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Haunted House: Decorating Your Pad for Halloween

Before pulling out the jack-o’-lanterns and faux cobwebs, check out these creative ideas from local home designers.

Tracy Morris of Tracy Morris Design in Bethesda likes to keep Halloween decorations simple. She makes centerpieces using fall flowers from her garden, interspersed with pieces of wheat or straw. Morris likes to place two potted mums on either side of her front door, then mix in locally picked pumpkins. She also says mixing mums, vegetables, and gourds in a pot makes a good centerpiece or coffee-table display.

Gaithersburg designer Samantha Friedman tries to stay away from using too many ghosts and goblins. She suggests clearing off a console table and topping it with black and orange candlesticks. Friedman says glass bowls full of floating candles can be another classy decoration—give them a Halloween feel by using orange or black candles.

DC designer Sarah Wessel scours Target and Wisteria catalogs to find seasonal decorations that don’t break the bank. To dress up her mantel, Wessel uses pumpkin, ghost, and bat napkin rings. She likes to fill bowls with quince slivers or bael nuts, a common ingredient in potpourri. Raffia bunches, which have a similar consistency to straw but aren’t as messy, are another great indoor accent. Outside, Wessel suggests organizing pumpkins at random to give them a natural feel—as if you just brought them from your garden. This year, she’s planning to mix white and orange pumpkins.

Rockville designer Sandra Meyers likes to make Halloween decorating a do-it-yourself family event. She suggests stuffing an old shirt and a pair of jeans with hay. Add a pumpkin as a head and voilà—you’ve got a scarecrow. Prop it up against barrels for a farm feel. Meyers and her husband have also created their own mock cemetery using Styrofoam squares—you can find them at Michael’s or Staples—spray-painted black and silver, with an “R.I.P.” stencil. An old broom is also a great prop—she suggests putting one by your front door with a sign that reads “The Witch Is In.”

Jennie Curtis of Material Differences in Virginia uses black accents to create a spooky look. She wraps lamp posts in black tulle, uses black throw pillows on couches, drapes black gemstones from chandeliers, and places black candles on tables. She says regardless of your color scheme, black accessories are an easy way to make a big impact. Curtis also likes to buy silk flowers in orange, black, and dark maroon. She mixes the flowers into houseplants, wreaths, and outdoor bushes.

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