Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Haute Halloween!

Tonight I took my 2 year old son on a stroll through the neighborhood and stumbled on a disturbing scene... a house so over-the-top creepy (including a zombie baby) that I started to wonder where they hide their victims. 

This got me to thinking "what is the formula for a festive and inviting front porch for this spooky holiday?".  

Here are my thoughts...

DANCING LIGHTS - we all love the flickering lights of a jack-o-lantern, but there are many other creative ways to draw in trick-or-treaters or party guests in a way they will remember.  Candle light is an easy way to create mood and set the tone for a fun night... it's hard to go overboard in this category.  Create a pathway to your door with paper lanterns, carved pumpkins placed over a strand of Christmas bulbs or use a variety of pretty iron lanterns.
 Martha Stewart | Martha Stewart | Martha Stewart | Pottery Barn

PERSONAL TOUCHES - what a fantastic way to have a classy and fun look for halloween.  In lieu of a traditional jack-o-lantern, carve your families initials or a haunting message into your pumpkins.  I especially love the way these oversize pumpkins make a statement right at the entrance.  And the puddle of tiny pumpkins at the base are a great touch.  I will probably be borrowing this idea next year.  ;)
 Better Homes & Garden | Martha Stewart

WHIMSICAL DETAILS - I am obviously not a fan of scary, gory or otherwise grotesque decor for Halloween, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.  Take a playful approach to your decorations!  Make a totem pole out of your family's jack-o-lanterns.  Instead of traditional spooky faces, create a dreamy swirly face or other unexpected shapes that you can easily create from cookie cutters.  Or make imaginative monsters and ghouls out of varieties of autumn produce.

 Better Homes and Gardens | Martha Stewart | Martha Stewart | Martha Stewart | Better Homes and Gardens

PLAY DRESS UP - And I'm not talking about your costume!  Mixing materials is always a great way to create interest.  Contrast rustic fall textures like twigs, raffia and burlap with pumpkins adorned in gold or silver spray paint.  You can use stencils to make girly and playful designs on pumpkins and gourds. This is such an easy and inexpensive way to decorate and is so unique!  Let the boys revel in all the goopy glory of their jack-o-lanterns, while mom and the girls have a sparkling good time with this project!
...and lastly a reminder that it is a holiday, so take a break from worrying about the decorating to enjoy a hot cup of cider and mounds of candy with your family!