I love Halloween… it’s one of my favorite holidays! I love the spooky fog-filled evenings, the pumpkin-spiced flavors in the air, and the fact that I can watch Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family weekly! I love that the holiday brings out different sides of people and I adore when people get really into it and go to town with their costumes!

However, one of my pet peeves about Halloween is that nobody seems to create or sell elegant Halloween Décor! Most of the things you find are a little too cheesy for my liking and not something I’d really like to live with in my home. Last year, I decided to throw a haunted Halloween Dinner Party and, to set the scene, I created ghostly décor reminiscent of a deserted and forsaken vintage manor. It was actually extremely simple and I loved it! I currently have the same décor this year and it has made for some wonderfully eerie evenings – especially when I turn on the fog machine!

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Florals. This is by far my favorite way to get my house ready for Halloween – and it’s the easiest. There’s nothing creepier than dead flowers! In the weeks leading up to Halloween I keep all my flowers instead of throwing them out (just dry them off and keep them in a dry place) – then I arrange them in vintage vases (dead leaves and all!) to create a haunted, abandoned feeling. If you haven’t thought ahead, just throw some whole fresh flowers in the oven (on 300° for about 10 minutes) and they’ll dry out and lose their color in no time. Also, sprinkle some of the dead leaves around the table to add to the dilapidated feel!

Color. I don’t go for the traditional black & orange décor but, instead, opt for gold and silver metallics, crystal candlesticks, black napkins and splashes of red. I keep the main décor neutral – gold and glass chargers, black cloth, a gold skull, white pumpkins – and then tie the napkins with bright red tassels and light dripping red candles. The whole feeling is extremely creepy but still elegant!

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Accessories. Throw some Halloween décor in there too – it’s a fun holiday after all! I add in things I find terrifying (ravens on the table, anyone?) and traditional items with a twist – like the oversized gold skull I found at the Downtown Mart in LA. If you have a chandelier or light fixture, use it to hang tiny skulls or spiderwebs! I also love throwing a bit of rustic witchy décor in too – I hollow out apples and use them as tea light holders. Very All Hallow’s Eve!

Atmosphere. There are some easy and extremely simple ways to make your table ghoulish and frightening. Add a bit of red food coloring to the water in your vase, drip fake blood on fresh white roses, spread fake cobwebs all over the table, and dim the lights! I also love serving my drinks in festive vehicles - Whiskey Apple Cider in little apothecary jars with corks, Vodka Cranberry Shots in fake syringes, etc! All of those only take a few minutes and they make a huge difference.

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Menu. This is the part I love! Every year I make a three-course ghoulish dinner for my friends and feature bone-chilling food (or at least food with bone-chilling names haha!) – so, get creative! I print my menus in scary fonts on parchment paper, just to add to the effect.  I’m also famous for my Cheese Graveyards, which I have a lot of fun with every year! Check some out here.

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Happy Halloween!