halloween

10 Spooky and Sophisticated Halloween Decorations Designers Actually Put Up in Their Homes

published Oct 7, 2020
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As we’ve seen many times on Apartment Therapy, Halloween decor can look sophisticated, cool, and so spookily subtle you might just want to keep it up all year ’round (no judgment there). “Decorating for Halloween can absolutely be done in a non-gaudy way,” says designer Melissa Warner Rothblum of Massucco Warner. “Like any holiday, going overboard can be too much of a good thing, but with the right color palette and accessories, you can keep things festive yet classy.”

Curious what kinds of Halloween decor items design tastemakers say are equal parts stylish and spooky? I reached out to some interior designer friends for their recommendations, and these 10 items are what the pros are decorating their own homes with this year. If you want to go all out and embrace the gory, we fully support it, but the best thing about these pieces is that many of them can be used well beyond October, so you’ll get more bang—and boos!—for your buck.

1. Festive Linens

For designer Emma Beryl, the best Halloween accessories are definitely the ones that you can continue to use after the fall season. “For example, the Ginza Napkins in Paris Black from the Neon Lace Company could be styled with dark roses, drippy wax taper candles, and vintage silverware to appear like a beautiful Halloween display,” says Beryl. “In reality though, I would use these fun napkins year-round as a beautiful accent to my everyday dinner table.”

Buy: Ginza Napkin in Paris Black, $24.00 from Neon Lace Company

2. Matte Black Pumpkin

To ensure your Halloween decor reads sleek and not scary, designer Isabel Ladd suggests looking for items that symbolize the holiday in fresh, neutral colors and textures. “Matte black or plaster white decorative pumpkins are a stylish alternative to traditional jack-o-lanterns, especially when painted in an unexpected finish,” she says.

Buy: Blair Pumpkin, Starting at $79.00 $67.15 from Ballard Designs

3. Festive Doormat

To greet anyone passing by your door with a chic, simple Halloween message, Rothblum recommends laying a tongue-in-cheek doormat at your front entry. “A festive doormat is not only fun for trick-or-treaters, but it’s also the easiest decoration of all—no fuss required!” she says. Stick to the standard tan or choose from one of 20 different painted colors.

Buy: Hey, Boo Custom Halloween Doormat, $42.99 from Etsy

Credit: CB2

4. Black Marble Candlestick

For an elegant (and easy-to-assemble) Halloween-inspired decor setup, designer Carneil Griffin of Griffin Direction Interiors suggests purchasing a sleek but mysteriously shaped candlestick holder. “Insert an orange tapered candle for an effortlessly luxe-looking Halloween look,” he says. The great thing about this buy is you can use it year-round. Simply sub in a non-orange candle and you’re good to glow on any given night.

Buy: Mood Lighting Black Candlestick, $99.95 from CB2

Credit: Pottery Barn

5. Spooky Serving Bowl

If you’re searching for a functional but Halloween-friendly way to liven up your dinner spread, designer Kate Taylor says to consider a spooky punch bowl. “This skeleton hand serving bowl gives a nod to classic Halloween decor but won’t overwhelm a space,” she says. Even if you’re not hosting your usual Halloween party this year, you can use this for serving soup at home or as a family candy bowl.

Buy: Skeleton Hand Punch Bowl with Ladle, $99.50 $79.50 from Pottery Barn

Credit: Amazon

6. Amber Apothecary Jars

Designer Marie Flanigan says the fastest way to take your Halloween decor from eek to chic is by sticking to a sophisticated color palette. “Although orange and black make for a traditional combination, consider layering shades of black and grey with deep plum, wine, and amber hues instead for a killer look,” she says. “Sprinkle your Halloween table or bookshelves with amber apothecary jars in varying sizes for an elevated but spooky vibe.”

Buy: Serene Spaces Apothecary Jars, $22.00/Set of 6 from Amazon

7. Drippy Candles

To create some All Hallow’s Eve-inspired visual interest in a room that won’t look super flashy, designer Saifan Shmerer of Hyphen & Co. recommends decorating with old-school tapers. “I love the look of multiple tapered beeswax candles set at different heights,” she says. “They provide a warm, amber glow and feel a bit spooky when allowed to drip freely.”

Buy: Hand-Dipped Beeswax Tapers, $29.00 from Alysia Mazzella

Credit: Wayfair

8. Creepy Skull

Designer John McClain says a stylish but scary-looking skull can make a big impact on a table. “Cluster a few crystal skulls around the base of a black tapered candle and voila: you’ve got a spooky tablescape to scream for,” he says. This Wayfair glass style comes in four colors, so you can mix it up or go monochromatic.

Buy: Brose Translucent Witching Hour Gazing Skull Miniature Figurine, $20.99 from Wayfair

Credit: Etsy

9. Faux Crows 

Designer Becky Shea says a few faux crows can go a long way when stylishly decorating your home for Halloween. “I love these crows for shelves, tables, and integrated into an outdoor Halloween-scape,” she says. “They’re subtle but cool and give you just enough ‘spook’ without looking completely cheesy. Mix these guys into your pre-existing shelfie game and you’ve got yourself a holiday treat!”

Buy: Halloween Artificial Crow, $11.99 $10.79 from Michaels

Credit: Amazon

10. Black Butterfly Wall Decals

If you thought bats were the only winged creatures capable of evoking Halloween spirit, designer Anna Kroesser of Kroesser + Strat says you’d be mistaken. “We just bought these simple black 3D butterfly decals for our home and are so excited,” she says. “There are bat ones out there, too. Run them across your front door or where two walls meet in the house so it looks like they are flying about.”

Buy: Outus 3D Butterfly Wall Stickers, $12.59 from Amazon