My Halloween Home: Decorating Themes vs. Concepts
Spooky season has always been my favorite. Dare I say it, but I think I love decorating for Halloween even more than Christmas! I wanted to switch things up a bit this year in taking a more tasteful, aesthetic approach to Halloween. This was actually a huge challenge for me, because there are so many different concepts and themes that I love. Skulls and skeletons, all things tarot and witchy, vintage gothic...I love it all. And this year, I think I somehow found a way to incorporate all of those without looking like Halloween threw up in my condo!
On September 1st, I pulled out the bins from the attic. A lot of my previous décor was from the dollar store, so I wanted to kick things up a notch this year. I knew I absolutely wanted to incorporate skeletons into my theme. That was a no brainer. If you've been following along for a while, I'm sure you know about Dead Fred and how I keep him around all year round.
But aside from him, I think I've developed some kind of skull obsession and I have no idea where it came from. Skull planters, skeleton yogis, skeleton air fresheners, clothing, even dish drying mats. It's now reached a point where friends and family members are giving me skeleton-themed gifts - blankets, clothing, décor. My boyfriend even brought me a few deer skulls that he found in the woods at work that I preserved and plan to paint. Just call me the bone collector (JK don't).
Anyway, I definitely wanted to incorporate these items into my theme, so I gave them a home on my black decorative shelves in my living room. In order to keep my shelf styling tastefully spooky, I stuck to a black and white color scheme. Actually, I prefer to call it "black and bone", since it's more of an ivory/beige. I finished it off by adding some greenery.
I also incorporated a few new items into the mix this year. I've been really drawn to crows lately, so I bought some fake ones on Amazon and hung them on my dining room lamp and hung them from the ceiling in front of my fireplace. My fireplace is the focal point of my home as soon as you walk in. The crows definitely add some visual interest to the space by drawing the eye up. You could also do hanging candles, bats or witch hats.
My favorite new element this year is NEON! I bought two neon signs on Amazon - one red bat, and a 'Til Death sign to tie together the death theme (sounds more morbid than it looks). To give this concept an element of romance, I'm pairing these signs with gold vintage mirrors and greenery to boost the overall aesthetic. I am SHOOK.
For my next theme, I wanted to add a sprinkle of witchcraft into the mix. I found a plastic cauldron at AtHome that was big enough to hold my Aria essential oil diffuser. I placed it in my fireplace, disguised the cord, turned it on and watched the green mist rise. I also added a witches broom and placed a few vintage potion bottles on my fireplace mantle. Nothing too outrageous. My inner green witch definitely came out though, and I decided to add a little bit of nature into the mix by including some tree branches and dried florals to my centerpiece. *chefs kiss*
Finally, we can't forget about taper candles. Not only are they part of every holiday theme, they're part of my everyday life. For Halloween, I swapped out all of my white candlesticks for black ones that I purchased on Amazon. I placed them on my fireplace mantle, and I'll be adding them to my dining room tablescape as well.
Now that I've broken down the individual elements, let's talk about how I tied them all together.
"In order to make all of these items work together seamlessly, I had to make sure they were all part of the same concept. A concept is more abstract, whereas a theme can get messy. In order to avoid looking tacky, stay within the same color palette and stick to similar textures."
A concept includes objects and design elements that remind you of fall or Halloween - like fall colors. Think of a concept as a "vibe". If Halloween or Fall is the vibe your going for, try to include and design elements that and strategically use color, space and textures to create a mood - fall colors, cozy blankets and sweater patterns, etc. If you're decorating based on a theme, ex. pumpkins, then pumpkins would be the dominant theme in your décor. Pumpkins here, pumpkins there, pumpkins everywhere! This year I was going for more moody, romantic spooky theme. So for me, this meant no more bright orange signs or sparkly pumpkins (at least not this year!)
"If you plan on incorporating several different themes like I did, it's important to be subtle."
If you're sticking to one theme, you can easily go hard on that theme. If you want to include a bunch of different elements that you love, sprinkle them in strategically without going overboard. That's all I have for you. I'll stop blabbing and let you scroll down to see the photos!