halloween

This Halloween-Ready Houston Home Has an Incredible DIY Headless Horseman Mural in the Dining Room You’ve Got to See

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Name: Laura Lee and my 8-year-old terrier poodle mix (“toodle”), Toby
Location: Houston, Texas
Type of home: Townhouse
Size: 2400 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

As a huge fan of Halloween and spooky season, I always try to feature Halloween house tours, where other holiday lovers share how they celebrate using home decor during the season (and sometimes year round!). This year, Vincent Maddox, who is Halloween Herbivore on Instagram, gave a tour of his haunting Oakland rental; Lisa Lytle-Abridello showed off her Moonlit Manor; and Rachel Edmonds showed off her dark home, which, while not specifically Halloween-themed, definitely still captures the spirit of the season.

Below, last year’s house call of Halloween enthusiast Laura Lee‘s Houston home has been updated with some fresh photos of her home decor this year. Along with decorating her own home with Halloween decor, Laura also makes spooky art under the name Halloween Hill Studio, and sells her work on Etsy, Society6, and more. – Adrienne

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I’m an artist with a background as a museum curator and an art advisor, so my home is filled with art—my art, friends’ art, thrift store art, etc. It’s important to me to create an atmosphere that’s creative, cozy, and lived-in, yet filled with antiques and unique pieces that I love or that mean something to me. With Halloween decorating, I always want to convey a feeling of atmosphere, whether that is dark and enchanting (like my Halloween office you toured before), or rustic and autumnal like this year’s living room; the space should feel cozy and be a place you love to exist in.

As we’ve all discovered to some degree living through the insanity of 2020, this year has been a lot about inner reflection and growth and for me personally, being more true to myself as a decorator. I love Halloween, and I love weird stuff. This year I decided to hand paint an original headless horseman mural in my dining room. I used acrylic paint, and it took me about 10 days start to finish. But I love it! And every time I see it I smile. And that’s how our houses should be even if they’re weird or what what we like is weird. Not everyone will want a headless horseman galloping across their dining room walls, but for me it’s perfect. Bring on the weird—and make it beautiful at the same time.

I definitely identify as an artist and I love unusual, unique pieces. I like to combine them in unexpected ways. I inherited a lot of nice antiques from my grandparents, and it’s fun to combine those with bits of modern art and crazy patterns. I love playing with texture and pattern even if it looks bonkers. I say if you like it, do it! Even if other people don’t “get” it. The only one who has to “get it” is you.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Boho goth chic

What is your favorite room and why? This year it’s probably my living room. I strung faux fall leaves on jute twine and suspended them from the ceiling with thumb tacks—and it has such a cool autumn vibe. This worked so well with my office last year, I decided to do it again but cover the whole living room ceiling. You really feel like you’re lounging under a heavenly fall canopy. Living in Houston, we don’t have seasons, so creating a sense of autumn inside my home is so important. It needs to feel like Halloween, and the hanging leaves combined with the woodcut fabric really creates the perfect backdrop for my Halloween decor. My second favorite room is my dining room, cause I just love the mural.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last Halloween piece I bought for my home, is the large mechanical Ferris wheel from Target. It was so cool, it had to join the collection.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Go for whatever crazy idea you have, and don’t talk yourself out of it. Even if it’s a lot of work and even if you don’t know if you’ll like it. Just try it, cause you may just love it. I almost didn’t try painting my mural, but I’m so glad I did it because I love it. And now I want to paint more murals—you won’t know if you don’t try.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.