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by Leslie Segrete | on 10-22-2014
With Halloween around the corner, I thought I’d get festive—and by that, I don’t so much mean scary, as I do fun and, well, kind of spooky. Listen, when you have sensitive kids, ages two and six, you can’t be as startling on Halloween you might like to be! But I love holiday decorating none the less, so I wanted to do right by the season and my home. I jumped in with both feet.
As I dug through the boxes in my holiday closet (yes, I have a closet dedicated to All Things Seasonal), I emptied the decorations onto my dining table to survey the inventory, inspect how a year of storage treated them, and make sense of the new additions I picked up last year at sale time. This is when I started to feel a little overwhelmed with all my choices and knew that holiday decorating would soon turn into a total first-floor redo. Good thing I noticed before I was up to my eyeballs in glittery bats and pumpkins, with no place to put them but back in the box!
At 8.59 PM, I put the kids to bed and got to work. I took down every piece of art and décor that was screwed or nailed to the wall on my first floor, and then one by one, I carefully edited and re-hung them. First, my paintings and family photos; then I moved on to the mirrors. Once everything was in its new place, the do-over was refreshing and invigorating. It made my small home feel bigger and more airy. It’s amazing how a new perspective can make you really appreciate what was once forgotten. At that point, I was ready to take on my Halloween mantle.
My goal was to make the most of the handcrafted, vintage-inspired, papier-mâché theme I’d dreamed up. I used two skull candles on each end of the mantle for symmetry, spotted it with mini pumpkins, and hung a “Boo” banner across the front. I threw in a creepy bat, on one side only, for good measure. I fell in love, all over again, with the “Trick or Treat” bookends that are my absolute favorite and land in a different place in my house every year. I adore the spontaneity of mixing, matching, and moving. I think that’s where the true joy of decorating comes in.
The finishing touch: my gorgeous mirror, which I moved from my stairway to the wall above my Halloween mantle. It just clicked right into place, like it’s always belonged there. Charming, festive—just what I was going for. Skull candles aside, I have a feeling that most of these changes will last longer than the holiday.