Your Halloween Mantel 3 Ways: Modern, Glam Goth & Classic

updated May 3, 2019
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It’s officially October, which means it’s time to bust out the pumpkins, pull the skeletons out of your closets (literally, not figuratively, of course) and get festive. Whether you like to keep it simple with chic white pumpkins, prefer the glam goth look via black velvet and brass skulls, or display your classic jack-o-lanterns and not-so-scary bats with pride, we’ve got you covered with ideas no matter what your Halloween style.

It’s nice to imagine changing out your decor and styling new vignettes with the change of every season, but it’s not the most practical thing (both in terms of time or money). There are, however, some spaces in your home that give you a big style return on investment should you feel the itch to get festive, one of those being your fireplace mantel—the other, your front door. We cooked up three scenes in three Halloween styles (traditional, modern and glam goth) to hopefully inspire you to get creative this October. Oh, and if you don’t have a mantel, these same ideas would translate wonderfully to a console table, too!


Traditional Halloween styling is all about playing up the black and orange theme. Bring in small pumpkins of varying shapes (real or faux work great…or a combo of both like we did here) and round out the fall scene with classic spooky (but family-friendly) details like a mini skeleton, paper bat garland and easily recognizable sayings such as “boo” and “spooky!”

With so much happening up on the mantel, it’s nice to leave the space in front of your fireplace chic and simple. A stack of pumpkins is all you need to keep it interesting (but not overwhelming).

Our “traditional” take easily transitions into November to last all fall. Just pluck out the Halloween-specific items, and readjust your remaining elements (or just add more harvest foliage, gourds and pumpkins).

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There is no defined “modern” Halloween look, but this is our take, full of plenty of pale-hued pumpkins, punches of brass and rose gold, sage-y green eucalyptus, plenty of white and a little humor to boot.

The look is natural, delicate and a little unexpected. Fairytale, or “Cinderella”, pumpkins (the flat, lighter-colored varieties) are great for a modern setup as they’re less traditional than your standard round, orange variety. If you’re lucky enough to source the blueish green type, these go beautifully with tons of white pumpkins (you only need a few!). If not, pull out the paint brush and take nature into your own hands (that’s what we did here, with Folk Art Chalk paint in Sage).

And perhaps the piece de resistance of our modern mantel is the celestial moon garland (DIY link below to make one yourself!). Delicate flecks of gold pick up on the gilded pumpkins throughout, while the moon phases are a bit witchy.

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Glam Goth

The glam goth look is sexy, moody and, well…glam. Matte black (we used Ubermatte Ultra Matte Black Finish Spray) counterbalances shiny gold accents via pumpkins, skulls and an antique bird cage. If your fireplace is unlikely to be disturbed by curious pets or little hands, fill it with plenty of candles for an eerie seance vibe.

Break up all that black and gold with some deep red roses (feel free to use fresh flowers, but we opted for silk petals for a longer-lasting vignette). A mix of metal, velvet and natural pumpkins keeps things textured and interesting.

It’s easy to get carried away with all the luscious glam goth offerings available (there are a lot out there!), so we suggest sticking to just a few thematic elements; here, we went with crows, skulls (like that DIY plaster garland you can create in about an hour) and, of course, pumpkins. The branch wreath and black netting add to the creepy factor.

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*Styling by Hayley Sheldon in collaboration with Arlyn Hernandez; special thanks to Social House for sharing your beautiful cottage with us for this shoot.

Feeling festive? Don’t forget decking out your front door: