It’s that time of the year again – the nights are getting longer, the weather is getting colder, and pumpkins are cropping up everywhere.
Part of that is, of course, because people like to integrate them into their Halloween decor. Alongside ghosts, witches, and black cats, pumpkins are the chief ingredient.
But a pumpkin alone doesn’t make a spooky home, right? Especially if you don’t carve a creepy face into it.
If carving pumpkins is too hard or you’d simply like a slightly less menacing Halloween decor, this is for you. I’ve selected some of my favourite ideas – some more glam, others more fun – to give your home a spooky update.
Halloween decor essentials: pumpkins
I know I just said they aren’t the be all and end all, but let’s be honest: it wouldn’t be right without them.
But who’s to say they all have to feature a creepy face? They don’t.
You can either get creative and carve something entirely different – maybe a landscape, your child’s favourite cartoon character… the list is endless.
Or, if you’re not artistically inclined (or simply afraid of injury), leave them as it. Cluster your pumpkins together, whether it’s outside your front door, in the window, or on a side and dining table.
You could also add some candles, for extra atmosphere. Choose black or orange designs to make your Halloween decor more spooky. If you prefer a more earthy look, neutrals such as cream, sage, or dark green. If that’s the style you want to achieve, make sure to also add tactile fabric, such a linen napkins or tablecloths – bonus points if they have a spooky pattern.
Of course, you can also flip the aesthetic entirely. Yayoi Kusama’s woozy dotted pumpkins, for example, add an element of fun but are *just* the right kind of slightly weird, too.
Candles are the way to go
When creating a spooky atmosphere, you don’t want there to be any harsh lights. Those completely defy the point.
Instead, opt for plenty of candles. Tea lights, tall candles – everything goes. If you happen to own a candelabra or ornate candlesticks, great, you’re all set!
But even if you’re not in the position to kit out Dracula’s crypt at the drop of a hat, don’t worry. There are plenty of options out there for all styles.
Large cast-iron lanterns can easily be dressed up for different seasons. For Halloween, add some fake spiderwebs, maybe even a spider, and some ghosts. Perch a pumpkin or two next to it and you’re done. And once spooky season is over, you can simply change the decoration to get ready for Christmas, Easter, or any other occasion.
Indoors, you can also choose candles or candleholders to complement your Halloween decor. Make sure that everything is safe, though, especially if you have pets or small kids – sometimes, electric candles might be the better choice.
Dress up your walls
When creating Halloween decor, don’t forget about your walls. They are, to all intents and purposes, free real estate ready to be decorated, so why not use them?
Bunting is a quick and easy fix. Choose pumpkins or witches, and don’t forget to add a black cat somewhere – it wouldn’t be Halloween without them.
However, there are even more impressive options. Removable wallpaper will quickly turn your kitchen or living room into a haunted forest. If you only want it for the occasion, it’s easy to remove – but if you want to keep it, that’s an option too.
Don’t forget the little details
To elevate your Halloween decor, don’t just focus on larger items. Subtle ideas can go a long way to creating a really spooky atmosphere.
And scented candles are always a good idea. If you don’t like pumpkin spice, pick another earthy, woodsy scent that goes well with autumn. But also pay attention to the presentation – I’m talking black glass, maybe with orange or gold detailing that looks like Halloween.
Black in general is your friend. Swap everyday essentials for black versions, especially when entertaining. This can mean black napkins and towels, for example, but also cutlery or even plates.
To stop it from becoming too samey, add orange, gold, or silver elements too. The best thing? If you buy smart, every one of these elements can be used outside Halloween decor, too.
And yes, I’d use black cutlery every day. (I might be looking for a nice set…)
Want to keep Halloween decor all year round?
For those of us who like a darker aesthetic overall, there’s good news. There’s plenty of opportunity to keep the spooky spirit going 365 days a year.
I mentioned removable wallpaper before, and really – you don’t *have* to remove it. A moody forest mural can be very relaxing and look inviting if you dress the room with warm colours or contrasting pastels, such as a soft pink.
Dishware is a cool idea, too. Casserole dishes or cocottes in pumpkin shapes are fun and practical. And if you choose a black design, rather than the classic orange, they’re giving more Halloween décor than harvest festival.
But there’s more. Choose furniture in ornate gothic styles to keep the witchy look going – with the right styling, they’ll look chic and classy. Black lacquer is, of course, the colour of choice – but you can also opt for dark wood.
Both will create a different atmosphere – one sleek and stylish, the other more warm and earthy – but suit the look.
And if you happen to have a black cat slinking about the house… well, all the better.
Featured image: Mimosa botanical candle lanterns, £65 for a set of two, Sazy.