Our creative director Orlando Soria has loved Halloween ever since he was just a kid, but now as an adult, he's upped the décor from simple jack-o-lanterns and chintzy plastic to sophisticated (but still spooky) home accents. Read his tips... if you dare.
I love Halloween, always have. When I was in grammar school, I helped out with the school’s haunted house and decorating my family’s front porch for trick-or-treaters. But I’ve moved on from decorating my elementary school gymnasium like a haunted house to decorating my own home, hopefully in a slightly less terrifying manner. I’m a big fan of pumpkin carving as an excuse to get together with a group of friends to drink Halloween-themed cocktails and listen to spooky music. So this year I’ve decorated my home, Orcondo, from head to toe for the holiday.
Many people avoid Halloween décor, and for good reason. For the most part, decorations for this time of year are cheesy and poorly made, and honestly that scares me more than the Sanderson sisters. But there are some gems out there, and with a little creativity, you can create a Halloweenscape that doesn’t feel like it came from the sale section of a drug store. Follow along as I show you how!
The entryway of your home is the first chance to surprise (or perhaps scare is a better word?) your guests. For a front door treat (not trick), I repurposed the wreath I made for last year’s Christmas by painting it black. Black pinecones are one of my favorite decor elements for autumnal holidays and they’re pretty easy to make. Just take pinecones you’ve gathered or purchased and spray them (from all angles) with matte black spray paint.
Once you get past the door, you’ll see that I love branches. I grew up in an area with beautiful fall foliage, and I miss seeing it every year. To make up for the deprivation I feel by living in Los Angeles, where we have little fall color and the temperature is currently hovering around 90 (90!), I head to the flower market to purchase colorful branches to scatter around the house. Branches are an excellent autumnal décor addition, because they don’t need fresh water, and they last forever. Most branches you’ll find at craft and floral stores have been treated with glycerine and will stay vibrant and colorful forever. IF ONLY THEY COULD DIP HUMANS IN YOUTH-PRESERVING GLYCERINE, RIGHT? (Cough, that’s not creepy at all?)
When it comes to accents, you can’t go wrong with pumpkins… they’re pretty much essential. However, I have graduated far beyond goofy faces on my jack-o-lanterns. This year, I discovered the fun of using a power drill to carve pumpkins. It’s a super simple trick and so much faster than using a knife. And when you light the candle inside it looks like a bunch of little stars shining through.
I also incorporated some Day of the Dead standouts. As I said earlier, you’ve probably got good reason to be wary of mainstream halloween decorations, a lot of them are garbage. But recently, the popularity of this gorgeous Mexican holiday has skyrocketed, and décor associated with that holiday tends to be way more sophisticated than your typical Halloween 99-cent-store piece.
While creating a sophisticated holiday scape is tons of fun, it’s also important to make sure you’re keeping it fun. My mom taught me this super cute DIY ghosty dude, and he adds the perfect amount of frivolity to my festive décor.
I even like to get festive with serving ware. For my pumpkin carving party, I picked up this cute pumpkin-shaped drink dispenser and these adorable owl mugs. When it came to the actual table, I scattered an array of white and pale green gourds in varying sizes that I found at Trader Joe’s. Creating a tablescape that is festive without being contrived is much easier when you avoid the traditional black and orange Halloween color scheme.
Above all, when it comes to adulting on Halloween, a coherent color scheme is EVERYTHING. Swapping out cool-toned throws and pillows for warmer toned versions gives your home a cozy, autumnal vibe. I normally have indigo and navy all over my living room, but for my fall décor I switched out pillow covers and throws for warmer options. It’s a way of hinting that the season has changed without screaming it in peoples’ faces.
See even more inspo in the slideshow!
P.S. A ghost has been hovering behind you as you read this whole post! RUN!