Holiday Lighting for Different Architectural Styles: Accentuating Your Home's Features

Holiday Lighting for Different Architectural Styles: Accentuating Your Home's Features

November 10, 2023

At MosquitoNix®, we know that every home is different. That's why no two homes will be decorated the same way during the holiday season. You may own a Victorian house, a modern house or even a Colonial house that was built hundreds of years ago. Whichever kind of home you have, you want your holiday decorations and lights to complement its architectural style and features.

Our MosquitoNix Elves have provided professional holiday lighting services for countless homes and businesses over the years, so they understand that every structure is beautiful in its own way, with unique features to draw attention to. Keep reading as these lighting experts share some tips for how to decorate with Christmas lights in a way that's particularly flattering for your home's architectural style. We discuss some common types of American homes below - find the style that most closely reflects that of your home and learn what our Elves recommend.

Colonial Homes

We'll begin with American Colonial homes. They commonly feature simple, clean lines, pitched roofs and front entrances that are placed in the center, with windows on either side for an overall symmetrical appearance.

Play up the symmetry of a Colonial by illuminating each window with an electric candle or a lighted Christmas wreath. Then, make the front entrance a focal point. One popular way to do this is by hanging lighted garland around the front door. If a path extends out from the door, consider adding lights to trees, bushes or fencing on either side of the path, or placing battery- or solar-powered luminaries along either side.

It should also be noted that, due to the old-fashioned style of these homes, a popular decorating choice is to primarily use white Christmas lights that mimic the glow of candlelight. To that end, white incandescent holiday lights traditionally have a warmer, more candle-like look than LED white lights, which tend to be more cool-toned. However, it's getting increasingly easy to find LED white lights with a warmer look, so you can enjoy the energy efficiency of LEDs and a candle-like glow at the same time.

Victorian Homes

Victorian homes are more elaborate than Colonials in terms of their features and general structure. In fact, they are almost the opposite of Colonials in many ways. While Colonial homes are usually square or rectangular, Victorian homes usually have more complicated or elaborate shapes, often with towers, gables and elaborate trim. They typically have prominent front porches as well.

Similar to Colonial homes, many people like to reflect the historical nature of Victorian homes in the way they light them for Christmas. That means that they also tend toward lights in classic, warm white. However, some people like to reflect the often-colorful paint jobs of their Victorian homes by using colored string lights, which can also look lovely.

In addition, the dramatic lines of the roofs are often well served by using icicle-style lights rather than standard string lights; with their light strands that extend downwards, these lights have an extra bit of visual interest that draws the eye up.

One note of caution: Victorian buildings are already so intricate and interesting to look at that adding too many different holiday lighting styles, colors and general decorations can start to look overly busy.

You can help avoid this by making sure you have a focal point. In the case of Victorian homes, owners often take advantage of their lovely front porches, making them the main attraction. You can place decorated Christmas trees in the center of your porch, or wind-lighted garland around the porch's columns and put a nice, big lighted wreath on the front door.

Cape Cod Homes

There are many different types of Cape Cod homes, depending on the era in which they were built. However, one defining characteristic is that Cape Cods are generally on the small side, akin to cottages. Like Colonials, they tend to have a symmetrical design and a steeply pitched roof. Many Cape Cods also feature dormer windows.

Because they are on the smaller side, Cape Cods can potentially look overpowered if there are too many lights and decorations, so as with Victorians, you want to keep that in mind. Luckily, other than that, there are few "rules" when it comes to lighting a Cape Cod home for Christmas. White or colored lights are sure to look equally lovely, especially since many Cape Cods are painted a neutral gray. And since the front entrance is generally in the center of the house, as with Colonials, it tends to make a good focal point. If your Cape does have dormer windows, those are great features to highlight too. Think of them as eyebrows complementing the "face" of your house, and consider highlighting them with lighted garland and wreaths.

Mid-Century Modern Homes

Mid-century modern houses are striking due to their clean, straight lines that can look incredible when highlighted with a simple string of lights. These modern houses sometimes have textured exterior walls made with materials like stone or rough wood. That makes them particularly good

candidates for uplighting with spotlights or well lights, because interesting, dramatic shadows can result.

In addition, mid-century modern homes can benefit from slightly whimsical holiday lights that are, well, modern. Try star-shaped or snowflake-shaped lights, or neon-style lighted signs. Don't be afraid to experiment with different light colors, either. Plus, you can take advantage of the large, plentiful windows common among this type of house by showcasing your beautiful Christmas tree inside.

Contact the Holiday Lighting Experts

There are many different types of homes, and yours might not fit neatly into one of these categories, but hopefully, this guide gives you some parameters to work with. If you have specific holiday lighting questions or need professionals to help you create the Christmas light display of your dreams, text ELVES or call (855) 808-2847 to learn how the MosquitoNix Elves can help you.

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