We might not make as big a deal out of it as our friends across the pond in America, but Halloween has been perpetually growing in stature in the U.K for years now, with high profile parties a regular occurrence amongst children, teenagers and adults alike. If you yourself are planning on biting the bullet and putting on a halloween party this year then you have two options; keep it simple (a few friends, some dodgy horror films and a couple of drinks) or go all out with a full-blown, American style halloween party.
You chose the latter right? If so (and if not, why not?), stick with us as we offer up a variety of options for decorating your home in a manner befitting the otherworldly fun of ‘all hallows eve’.
Set The Mood
The overall atmosphere of the house is just as crucial as the aesthetics. Instead of playing music, why not try playing a CD of creepy, atmospheric music (even halloween ‘themed’ music would suffice) and replacing your conventional bulbs with red coloured bulbs for that sharp, blood splattered effect? Smoke and fog machines are also deceptively cheap and can lend an incredibly authentic, ‘graveyard’ like fine mist to the evening that will really have your guests talking.
It might be something of a cliché, but then they say the old ones are always the best ones. Halloween should be the only day of the year where you’re home is supposed to look bad and with a spattering of cotton or cheesecloth cobwebs covering every nook and cranny, your home will soon look as if it hasn’t been lived in for years.
Again a bit of a cliché but an effective one. Pumpkin carving is one of the few halloween traditions that has always been popular in Britain and with good reason. It’s a fun activity that can involve the whole family in a fun and creative way (and the innards can be used to make a delicious pumpkin soup afterwards!). It encourages creativity in the young and old alike and (crucially) doesn’t need to be carved into the traditional grinning skull shape. In fact, whoever said it had to be a pumpkin? Creative halloween decorators have been known to use everything from squashes to marrows and courgettes as pumpkin alternatives.
Bats, ravens, spiders, if it has any kind of ‘horrific’ connotation then it’s fair game. Using actual stuffed animals might be taking it a little too far mind. Fake bats are always a good bet as they are especially cheap and can look remarkably effective when used en masse.
By which we mean fake blood (of course). There are numerous schools of thought when it comes to the red, gooey stuff. Some prefer home-made, whilst others prefer the more chemical ‘store bought’ compounds. For an incredibly realistic (albeit messy) and cost-effective approach though, try maple syrup, watered down slightly with a dark red food colouring. The result is particularly realistic in both looks and texture.
When decorating your windows, subtlety is your best friend, as overdoing it could look tacky. Try placing some ‘spooky’ cardboard cut-outs against the window behind a thin curtain and then backlight them with a strong, coloured lamp. The shadow cast against the window should be incredibly effective.
The door is by and large the most important decoration point of the entire house. Of course a simple poster or a dramatic spattering of removable red paint would be sufficient for a virginal outing, but when you’re more experienced, there are a wealth of options you could explore. Turn your driveway into a staged ‘scene’ from your favourite horror movie or plaster the entire front of your house with bloody foot and hand prints. When it comes to halloween decorations, there generally is no ‘wrong’ answer.
Of course it is possible to go too far with your first attempt. You want to scare people but you don’t want to scare them off. But on the dame hand, don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself (that’s half the fun). Most important of all though, remember to have fun!
About the author:
Written by Gozde who is on the Suite Company design team.