Here’s How To Decorate for Halloween Like a Grown Up, Thanks to Emily Henderson

published Sep 5, 2019
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Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and while the official start of fall is still weeks away, autumn lovers like me are eagerly awaiting the first crisp morning breeze and the return of long sleeves, all while sipping on something pumpkin spice flavored. If your mind is already wandering to fall decor and even Halloween, well, who’s to blame you?

Definitely not Emily Henderson, Target’s Home Style Expert. Though it’s not always easy to mesh your everyday decor with bright orange pumpkins and glossy black cauldrons. Thankfully, we chatted with the designer and stylist over email about how she keeps seasonal additions looking intentional and cohesive, among other fun fall pursuits.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Apartment Therapy: Any favorite fall/Halloween activities you’re looking forward to?

Emily Henderson: First off, for anyone who knows me, I’m VERY excited that what I’ve coined as “Souptember,” is finally here. But aside from my crazy soup obsession, I love decorating with the kids. It honestly gets more fun every year as they grow older because they want to and can be more involved.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

AT: Do you switch up Halloween decor each year or keep it the same?

EH: Overall, I like to keep the same foundational and basic decor items year over year, like pumpkins and wall bats, but mix in a few new pieces to add a layer of excitement. This season, I am in love with these knit houndstooth and plaid pumpkins. They are super affordable and work perfectly either styled on a mantel or on a dining room table.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

AT: Halloween decor can be cheesy—any tips on avoiding looking like a haunted house?

EH: It’s undeniable that orange is just a part of Halloween decor, but to avoid keeping things cheesy, stick with a neutral color palette and add in lots of texture and pops of orange and seasonal touches. Target has a ton of neutral yet festive items this year, like these adorable woven pumpkinsspooky harvest broomblack candlesticks and beautiful serving bowls that would make such a gorgeous tablescape.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

AT: What one space/area has the highest impact if you don’t want to/can’t go all out?

EH: If you’re limited on space, focus on the room you are typically in the most. This way, you get to enjoy your decor as much as possible before it’s time for the next holiday. For example, I typically spend the majority of time with my family in the living room, so I refreshed the room for the season by incorporating this autumnal rug and festive wreath, and also added in seasonal touches such as these papier-mache pumpkins and faux gourds.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

AT: Any tips for folks who don’t have a lot of storage to devote to holiday decor but still want to be festive?

EH: Storage is definitely an issue if you want to decorate for every holiday. If you’re limited on space, go for small accents like wall batsspiderwebs and switch out non-festive candles for black ones. So easy! You can also conceal holiday decor by using a variety of bins and baskets. Personally, I love these bins from Made By Design that slide right under the bed and have so much storage space.

Credit: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Another easy DIY decorating tip—use nature! Don’t be afraid to go outside, grab some fallen, leafless branches and spray paint them black. Once they have dried, style them in a seasonal vase. It’s super affordable and you have another high impact spooky decor moment that you don’t have to store for a year!

The fall collections launch in Target stores and online at target.com on September 22.