Decorating for the Holidays is one of my chief pleasures. I love it! But Halloween decorations have mostly been about cartoonish orange-and-black “Boo!” motifs aimed squarely at Trick-or-Treaters.
Our Girl, Martha Stewart changed all that. She encouraged us to look past grinning Jack-O-Lanterns and inflatable lawn ornaments, to decorating with a little more grownup chic! While some of her projects are a little DIY heavy, there are some great ideas that don’t require a sewing machine or even a glue gun.
This year, we’re finally able to have a Halloween party in our new house, so I’m pulling out all the stops. I’m sharing my best ideas for Halloween decorations for grownups and would love to see yours!
IDEA No. 1: Go Big.
When we moved, I make the mistake of laundering some sheer linen curtains that had been badly faded by the sun. They came out of the machine shredded to ribbons, but instead of throwing them out I saved them and use them every Halloween! They look fantastic when layered with cheap cotton “creepy cloth” and the addition of our Dutch Girl bust and two black candelabra reads more Miss Havisham than traditional “Haunted House.”
IDEA No. 2: Use what you’ve got!
When we moved, I make a mistake of laundering some linen curtains that had been badly faded by the sun. They came out of the machine shredded to ribbons, but instead of throwing them out I saved them and use them every Halloween. They look fantastic when layered with cheap cotton “creepy cloth” over them, and the addition of our Dutch Girl bust and two black candelabra make it look more Miss Havisham than traditional “Haunted House.”
Speaking of which, I’ll readily admit that Disneyland looms large in my design inspiration. I was an odd only-child and for some reason, the Victorian grandeur of the Haunted Mansion attraction was always a favorite of mine. My parents often remarked on the level of detail employed by the Disney “Imagineers,” and I came to regard that as a mark of a well-executed display.
It’s all about big impact with small details to reward the keen observer. For example, my (nearly) life-size skeletons is obvious, but if you look closer, you’ll see that one of them is cheating at cards, and a skeleton cat is stalking a raven, which I find so amusing.
IDEA No. 3: Repetition. Repetition. Repetition!
I like multiples of anything good-looking. When I found these standing ravens a few years ago at Rite Aid [AUS the chemist], I became obsessed with them. They might be cheesy alone or in pairs, but grouped in a large murder, they become positively Hitchcockian. I always buy a few before Halloween, then scoop up any remaining on the shelf November 1st!
The message here is to think outside the big box stores and cast your eye a bit wider for decorating ideas. Almost anything black, faded, or super-ornate will work, and you probably have lots of things around the house to play with already! I’m not against a little plastic skeleton (or two). It’s how you use them that lifts your decor from kitschy to dead chic.