We’re into October (the best month of the year, IMO) and I could not be more excited! For starters, it’s my birthday month (hi fellow Scorpios), and the weather has been SO pleasant. I love living in a state that has four distinct seasons, and I especially enjoy fall- and the things that come along with it. I always update my home decor based on the time of year and October is no different. I wanted to give you a peek at how I style my home for fall & Halloween. I’m also sharing tips for tastefully decorating this season… sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of fall decor that floods the market, but I’m here to help you narrow it down. Click through for more… there’s also a fun fall blog hop at the end of the post, so as a bonus- you can tour the homes of five of my friends!
As always, I like to begin tours in the entryway. Come on in through the front door! My creepy raven will greet you…
When it comes to Halloween and fall decor, I prefer to take the spooky oddities & curiosities route, as opposed to pumpkins galore and wooden signs. It just fits my personal aesthetic a bit better, and I already collect these vintage apothecary-looking goods, so why not put them out on display for a couple months? It just feels right. Ha!
I typically stick to styling the living room and outdoor entrances as opposed to redecorating my entire home. If we’re entertaining, I might scatter a few of the aforementioned curiosities into the kitchen and bathroom, but other than that- I like to keep it contained to the built-ins.
I don’t go too terribly crazy when decorating for Halloween or fall, but I do update the following:
- update the window flower boxes
- swap my summer succulents for mums at the front door
- restyle the shelves
- swap summer textiles for heavier cozy options
- trade summer scented candles for fall and winter
My dad used to collect vintage glassware and apothecary or liquor bottles he’d dig up from the ground. I always pull out my spooky decanters and old school pharmaceutical-looking glassware he gave me. It’s special because it reminds me of him and also fits the spooky, magical aesthetic I lean toward.
Emmett’s dad collects feathers and gives them to us occasionally. I used to have a huge vase filled with them. It’s a really unique collection, so I also like to scatter some of those into my shelf styling as well.
Some other items I tend to lean toward for fall and Halloween decor? You can never have too many cloches or candles! During my last summer dinner party, I kept the candles I burned down for this exact occasion… hence the creepy, almost-gone tapers. My guests sort of thought I was crazy for letting them get so melty, drippy, and messy, but I knew they’d come in handy for Halloween!
I also really enjoy vintage anatomical prints. Bonus points if you find Halloween related content… bats, bugs, spiders, skeletons, etc. I once found a giant textbook of them at a thrift store, but you can always just print them from the internet. Rather than switching out all of my frames, I take the lazy route and just tape the prints to the front of the glass. That way, when it’s time to transition to Christmas or regular decor, I just rip down the prints. It’s 100 times faster! See ya later Halloween.
I also enjoy thrifting for spooky vintage portraits for the Halloween season. The lady pictured above reminded me of a wicked witch! What do you think of her hat? I feel like it skews more toward Halloween and less toward the Kentucky Derby, that’s for certain.
You guys already know I’m a big fan of styling with matches (watch this video for proof). There’s no better time to dip your toe in the match-styling pool than the month of October! They add texture and are really functional for lighting your favorite fall candles.
T A S T E F U L D E C O R A T I N G T I P S
As promised, I told you I’d share my tips for keeping Halloween decor tasteful with the clutter that accompanies the season at pretty much every retailer this time of year. I have a few suggestions…
- keep it simple // Too much of something can sometimes be a bad thing… cobwebs, spiders, fall signs, etc. Keep it tasteful and make an impact with one fall sign or a a cluster of pumpkins. I always try to “curate” a vignette- meaning I mix a BUNCH of different objects to achieve the end result.
- fall doesn’t have to be literal // Your decor doesn’t have to scream “fall”… there are so many wooden signs that look tacky and spell things out very literally. It’s like decorating in a boho style- just because your aesthetic looks relaxed or gives a California beach vibe, doesn’t mean you should buy a pillow that reads “boho”, right? The same goes for fall. The pumpkins, mums, or creepy apothecary oddities will speak for themselves and represent the season. If you do like typographic art or wooden fall signs, that’s totally fine! Just keep it simple and opt for one really beautiful option instead of seven or eight.
- stick to themes or keywords // If you’re having trouble decorating or getting started, brainstorm keywords that come to mind. In my case when decorating for Halloween, I thought about the following words: magic, apothecary, pharmacy, taxidermy, anatomy, witchcraft, palmistry, etc. That usually helps to give you a jumping off point.
You can also think of using everyday objects in a different way during the halloween season… matches, magnifying glasses, candles, glassware, decanters, bookends, geodes, crystals, etc. It’s not necessary to go buy brand new decor- you could easily decorate on a budget!
As always, I shoot our space as we live with it on the day-to-day, so that means styling around Emmett’s surround sound, our speakers, and TV media. Did you notice that?
I actually think the spooky Halloween shelf styling hides the media equipment better than my regular decor and accessories. Probably because your eye wants to wander to the weird things first, as opposed to the technology?
Last week I shared my After Dark Home tour, and lots of you asked about the picture lights installed on the built-ins. They come in super handy and were a breeze to install since they’re battery operated! After a year, we haven’t had to replace the batteries and they’re still going strong.
Before we venture outside to the fall florals, I’ll give you one last shelfie… because I’m pretty into my Halloween handiwork this year.
I keep it simple outside when it comes to my front door. I’ll either do a potted plant OR a wreath. My small vignette typically isn’t large enough for both. This year I opted for potted mums (my favorite fall flower). They feel festive, right?
Outside the back door, I finally finished planting my window flower box for the season- check that out in this post. Again, I had to throw some mums in there…
If you’re wondering about sources, I’ll link everything below! Lots of my Halloween accessories are from Amazon, so there’s still plenty of time to put that free and fast Prime shipping to use! Click on the items below to shop.
As I previously mentioned, I also find a lot of vintage goods while out thrifting! I try to sources decor I can use year round- like decanters for my home bar, vases for floral arrangements, and other accessories that aren’t totally Halloween specific.
Now for the fun part… ready to tour five(!) more homes decorated for fall and Halloween? My friends, of totally different aesthetics, are opening their homes for tours as well. We all have really different decorating styles, which I think makes it more fun and provides the best inspiration. I’ll link the tours below, so you can hop from one to another.
Sara of Sincerely Sara D // Angela of Unexpected Elegance // Jess of Bright Green Door // Annie of DIY Decor Mom // Julie of Julie Blanner
PeggiOctober 2, 2018 at 5:01 am
Um. You can buy coyote skulls and a 3-pack of ravens on Amazon…good to know. As a person who does not decorate seasonally (I know, lame), I appreciated your take on the idea! You had me with magical and apothecary. I love that your dad collected glass; I remember digging for it as a kid when we would find small, old dumpsites in the country. The wacky vintage portraits and anatomical prints are fab too. And who can say no to mums? You definitely nailed tasteful creepy.
SarahOctober 2, 2018 at 8:16 am
Good to know right?! HA! I’m convinced Amazon has anything and everything… the good, the bad, the ugly, and the weird. I really only decorate for Halloween and Christmas, but I always swap textiles and cushions based on the season.
I also loved digging for glass with my dad as a kid! Maybe that’s why we’re both into vintage glassware? I grew up in the middle of nowhere and found some pretty crazy things- tons of arrowheads, artifacts, handmade hatchets, etc.
NatashaOctober 2, 2018 at 8:54 am
So cool! Thank you! Seasonal decor is something I “cheapen out’ since we always have other things that are more needed lol but Halloween , Thanksgiving, and Christmas are my favs so I always wish I would tastefully decorate our abode. I am with you on how to approach it – shelf styling and use of vintage objects and not to overdo it. Shelf styling is something I feel least confident of when it comes to decor. I know that it all comes to combining texture and height but simply don’t have enough objects to play with– Thank you for inspiration and the links!
SarahOctober 2, 2018 at 10:19 am
Thanks Natasha! Shelf styling is like therapy for me. ha! I just really enjoy it. I agree that having lots of random objects helps to make it easier… I like to lay everything out and mix and match until I’m happy with the composition.
Julie BlannerOctober 6, 2018 at 9:56 am
It’s kinda tricky to decorate for Halloween without lots of plastic pumpkins, but you did it so beautifully and tastefully! I love your home!
SarahOctober 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm
Thank you so much Julie! I also love the timeless way you decorated- so dreamy! xox