If you’ve been tricked into trotting out the same tired Halloween decor year after year, we have news for you: You can spruce up your home in ways that are spooky and elegant at the same time.
Yes, it’s time to put away the plastic pumpkins and sad skeletons and consider a few new spins on Halloween-themed decorations.
From white candles to painted pumpkins, these designer-approved tips will give you chills—in the best way possible.
Refine the front porch (and ditch the Halloween clichés)
Photo by Sarah Greenman
Your front door and stoop are the beacon that makes passers-by give a second look during Halloween season—so make it count, says Gina Whalen, interior designer at Bella Home Decor in Philadelphia.
“Halloween is such a fun start to all the holiday festivities,” she says. “And your front door should be the showstopper for each holiday season—it’s what draws people in to want to see more.”
Try ditching the carved jack-o’-lanterns for a more stylish and sophisticated fall look, Whalen recommends. Create a refined pumpkin patch feel up your stairway with gourds and candles, or evoke an organic fall landscape.
She suggests “a neutral palette of white pumpkins, mums, cornstalks, gourds, and crates/ baskets for a grand, yet elegant entrance.”
You can add an unexpected flourish by painting your gourds, says Jenny Dean Hester, design consultant and blogger in Birmingham, AL.
“Avoid orange,” she says. “I always suggest choosing a color palette and limiting yourself to one or two main colors in various shades.”
Try black, gray and silver, purple, or green, she suggests. Or use white and robin’s-egg blue—fall’s hottest colors, she says—to give a fresh update on traditional fall décor.
Don’t have time to paint? Spray paint works in a pinch.
“Spray-painting pumpkins is always a unique and creative touch,” Whalen says. “Don’t forget about using a stencil for your last name or your initial for a more custom approach.”
What to buy:
- Devine Color spray paint in silver, Valspar, $8
- DecoArt Patio Paint in robin’s-egg blue, Amazon, $7
- Headline sign stencil kit, Amazon, $7
Go ghostly white inside
Photo by Caroline Sharpnack
If you’re hosting a Halloween soiree, an all-black aesthetic is always “a safe way to go,” says Edward Perotti, global event designer in San Francisco. But if you truly want to be unexpected, go with an all-white decor scheme, complete with lots of white candles, set off by black and deep-red accent pieces.
A few of Perotti’s pro tips:
- Make black or white tablescapes pop with blood-red dahlias.
- Use glass pumpkins, candles, and painted white or black pumpkins to complement the florals.
- Set the table with a mirrored charger plate, solid-black dinner plates, and black and white salad plates. Then add deep-red wineglasses, and finish the look with white linen napkins.
What to buy:
- Giant red dahlias, Amazon, $20
- Handblown glass pumpkin table accent, Amazon, $36
- 12-set flameless candles, Amazon, $29
- Mirrored charger plate, Amazon, $22
- Black dinner plate, Target, $6
- Black-and-white-striped salad plates, Wayfair, $28 for 4
- Ruby-red wineglasses, Amazon, $44 for 4
- White spillproof fabric napkins, Amazon, $10 for 4
Have fun, but don’t tip into tacky territory
Photo by FOCAL POINT STYLING
Even though you’re trying to elevate your look, you shouldn’t forget that Halloween is supposed to be fun. It’s OK to add some decor pieces that are fit for the festivities. But these, too, can be spruced up with some elegant touches.
“Costume staples make excellent décor, so round up witch’s hats, vampire teeth, and skulls you paint black or gray,” Hester recommends. (You can pick up these items at the dollar store if you’re on a budget.)
“I also love mixing witch’s hats and black candelabras,” Whalen adds. “Incorporating your favorite spooky and creepy decor makes Halloween a bit more fun.”
What to buy: