Costuming Your Space

Dressing your home for Halloween.

by Christopher Confero   


There are few greater feelings than the snap from summer to fall just as October arrives. The crisp, autumn breeze hits me just right as I step out my door onto Highland. Even better, October brings us to the most daring of holidays–Halloween. It’s a festivity that lets us step out of our day-to day selves and pretend, if just for one day, that we’re not all that we seem to be. Halloween costumes give many people the opportunity to bring out their creativity and dress themselves as wildly as they can imagine. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I was never gifted with the love of bewitching myself into a werewolf or dabbling in the art of the perfect zombie makeup. I am, however, quite skilled at costuming spaces. Although there is no flick of my magic wand, I can turn an empty field into a fairytale dream or an abandoned warehouse into a disco inferno, and I love to translate that ability to my home.

Even though you may be itching to start decorating for the winter holidays, give Halloween its due and spice up your home décor for the occasion. You can start simple with a spider web here and there. Packages of faux spider webbing are extremely inexpensive and can easily be found at your local party supply store or pharmacy. Take a pinch and start weaving it around your existing décor and the corners of framed art. Also, there’s no shame in leaving candy in the foyer or living room during October. You can convince yourself it’s for the unexpected trick-or-treaters that like to get an early start. I suggest a small grouping of glass apothecary jars with lids. This will let the color of your candies shine while keeping them fresh. Last, nothing adds a more mysterious tone than black candles. Grab several tapers, pillars or other less common shapes to add around the house. Make sure they get lit from time to time to start getting those nice wax drips down the side. Add skulls and pumpkins, and you’re ready to scare! The key to all of these ideas, though, is repetition and lots of it. Take inexpensive items and make them grand by using them en masse.

If you’re hosting a ghoulish gathering, be sure to consider your own attire. In the rush of pulling together final details before guests arrive, you may discover you have barely enough time to dress yourself–much less to become the Bride of Frankenstein. Instead, think of easy ways to convert a simple outfit into something more sinister. Guys, make sure you press a well-fitted, all black suit ahead of time. Pop in vampire fangs and you’re ready for a Bloody Mary. Ladies, wear a gorgeous evening gown, tease out that hair and go a bit darker with your makeup to be a witch without worry. Personally, I will stick to my skeleton tee and a pair of jeans, but of course, you should use your imagination as wildly as you can. Just make sure you don’t run out of time to prepare yourself and your home before the doorbell rings. Now that would be really scary.

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