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Host a killer Halloween party with these simple Halloween decorating ideas from Palm Beach-based interior design firm, Leslie Schlesinger Interiors.
Get your guests spooked out before they ever even enter your home. Start by decorating the trees in front of your home with ravens perched on bare tree branches. Don’t mess with the leaves that have fallen in your yard, they will add to the ambiance. Place pumpkins and gourds of varying sizes and colors beneath the trees and in your front porch or entrance. Spray paint life-sized silhouettes of people onto light-colored curtains (outline/trace the person onto the curtain first with a permanent marker) and hang the curtains on some of the windows that face the sides of your home that guests will see as they approach your home. As night falls, light a few candles in those rooms and it’ll look like you have ghosts peering out your windows, anticipating your guests’ arrival.
If you happen to have, or can find, an old dressmaker’s dummy or mannequin, drape it with tattered cheesecloth or sheets and place it in the entry way to give your guests a frightening greeting as they enter your home. Turn your living room into a haunted one by covering all of your upholstered furniture with plain white sheets à la an abandoned house.
Dim the lights in your home and instead use lots of candlelight, which will create sinister, dark shadows in your home’s corners. Create spine-chilling spider webs by tearing ragged cheesecloth or old white stockings. Hang vintage, yellowed thrift-store curtains on your windows. Pin inexpensive lace to a wall as a backdrop or use lace as an antiquated table cover. Cut true-to-size mice or rats from black construction and tape them to steps, baseboards or other spots where they will startle your guests.
Decorate your entry tables, side tables, bookshelves and fireplace mantle with some of the following items certain to unnerve your party goers:
- Photocopy 19th-century portraits of somber-faced individuals from history books, mount them on gray mats and set them in antique-looking frames.
- Use a flea-market candelabra or spray paint wedding cake columns black or grey and use them as tall candle holders for spooky tapered candles.
- Spray paint plastic party store skulls black for a super-eerie look or cover with a green, purple, orange or red glitter spray paint (whichever color matches your décor best) for a more playful theme.
- Fill old jars (save your used jelly, fruit or pickle jars; or use mason jars, apothecary jars or “potion” bottles) with food-colored water and twigs, fake bugs, worms, eyeballs, shrunken heads, or whatever fits your theme best.
- Decorate with twigs, leave them as-is or spray paint them black for a more ominous look, placing them in vases or leaning them against the walls.
- Turn an old birdcage into a spooky centerpiece by surrounding it with fake ravens and filling it with candles.
Create a vampire-inspired tablescape with a black velvet tablecloth, jars filled with red marbles, red and black dishes, blood red cloth napkins, drip candles on tall, antique black candleholders and mirrors placed underneath the candleholders and jars to reflect the eerie candlelight.
For more design ideas or information about Leslie Schlesinger Interiors, please visit www.leslieschlesingerinteriors.com.