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How to Create Elegant Halloween Entertaining Tablescape & Home Decor ~ Redux

Halloween Tablescape Update

Photo Oct 26, 6 39 33 PM.jpg
Spooky Halloween Tablescape Original Creation 

This Season’s Updated Look 

Everything design can be updated, refreshed and given a spark of a new look.  In that spirit – well, perhaps a bit of a ghostly spirit! I turned this year’s tablescape design around a bit to achieve a slightly new charm.  I built off of last year’s Halloween table design and the desire to celebrate the spooky season with a bit more refined, glamorous tablescape and hallway greeting than the usual gourds and orange pumpkins.

I was looking for a refined “adult” version of happy trick or treat.

I wanted it to be more about the Art of Tablescapes for this most favorite holiday.
(Did you know that, in fact, Halloween is now only second to Christmas in terms of popularity?)

Given that Halloween has, at its core, dressing up in costumes, it only seems apropos to “dress up the table and noteworthy home spaces with some inspired, seasonal masquerade.

Especially when the harvest season screams out for luncheon, dinner, and cocktail parties to celebrate the abundance we enjoy and share this time of year.

So let’s delight in dressing up.

I began my Halloween tablescape and home decor compositions as I always do — by dreaming a bit.

And by answering the question: “What story do I want to tell?”

Tablescapes, of course, are more than mere centerpieces. The overall tablescape look comprises the entire table, amplifying an event or holiday or your guests — with your personal style, color, and dimension.

It tells your story; your fantasy… While making your guests feel welcome and relaxed.

The visual stimulation of a compelling composition sparks fun and conversation.

Good tablescapes create a sense of balance, harmony and personal style.

For this Halloween tablescape look, I was drawn to artful skeletons – more as sculptural objects.

I went for the skulls, especially… Skulls and skeletons can be pensive (Rodin?!) or rather sweet – even humorous.

In terms of color, witchy black was the spooky shoe-in, right? Dark, mysterious – and sophisticated.

To harmonize, I thought the color gold and gold accent pieces would add that touch of elegance, along with the basic black.

I use the tiny white (battery operated) string lights for most every tablescape. The evening twinkle is frothy and romantic – and can stand up to our cityscape view that sparkles out on the horizon – seemingly within reach.

And I always create a trompe l’oeil or a kind of “vehicle” that allows me to hide the battery pack for the two light strands. After all, we’re creating illusion..

For the last tablescape display, I used the decorative blue box designed to look like a grill – that the wood fish came in which styled perfectly with the fish and beach composition – complete with live Beta fishing fish in their own four, individual glass vases with plants.

What could I use for the Halloween to hide the battery pack in?

Keeping with the gold color and elements theme, I repurposed two small gold urns and topped the batteries with store-bought mini green and gold gourds that caught my eye at a store.

It’s always best to lay out the designs and look on the table; then determine what you have in your own decor inventory or household items that could work in the design. You’ll be surprised how many items can be repurposed.

Next up is to make a list. This keeps you focused when you get to the store and become overwhelmed or distracted by displays there.

My initial ‘search and shop’ was in a local store where I could get those spiky succulents.

There, I also found perfect small black lacquer pedestal urns – (they looked as if the front porch big urns had incubated teeny offspring!)

The shiny, black urns were perfect: size and price wise so I got four – two for the table and two for the entranceway.

Halloween Horticulture!  

I also found spiky air plants to use.
And delightful architectural succulents – with ghoulish spikes and a blood-red hue. 

I kept all the plants healthy and pretty all year so just had to post them back on full display this year!

Last year, I got small chile plants — one with yellow pepper plants and the other with purple peppers.

This year I got cut flowers that look like eyeballs! The baneberry (Acetaea pachypoda) is probably right in your yard – or local grocer.  Red-Twigged Dogwood’s berries work too. 

What I wish I could have in the garden is the skull look of the Antirrhinum majus – the snapdragon’s seed pods look like a Dragon’s Skull!  Crazy creepy!

I was building the composition.

I bought a black, felt “spiderweb” table runner.

I got packs of “eyes” to place inside the web. This is a whimsical element that is so much fun when dining. All those “peepers” looking back at you!

I also got eye rings — where the eyeballs actually roll a bit – and placed them on the runner, too. Fun-as a kind of kooky cocktail ring!

Skull banks worked – just like the live Beta fish-filled vases did for a previous composition. This year I stuck some black “spiders” into the back of the skull’s coin slot.

The point here is not to limit your design to items that are expressly made as decor – but to think of elements that can add charm and style – whatever their original utility might have been.

I placed the plants in two of the black urns. In turn, I placed them on the round mirrors. The mirrors amplify the main element’s value in the composition.

I wanted gauze to add that spidery look and to help cover the lights’ “wires” but when the party store didn’t have the gauze – I just went to the pharmacy and bought a roll of gauze (for a lot less money) and wrapped that around the urn and over the lights.

Then I placed teeny, tiny skulls around the mirror, on top of the gauze.

You don’t see the wires and at night when it’s lighted — the illusion is dramatic and elegant.

I also spray-painted four artificial pumpkins gold (no real pumpkins that would go bad and get mushy on the table). And this year I added the squash and pumpkin soup

And I purchased the most adorable (to me, anyway) gold insects for the four corners of the spider runner. I figured they could work for a multitude of future tablescape designs.

Creepy, elegant, fun.

When all was in place, it just needed something more. As if a hand was directing me, I was compelled to turn to the fireplace and shazaam, targeted the four wrought iron candle holders. Perfect! They and their gold, battery operated candles were soon transported to the tablescape. That finishing touch completed the look.

Halloween Tablescape Luncheon
For a “Ladies Who Lunch” affair, I found mini pumpkins in the garden and used them for the name placeholders.

Black napkins and gold napkin rings accented the table look, as did the ceramic gourd soup bowls (Williams-Sonoma).

New Look this year

Redux Tablescape elevated look 

The seasonal menu included most everything from our garden: onions for the French Onion Soup: (Photo courtesy of Angie Lambert)

Fresh-grated Consider Bardwell Farms Rupert cheese – An aged, raw Jersey cow milk cheese inspired by great European Alpine cheeses like Gruyère and Comté.

We enjoyed Mother’s homemade bread, and garden-fresh eggplants for the Eggplant and Pasta with truffle buffalo mozzarella entree.

(photo courtesy of Angie Lambert)

Photos courtesy of Angie Lambert 

I couldn’t resist making my trademark punch with garden ice floating ring for the Ladies Lunch.

(Photo courtesy of Angie Lambert)

I used Mint as the frozen in ice greens. This you must start a few days ahead of time, freezing distilled water halfway in a bundt pan. When frozen, place your greens or flowers or whatever you want that will amplify a party theme – on top of the half frozen mold.

Then, fill the bundt pan with more distilled water to help cover the greens or flowers. Some will stick up from the mold — which makes it all the prettier.

As the ice melts, the greens stay in the circular shape — so that it comes to rest in the bottom as the punch is consumed. Lovely…

Ladies Who Lunch guests: Angie (L) and Maria enjoying the smoky punch.

For Halloween, I had to try the dry ice to produce a holiday, smokey drama.

I ordered the dry ice from our local Party Store. They told me I had 15 or 20 minutes to experience once I broke up (be sure to wear winter gloves) and ignited the dry ice with water.

It lasted longer than that but be advised.

The result was even better than I hoped for. It was giggling-good!

I encourage you to try this hostess treat for your next party.

Garnish the punch cocktail with fresh, local green apples.

Entry Hall

For the hallway table, I already had two “hands” that look like Thing from the the long-ago TV show, “The Addams Family.” (They’re creepy and they’re spooky…)

For the entry hallway, I was inspired by those “menacing-looking” spiky, small succulents.

Heading to our garden, I cut the spent hydrangea macrophylla — the ‘Lady in Red’ cultivar offers gorgeous petioles and a red-veined style that I interpreted as a bit of blood-red color that paired well with “eyeball” picks decor for the vases.

I purchased glow-in-the-dark rubber-like “insects” that rest on the prickly succulents and red-swirled Murano glass bowl that is perched atop the antique Asian table there.

The “Thing” hands are sparkly, with an insert for a candle; I put little light globes in them.

And behind the bowl I placed white globe battery lights that I had previously purchased for holiday decorations.

The hallway table has black wrought iron sconces topped by battery operated candles – so with a few masks and tiny tin buckets filled with candy treats — along with the shadow art the sun etches across the walls there – it’s a welcome Halloween tableau.

The little spiders are available in black – for the tablescape – and orange – which complemented the saffron/orange in our garden room so I strategically placed them on the spiral staircase. So whimsical!

Front Door Entry

For the front door entrance’s black urns — one on each side of the front door – the ferns are still looking good in this warmer than usual weather (I read today of ‘Hotumn’) and I already had two happy witches from years past. So I nestled our girls in among the ferns.

To add to the look, I got two of those Mexican, Dia de los Muertos skull heads to place in the big urns along with the witches. I love their colorful look and the significance that they represent prayer and remembrance of family and friends who have died.

The PS / funny part is that the squirrels knocked out one of the skulls – but the glue job made it only all the more realistic!

A string of pumpkin fairy lights illuminate the spooky but welcoming entry.

Boo to you! 

What will your table be wearing for Halloween?

And the arbor twinkles with a view of the harbor

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!





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