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Halloween Vignettes

As the More is More Mom, I am all about … more Halloween vignettes! Nothing screams “Warm and Happy Home” more than having attended to all of the little decorating details. Halloween is the official kickoff to the holiday season and why not celebrate in style? As an interior designer, I can tell you that the best thing about decorating your home is that it doesn’t have to be so serious, it’s meant to be fun and make you feel good (and, by the way, I feel great!).

I like to set the tone by adding the flavor of the season to the front of our home. I’m not talking full-blown haunted house, I’m merely suggesting a few artfully arranged items to let the little ones know they can expect more treats than tricks. To start, I hang fall foliage to frame my front door, and a leaf garland, pumpkins on the vine, and my skulls strung on a line of twine that spells out “SPOOKY”. To the left of my front door, I have a brown iron and metal cone-shaped container where I display seasonal arrangements. This is so simple! Hobby Lobby has a beautiful silk floral department and if you watch for the weekly flyer in your Sunday newspaper, you’ll know when they are marked 50 percent off, making seasonal decorating more affordable. Gather greenery, stems of berries, and great big statement flowers in autumnal colors to make a quick and lovely bouquet. Don’t forget a few pheasant feathers for elegant whimsy. It’s a small detail that adds interest, color and dimension.

The addition of a few pots of mums (I’m a fan of the purple mums. I tend to be drawn to summer flowers in shades of pink, so the purple mums are a gentle compliment to any flowers that are hanging on until the first frost) and wonderful warty pumpkins help to frame the front door. While it might not be pretty, I love to hang a long skeleton from the rafters, left swaying in the breeze  …

We have a bench and side table on our front stoop. I like to swap out the cushions with the change of season. For the fall, I have a light brown bench cushion with a creamy lattice design and striped pillows in tones of greens, golds, and reds. On the side table I display a collection of lanterns that shed just the right amount of spooky, flickering illumination.

Your foyer is a fantastic place to great your guests with your playful side. I drape an orange tasseled scarf on top of my hall chest, and always display the ceramic pumpkin with our last name carved into the jack-o’-lantern’s smile, atop a pedestal, right in the middle! I place a few beloved decorative figurines; a witch, a scarecrow, and a skeleton. What makes them work is that they are three different sizes and I stagger their placement for a pleasing arrangement. This year, I’ve decided to live on the edge and take my chances by displaying a pair of witches legs tucked inside the drawers. They stick out like the wicked witches legs when Dorothy’s house landed on her in Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz. You may ask why this simple, small detail might be risky. Well, we happen to live with the world’s oldest toddler and Wrigley tends to get into everything, though, so far, so good.

A few other details complete the look. I wrap two large snakes around my banister, like sinister Christmas garland. I place a mummy statue, next to my hall bench, which is draped in orange and black marabou feathers. On top of the bench, I added a needlepoint pumpkin pillow and a reversible pillow that says “Good Witch” on one side and “Bad Witch” on the other. Naturally, it’s so much more fun to be the “Bad Witch”!

Throughout the rest of our home I place lively and unexpected decorations to capture the spirit of Halloween.

In our powder room, I carved out space for my miniature apothecary jars filled with skulls and spiders. Arrangements are always more appealing when displayed in odd numbers. To balance the two glass jars, I showcased a small, black picture frame with spiders and the spooky sentiment … Scream. I always place something decorative and silly at the porthole-sized window. This year I have three trick-or-treat figurines on display. They are really caricatures of Frankenstein, a witch, and Dracula.

Think about all of your nooks and crannies as opportunities to create warm memories. On the shelf over my cook top in my kitchen, I swapped out a rooster for a smartly dressed Halloween kitty cat and added a giant hairy spider and a mouse running across the ledge. Eek!

This time of year, my domed cake plate can always be found with colorful and tasty confections. Next to it, in the corner, I always showcase Amanda’s pumpkin. While Nick’s pumpkin rests atop a plant stand to add Halloween style next to our kitchen table.

Wrigley, however, he is the crown prince. His pumpkin has a special place of honor on the hearth in our family room. That way, on the rarest of opportunities when we relax and catch up on the TV programs that we’ve DVRed, we can enjoy looking at it like we enjoy our Christmas tree.

More beloved decorations, more attending to the little details, more feeling good and more happy memories …

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