Preparing your Home for Halloween 2021

Quick and easy Halloween themes for a spooky yet stylish aesthetic.

A table of pumpkins in a living room

The spooky season is upon us and already you can see the odd cotton wool ghost and orange and black bunting adorning windows through residential neighbourhoods. Halloween, long thought of as just an occasion for Americans, is now a mainstream holiday in the UK too and a great excuse to dress up your home with festive décor. 
Halloween doesn’t need to be tacky and as with Christmas, there’s lots of ways to decorate your home in tasteful and well curated ways that allow you to celebrate the season without compromising on your interior design standards. The following Halloween themes can be followed easily and cheaply for a spooky yet stylish aesthetic.
A bedroom decorated for Halloween

Darken your furnishings

Not everything needs to be specifically spookily themed to lend itself to an autumnal Halloween aesthetic. Replacing cushion covers or throws for black or orange ones through October gives a subtle update to any room without looking too cliched or cheesy. For rooms with colour pop designs, replacing the bold and bright usual hues with something darker adds a new feel for the spooky season.

Introduce metallics

Metallic paint can give any ordinary run-of-the-mill ornament or item a premium feel. If you’re not into the plastic-y orange pumpkin ornaments or stringy spiderwebs you can find at budget shops, buy them anyway – and spray them with gold, silver, bronze or rose gold paint. Warm toned metallics are trendy in interior design right now and can be toned down with a matte finishing paint to really make items stand out.

Dress your existing ornaments

You don’t need to immediately clear your shelves and replace your ornaments with bats and ghosts the second October rolls around but can instead dress what you already have to suit the season. Drape black or lace fabric over busts, vases or pots, place faux spider webbing strategically around nooks and crannies and balance tiny black spiders on delicate items.

Get anatomical

Anatomical and medical art and accessories are timeless spooky favourites and make for super easy décor. Printed diagrams of internal organs, skulls or bodies display well as a simple art swap and don’t need reams of coloured ink to look effective. Black and white line drawings look antiquated and terrifying in equal measure – consider the odd fake blood splat for optimum effect!

Shop second-hand

Shopping for retro details through junkyards, antique stores, charity shops and online can uncover some fantastic vintage Halloween gems. Vintage decorations tend to be spookier and often times more graphic than items you can find in shops today. Old americana makes for great dated aesthetics and accessories.
A dining room dressed for Halloween

Don’t stick to spooky

October is Halloween month, yes, but it also signifies the start of autumn. While autumnal décor perhaps isn’t as popular here in the UK as it is in this US (mainly because they decorate in advance of Thanskgiving), it can still be done. Replacing soft furnishings and ornaments with sophisticated earthy tones and introducing hygge vibes to the home makes everything feel a little cosier and can be easily dressed up a little to feel more all Hallows-esque. Using candles instead of low lighting on dark evenings adds to the cosy-yet-haunting feel and hey, why not use Halloween as an excuse to do the dusting a little less? The odd speck of the white stuff is scary, after all!

Break the rules with pastels

Halloween décor has traditionally always been orange and black but there’s now enough items available easily to mix it up a little. If you have little ones around, or just don’t think the scary season is really your thing, why not abandon the standard colour construct and broaden things out a little bit? Pastel pink ghosts, lavender spiders and white pumpkins are much cuter than their regular counterparts and still reflect the occasion – just in your own unique way. Etsy reports a 123% increase in searches year-on-year for pastel coloured Halloween items, so you won’t be the only person breaking with tradition. 

Stay sustainable with ethical items

While you can now find Halloween décor on the shelves of every supermarket, budget store and homeware shop, these items are often cheaply made and designed to be used once then confined to landfill. Instead of making purchases of the same low quality decorations and accessories year on year, invest a little more into something made with love and care so that it can be recycled and used again. Etsy is a brilliant marketplace for handmade items by small businesses and specialist craftspeople, and eBay plays home to lots of wannabe business owners. What’s more, you can even get crafty yourself and make your own décor; just head down to HobbyCraft or your local haberdashery store and seek out inspiration.
A very dark and natural decorated living area

If you’re not up for trick or treaters… just say so

Trick and treating is now fairly mainstream in the UK, and although many parents here still allow their children to knock on doors they don’t know, still a great deal do. The traditional signal for a home willing to answer the door to those knocking is a lit pumpkin either glowing outside or visible to the outside from a window. However, even if you don’t have this in place but do have other Halloween decorations up, trick or treaters would be forgiven for thinking you’d be ready and waiting for them. Many local authorities now offer printable signs stating that you’re not accepting of trick or treaters but if yours doesn’t, don’t worry – there’s plenty of festive but firm options online to be placed on your front door to avoid unwanted disturbances. You can still join in all the spooky fun, just without the need to answer the doorbell late at night!
Halloween is a fun and festive time of year, and as its popularity grows in the UK, homeowners are shaping their own traditions around the season. Don’t be held back by conservative expectations of plastic-y orange and black: instead, get creative and decorate your home the way you like best. Happy Halloween!

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