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  • Writer's pictureDominique Michelle Vidal

How to Decorate for Halloween... But Make it Chic

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Halloween isn't just about the sweets and costumes; it's also about the décor. Instead of flooding your house with cheesy plastic pumpkins this year, go for something a little more sophisticated. While the black-and-orange color scheme has its day and place, there are so many more ways to incorporate a festive look without going overboard.

Plus, many of these festive and adaptable décor ideas can be left up throughout the season, even after October 31st. Whether you're holding a party or simply celebrating with a few frightening flicks and some popcorn, repurpose your fake cobwebs and witches brooms to create a classy, chic Halloween backdrop.

1. Display of Pumpkins

With the help of those unquestionably adorable small pumpkins you've been coveting at the market (we're right there with you), a clear canister, such as an apothecary jar, makes for an instant Halloween display. They come in a variety of hues, so there's a look for everyone.

Rather than bringing in loud colors for Halloween, stick to a classic neutral color scheme. Replace the orange jack-o'-lantern with a basic white one that matches the rest of your decorations. Or opt for black instead of orange. A black jack-o'-lantern is a terrific way to achieve the Halloween appearance without going overboard with the decorations.

2. Macabre Mantel

Combine all of your black decorating accents, such as candlesticks, vases, and books, with a few celebratory yet terrifying touches, such as skulls, and you've created a scene straight out of a haunted home. A couple coats of matte black spray paint transforms a holiday garland into a Halloween-ready touch, while "bleeding" candles are simple to make by putting a lighted red taper candle over white pillars and allowing the red wax to flow down the sides.

3. At-Home Pumpkin Patch

Why not turn a broken fireplace into a grab-and-go pumpkin patch for your guests, where they can choose their favorite to take home? For larger hearths, create the effect of a huge stack by inverting a wooden container underneath the pumpkins in the back, then filling in the gaps as needed. It's simple, unique, and a total show-stopper for the holidays.

4. Spooky-Chic Cloche

Even a small pumpkin feels rarefied when encased within the boundaries of a cloche. To give the display a terrarium vibe, look for a unique specimen and add a mossy bed. Place it on an entryway table or a mantel for a touch that is both stylish and seasonal.

5. Eerie Entryway

Are you planning on handing out candy on Halloween? Why not concentrate your decorating efforts on the front door? Greet your guests with Halloween vibes by making sure to decorate your entryway with subtle, spooky decor like hanging brooms and witches hats. Bare branches, which can be found at most floral supply stores, give the proper haunted-forest vibe, and their height commands attention as soon as you walk in the door. For a classic cobweb display, add some ornaments or stretch out cotton balls. The use of a large number of mini pumpkins gives the setup a complete and festive sense. If you want to add some larger pumpkins, make sure to put a protective layer between them and the wood to avoid staining.

6. Add These Creepy Candles to Create a Warm Glow

Candles are the ideal holiday accent since they provide such a warm, inviting glow that feel joyful. Using a few Halloween-themed candles, create a small scene.

7. Incorporate Lanterns

Instead of pumpkins, use eerie (but charming) lanterns to decorate your porch. Fill them with candles or miniature pumpkins to add a subtle touch of Halloween to your house.

8. DIY Paper Ghosts

Using ghosts to decorate your table or home doesn't have to be childish. Make a delightful and festive ghost centerpiece with a basic, minimalist design. It's the perfect, surprising look for your Halloween dinner party if you keep it simple.

9. Keep it Minimal

To give your home a Halloween ambiance, you don't need a lot of decorations. Keep it basic without going crazy by displaying a few eerie artifacts about your home.

10. Opt for Faux or Dried Flowers

Skip the fresh flowers and go for dried instead. Not only will dried arrangements last so much longer, but they are also great for lending a creepy, haunted look anywhere in your home.

11. Cob Web Table Runner

Want a runner with a little more personality this Halloween? Use cobwebs to create a spooky but tasteful runner for your next dinner party.

12. Vintage Flea Market Finds Over Cheesy Party store Decorations

Give your home a spooky, Victorian vibe with faux stuffed crows and skulls. Opt for higher qualify décor to avoid the look feeling cheesy — think flea market finds over party store. You’ll create a much more genuine haunted house look. Some of the best chic Halloween décor can be found at your local thrift store. Look for vintage postcards, glass terrariums, owl sculptures ... basically anything that screams "old and creepy" and decorate your shelf for a simple Halloween vibe.

13. Make Your Gallery Wall Spooky

With the addition of basic black bats and imitation cobwebs, we can't get enough of this modernized gallery wall turned Halloween decor.

14. Crows

Decorate your coffee table or buffet table with vintage inspired taxidermy (fake is great!) and glass terrariums for a frightening vibe that is yet really stylish and distinctive. Add a fake crow to your decor for a macabre, adult effect that isn't too frightening. Add a few crows to pumpkins or a fireplace mantel for a Hitchcock-inspired appearance.

15. Display Vintage Bottles

Find a couple vintage medication bottles to decorate with this year at your local flea market or antique store. For a haunted home vibe with personality, scatter them around your bookcases or entryway way console tables.

16. Batty Mantel

Vinyl Bat Clings, $13 for 9,

There is sometimes safety in numbers. But there's a flock of fear-and-fabulousness this Halloween. Use a printable template to cut out your own swarm of nocturnal nomads, then place on removable adhesive dots, bend the wings for more eeriness, and release them into the wild. Instead of paper cutouts, use vinyl clings to spookify your adjacent windows, mirrors, or refrigerators.

17. Haunted Mirror

This print-and-stick pattern conjures up a spectral image. Decorate a couple of wall sconces with hissing snakes, place black calla lilies in tombstone-like vases, and let the spirit confined behind the glass out. People will never forget the night they grabbed for your candy bowl if they catch a peek of it.

* How To *

18. Spooky Centerpiece

As the centerpiece, gather your guests around the table with this departed decorator as the centerpiece. Two bony hands grasp taper candles while a grinning skull is overflowing with seasonal blooms.

* How To *

19. Plaster Hands

On Halloween, consider taking your fear in hand and making five-fingered candleholders and tabletop decorations.

20. Drilled Galactic Pumpkins

Make a big splash with a strew of pumpkins studded like the Milky Way's starry bands. Choose a handful to form the interstellar arc, then hollow them out from the bottom and punch holes in them with a drill and two different-size bits. Play around with the positioning of your planets and stars; unexpected patterns appeal to everyone. Arrange them with a few un-carved gourds and battery-operated candles to conjure up a galaxy far, far away.

21. Skeleton at the Dining Table

Add a spooky mysterious guest to your dining table to keep everyone on their toes, wondering what other spooky decorations you have conjured up. Happy Halloween everyone!

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