I always buy an evergreen wreath from my nephew whose Scout troop sells them as a fundraiser. His dad delivered it on the weekend before Thanksgiving and I got right to work on it. I believe in having holiday decorations that suit your style and house color. Forget the red ribbon and pine cones. Those are the first things I remove each year as soon as my wreath is delivered.
This year I pumped up the volume with assorted prunings from some of our evergreens. I swapped the red ribbon for a bright purple one that I created using yardage from a big spool of the stuff that my mother-in-law gave me a few years ago. It is great for adding drama. Then I toned it down a notch by decorating the wreath with two deep red-violet pears (artificial). It's very subdued and a nice shift from the pumpkins that have been piled by the front door.
The fact that the wreath hangs above our Asian stele means that it needs to be able to work in a multi-cultural environment. And I like to put it up early and leave it up til Valentine's Day so using a palette and decorations that are less Christmas-y works best.
You can see my other wreath re-do here. If you are looking for imaginative and sophisticated holiday decorating ideas that use fresh greens and natural materials be sure to check out the work of Deborah Silver and her staff at Dirt Simple.