I am able and back to writing regularly.  I took the better part of one day to photograph projects-a luxury day.  My crews do such beautiful work-every place I went, I was pleased with what I saw.  This season was particularly difficult for them.  Early temperatures in the single digits meant they were chiselling the top 5 inches of frozen dirt out of client’s containers, so we could install.  Spending the day outdoors hanging garland and sinking centerpieces when it is 8 degrees-not so much fun. 

I never heard one complaint from my crew.  I complain loud, clear, and often over troubles in my own garden. My personal issues-personal.  I have a different idea, on the job.  A professional comes and does the work well without angst or commentary, cleans up, and disappears. This is what I hope gets engraved on my headstone-no kidding.   I respect every one of the professionals I have close contact with in my field. Gillette Brothers Pools.  Albaugh Masonry.  GP Enterprises.  Frank Cervi Irrigation.  M and M Flowers-their pruning is superb.  Their maintenance is superlative.  Each and every one of them-professional in the true sense of the word. 

 How we approach the season professionally has evolved over the years.   We spend the majority of our construction time in the studio-this garage  space we heat to 60 degrees.  A warmer construction space means the work progresses efficiently.  Frozen fingers do not move so quickly. Work generated in the studio means next to no cleanup on site.  We breeze in, install, and move on.  I hope no client has any evidence that we were there-just a look that pays a generous nod to the changing of the season.

My  winter front doors are not the only the front doors in town.  I actually do a very small number of them.  I see beautifully decorated front doors everywhere I go.  Each one I may like better than the last.  And I may like them better than a professionally done door.  A sincere expression counts for so much-I promise you.      The community to which I belong makes for a very large and diverse landscape-Part of my holiday is enjoying what other people do.

This does not mean I do not thoroughly enjoy the work I do. The holidays encourage me to think about how lucky I am.  The chance to do what one really wants to do-not so ordinary.  Astonishing creativity counts for little, unless you have a client who has a mind to get hold of that, and run with it.  My clients make it possible for me to work at what I like to do.  

I know I have gone on and on about magnolia at the holidays in a zone that permits little in the way of magnolia reality-please humor me.  Those giant green southern magnolia leaves with their brown felted backs-a staple of my idea about a swell Michigan holiday.  Does this garland and wreath not look great? 

I have clients with mid century modern homes.  Given their committment to that moden aesthetic-do they not deserve a holiday look to go with? 

A restaurant front door expresses the holiday in a different way than a home.  The redtwig stems in contrast to the lavender eucalyptus-do I have your attention? The Avenue, in Royal Oak, is open Christmas Eve, and Christmas day.  Anyone needing a Christmas dinner has the option of dining there.  They have great food!  Check them out, when you have a chance. My idea of holiday decorations for them-energetic.   

I am fast and furiously decorating my house for the holidays. I have but one day left before Christmas Eve.  Buck and I celebrate the holiday, Christmas Eve.   My front door-I think it looks good.  I am on the inside now-working.  I am sure all of you are as busy as me.  Happy holidays; Deborah


  1. Merry Christmas to you! Kick your feet up~ relax, and enjoy the weekend!! Love what you have done for the Christmas/Winter season.

  2. Those restaurant pots are so pretty this is my definite for next years pots.

  3. Beautiful and inspiring!

  4. Merry Christmas Deborah!

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