Attention craft and party stores of America: your Halloween decorations need a serious makeover. We’ve been over the kitschy orange, black garland, inflatable ghosts, and rubber spiders *not subtly* falling from the trees for awhile now. Admit it. Most of the time, we spend way too much time and money buying Halloween decorations that look cheap and smell like old warehouses. When done best, home decor is simple with a thoughtful layering of textures, textiles, and colors, and this year, I am liking Halloween done the same way.

Decorating your home for costume parties and trick-or-treaters is fun and exciting, but it’s also time-consuming and can get expensive quickly – especially if you’re trying to keep up with all the holiday overachievers on your block. But here’s the thing: Halloween decorations don’t have to be tossed in the trash – or worse, the garage, never to see the light of day again – come November 1. This year, we’re removing the pressure to transform our homes into full-blown haunted houses, and are opting for decor that will last throughout the Fall season. From not-so-spooky curb appeal to beautiful fall table scapes, we’ve rounded up our favorite finds and tips for Halloween decor that will make your home feel festive and fun, while still remaining sophisticated and cozy. Trick, or chic? Scroll on for some serious Halloween eye candy.

featured image by molly culver

image by hannah haston

When shopping for decor, choose a cohesive Fall color palette – such as bright whites, pastel yellows, and soft greens – and stick with it throughout. A clean background with a few pops of fall color and fun accents make decorating for Halloween easy and affordable. The best place to start is with curb appeal that is sure to one up your neighbor.

image by free people

Glow String Lights

When done right, string lights aren’t just for dorm rooms and man caves. Place some around your porch plants, along your front door, or on top of other exterior decor to add a subtle sparkle. We love these twinkle lights—they’re simple, elegant, and battery-operated, so you can light up the inside or outside of your home with a pretty orange glow.

image by scott clark for 100 layer cake

Heirloom Is the New Black

Just because it is autumn doesn’t mean your house needs to be orange and black. Decorate with white pumpkins, gourds, and mums rather than the traditional pumpkin route. Fairytale, or “Cinderella”, pumpkins (the flat, lighter-colored varieties) are great for a more modern feel, as they’re less traditional than your standard round, orange variety.

Since real pumpkins and gourds can get very pricey, these grapevine pumpkins are great to mix in, as they come in multiple sizes, and can be used year after year. They provide a woodsy nature vibe when mixed in with the rest of your pumpkins on the porch, or add a textured look to your indoor decor.

image by molly culver

Find New Heights

image by finding light photography for apartment therapy

We recommend incorporating small side tables or garden stools into your front porch decor to create different levels for pumpkins, twinkle lights, and greenery. They’re also perfect for placing jack-o-lanterns or candy bowls on the night of Halloween. Shop our favorites here, here, and here.

image by molly culver

The Perfect Fall Wreath

The inspiration for Camille’s Halloween front porch decor started with this pretty natural wheat wreath. The neutral color and organic texture created the perfect focal piece for her front door. If you’re looking for a fun craft project, we suggest picking up some beautiful fall foliage from your local farmers market and creating your own. Here’s some tips for mastering the DIY wreath.

image by hannah haston

Fresh Flowers

Freshen up your front porch pots with bright flowers – sunflowers, dahlias, or orange marigolds are great picks for fall. Since they require lots of sunlight to flourish, make sure you choose a spot that gets maximum light throughout the day. Check out our tips for creating the perfect arrangement in our fall flower guide.

image by kristen kilpatrick

Light the Black Flame Candle

Flickering candlelight makes everything feel more special, and on Halloween, it adds a necessary spooky element too. We love the look of a mantle decked out with different types of candles in varying heights—like these black candelabras—to create an inviting glow that’s visible as soon as trick or treaters (or party animals) walk through the door.

pictured: Halloween Trick or Treat Wall HangingHalloween Potions BookHalloween Nocturne CandleLace Tealight HolderJar CandleHalloween Glass Pumpkin Candy Jar;  Trail Mix Candy Corn

image by finding light photography for apartment therapy

To make the outdoor and indoor decor cohesive, place different colored pumpkins in and around the fireplace. Then add tall candelabras on the mantle, surrounded by subtle greenery – such as eucalyptus or succulents. By decorating the fireplace and mantle, (or bookshelves and windowsills, if you don’t have a fireplace), your home will automatically feel anchored in fall feels, without going overboard.

image by kailo chic 

Dress Up Your Bottle Service

If I had to choose one thing to decorate inside my home (besides the fireplace mantle), it would be the bar cart. I mean, the life of the party needs its own costume too, right? Find our favorite bar carts here, here, and here.

Get some metallic spray paint from your local craft store and DIY mini skulls to place on your cart between bottles, or DIY a giant, moody floral backdrop. I also love these succulent skulls, and these if you’re looking to add a fun Mexican flare.

Once your cart is decked out in true Ol Hallow’s Eve style, it’s time to pour yourself one of our favorite Halloween cocktails.

image by Melanie Grizzel

For a decorative detail that’s just as effective—yet way spookier— than a lush flower arrangement, pack colorful herbs and foliage into glass decanters, and cluster them on your bar cart, side table, or any surface in your party space. Shop our favorites herehere and here.

image by Melanie Grizzel

image by Melanie Grizzel

For a floral display that’s truly to die for, create custom poison labels and adhere them to empty glass bottles and jars. Then fill the bottles with dead and dried up blooms… an arrangement that’s as easy to make as it is scary! We love these on a mantle, window sill, or spread out across a dining table with some surrounding greenery. Make your own with our free printables and DIY instructions here.

Tip: these also make amazing party favors for guests at roughly no cost at all. Pick your poison wisely…

image by craftberry bush

Small Spaces With Smaller Pumpkins 

The mini pumpkin is my ultimate goto when looking for an inexpensive and easy way to add small accents of Halloween spirit throughout my home. Stack them in a large bowl or glass vase for your coffee table, or place them on top or next to vintage books on a bookshelf.

We love imagining all the spooky ways we could style these glass domes. With their small shape and multiple color options, it’s easy to get creative and sprinkle mini pumpkins throughout your home or porch to add a fun pop of Fall color.

image by finding light photography for apartment therapy

image by craftberry bush

image by kate lesueur

Eat at Your Own Risk

A perfectly decorated table is the final touch that will tie all of your halloween decor together. Want to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve in the most chic, adult way possible? Look no further than this to-die-for black-on-black dinner party concept we did a couple years back for one of our Halloween parties. Even if you don’t love Halloween, there’s no denying the gorgeousness of this dark and moody scene. Each place setting was made up of a black dinner plateblack salad plate, a charcoal linen napkin, and mix and match flatware.

image by kate lesueur

One centerpiece can truly make your table. Arrange dark flowers and greenery in vintage apothecary bottles and scatter them down the length of your table. Then, add thrifted black books to the mix, and weave more greenery through it all to create a garland.

image by laura alexandra

To add an extra spooky touch, position wax-dipped roses at each place setting. We’ve got step-by-step instructions for this eerie yet easy DIY here.

image by liz marie

For a lighter and more natural table scape, we love arranging pumpkins, greenery, and fall florals in long wooden dough bowls to create the ultimate fall centerpiece. This is one of my favorite autumn decorating staples, as it fares well through Thanksgiving.

image by liz marie

Since dough bowls can be fairly hard to come by, placing fall produce and foliage, like heirloom pumpkins, gourds, wheat, and eucalyptus, in a shallow wooden crate or wire basket will also create a similar look.

image by molly culver

image by HomeyOhMy

If your table is on the smaller side and doesn’t allow for a large centerpiece with your place settings, position mini white pumpkins on top of a natural or macrame runner, and bring the table to life with pops of color in small floral arrangements. Shop more of our favorite table runners for this look here, here, and here.

To make it extra chic…Add strips of this copper tape down the sides of the pumpkins in between each groove. HomeyOhMy has step-by-step instructions for this easy and glam DIY here.

image by HomeyOhMy

Happy fall, y’all!

This post is brought to you by the OG of spooky-chic, Morticia Addams…if all else fails, do as Morticia would do. 

image by Firooz Zahedi/Orion Pictures/ZUMA Press

  1. 1
    Dana Sikand | October 6, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I guess it may be time to finally retire that plastic glow in the dark skeleton I bought in college! I love all of these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2
    Beth Bullard | October 8, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Hi, I love the phases of the moon wall hanging that is on the wall. Did you make that or buy it somewhere? I love all these ideas and honestly have been doing some of these for awhile (since the kids moved out 🙂 Thanks for styling it all a little bit more new-ish for me!

  3. 3
    Mandira Adhikari | October 9, 2018 at 12:51 am

    These are some excellent tips to decorate Halloween the off beat way!

  4. 4
    Eme | October 9, 2018 at 7:02 am

    I love these ideas for Halloween decor, I especially love the white pumpkins but they’re so hard to comedy in the UK. Thanks for sharing

    Eme x

  5. 5
    Natalie | October 12, 2018 at 8:27 am

    I feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t celebrate Halloween.

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