No-Stress Decorating Ideas for Halloween and Beyond

When it comes to decorating a home for Halloween, there’s one thing to keep in mind: Stay true to your design style. Just because it’s a one-day-a-year celebration doesn’t mean you have to drop your love of fresh flowers or certain colors that aren’t typically associated with the holiday.

“Halloween is one of the most creative holidays, and a lot of the décor could be used beyond the holiday -- even for Thanksgiving,” says New York City-based interior designer Robin Baron. When decorating, “think about who you are, what you gravitate to, your style and what your home looks like. It has to resonate with you.”

Try these easy, last-minute fall decorating ideas for both inside and outside the home:

Use pumpkins in different sizes and colors. For a modern-day Halloween, add a level of interest by looking for both white and the standard orange pumpkins in varied sizes. If you’re arranging table settings for a celebratory dinner, Baron suggests using one pumpkin per place setting and creating a slit in each one to insert a namecard for the guest. Add even more holiday flare by making napkin holders out of branches, she says.

Go natural. “One thing I love about this time of year is that it is fantastic to create things with organic produce,” says Baron. Aside from pumpkins, she suggests items such as apples, artichokes, gourds and berry branches, or even fresh green leaves on stalks. Use what you find to create vignettes in an entryway or as a table centerpiece that truly reflect the season. Mix in orange flowers in clear, orange or green vases for a special touch.

Don’t forget about the outdoors. Once you’ve decorated inside, take it outside your home too. For your porch or driveway, line battery-operated ghost lanterns or candles leading the way. Place large pumpkins on the ground, fill planters with flowers such as mums and hang cobwebs on the door to create a fun setting. “You could even create a wreath using mini-pumpkins for your door,” Baron says. Most importantly, Baron warns not to forget your windows. “Put candles in the windows,” she says. “They are a fantastic place to set the tone for the outside of your home.”

It’s fine to be cheesy.
Have fun with it! Make a witch’s hat part of your arrangement for a table, entryway or mantel. Give your pumpkins huge eyes and fun, unique mouths. Buy those stretchable spider webs and place them on top of a light fixture or a table. Find cute containers or a big basket for candy, which guests can enjoy well beyond Halloween, Baron says.

Get the kids involved. “If you have kids, the most important thing you can do is keep them involved,” Baron says. One easy idea: Let your little ones stencil images of ghosts on colored paper, cut them out, and place them around the house.