"Under an utterly cloudless sky, in air only beginning to carry autumn's snap..." —Peter Straub, ShadowLand
It’s that time of year again: pumpkin spice and everything nice. Sweater weather. Apple cider donuts, haunted house movies and blankets on the couch, and, in some parts of the country, the leaves all changing colors and gently dropping to the ground.
It's easy enough to love autumn, but where do you fall with Halloween? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Some people relish going over the top and get started decorating the outside of their house in September, while others find it all a bit tacky.
Perhaps that's why we now have something called "Falloween." What is it, you ask? A new portmanteau word combining “Fall” and “Halloween,” it refers to a way of seasonal decorating that conjures fall vibes and autumnal chills, with hints of both the hues of the harvest and the horrors of Halloween. It keeps a sense of humor about it and doesn't sacrifice an elevated level of décor at home.
Or, as one person put it: "Seasonal chic with just a hint of cheek."
The pastoral-rustic element is brought in with natural items, such as pumpkins and gourds, arranged in a stylized way, or possibly painted. They don't need to be the real thing. Faux autumnal fruit is totally fair game. As for the ghouls and ghosts, that element is present, with creativity, sophistication, and dry humour. Think of it, if you like, as the decorative equivalent of Shirley Jackson, whose writing takes on dark and gothic tropes, but delivers them in a controlled, ironic way that often makes you smile and laugh.
Read on for our guide to Falloween décor.
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What's more extra, the pampas or the pumpkins? I had the crazy idea to paint all of my faux pumps ombre for a new look this year - you like? Saved to highlights if you want to try! And don't worry, now that naptime is over the pampas grass has been returned to it's rightful (and Hart-proof) spot in the entryway. Shop the look via LiketoKNOWit or from the shop my instagram tab via the link in my bio. http://liketk.it/2Fe32 @liketoknow.it @liketoknow.it.home #LTKhome #juniperhomespotlight
The key word here is accretion. As in slow, gradual build-up. Autumn is a great time for creativity; by adding things in and keeping your decor in flux, you have an outlet to stay creative throughout the season. The décor is never done; it moves through small adjustments, incrementally layering, intensifying, and transitioning as the season goes on.
Start light in September and the first week or two of October. Invoking a muted palette with a lot of white and grey, decorate with pumpkins and gourds in lighter colors and smaller sizes, either real ones or faux, which you may paint and treat to give unique colors and textures to them.
As the nights begin to grow longer and Halloween draws closer, introduce a darker current with black and brass and crimson. At this point, introduce more chills and thrills with typical Halloween gear that strikes your fancy—the black cats and the witch hats and the spider webs and the dragon's eggs. Grandinroad is a great resource for halloween décor that’s a bit more on the tasteful side—there’s an artful air to these bewitching items.
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We're loving this warm and cozy dining space with our bold Altamont pendants🍂 Link in bio! Design: @joineryanddesignco • • • • • • #hudsonvalleylighting #lighting #diningroom #diningroomdecor #rustic #wood #naturalmaterials #prettyhomes #prettyspace #chandelier #pendants #interiordesign #homedecor #cornerofmyhome #interiorinspo #designideas
An easy place to layer in those fall feels and autumn colors is the dining table. Falloween flavors taste great to the eye, as apple pies and butternut squash soups get set and supped there throughout October.
With runners, linens, colored glass, and seasonal dishes, it's a natural place for it. Add in some gourds in unusual colors and black candles for a little more.
But tablescapes aren't limited to the dining table; sidetables and credenzas give you a place to introduce the fun creepy stuff in a way that suits you.
It can be a light touch, like it is here in this table with our Altamont pendants over it. Some small white pumpkins and a touch of greenery give it that natural feel.
Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY has some great examples and ideas. Click on her tablescape below to read her post.
And don't forget the coffeetable! Treat yourself to a luxurious candle, gather a dark bouquet, and channel your inner Elvira or Siouxsie Sioux with a glamorous coffeetable spread. Serving trays, book stacks, faux pumpkins, and just the right objet d'art are your friends here.
They’re not just for Christmas! The fall season is a wonderful time for wreaths. Deck the halls with the gouged and unhallowed. Fa-lla-lla, fa-lla-lla, Fall-o’ween!
Okay, but really. An autumn wreath may use a lot of colors and textures that are outside the usual purview of wreathdom. Just consider the sage greens and delicate creamy whites in the wreath in our header image (by Pamela Dyer and featuring Delacroix by Troy Lighting over the table). And they don’t only need to be for front doors! Indeed, they may add a wonderful rural touch to doors within the house.
Out comes that cornucopia as October turns to November and the countdown to Halloween turns to the countdown to Thanksgiving. Explore some hues that you might not associate with fall. If you have a local florist who makes wreaths, maybe give them some loose instructions and see what they come up with for you.
Of course, there are options to buy online that you can reuse year after year, but there's nothing like the freshness of real flowers.
Here's some good autumn-wreath inspo.
As the above image shows, certain colors just make you feel fall all over. A simple way to incorporate the palette you associate with the season inside is through furniture accents.
Freshen things up with a throw blanket and some new pillows in oranges and umbers and blacks and browns. Flannel is often associated with the season, as well, so flannel or plaid pashminas and blankets may add a comforting Falloween touch.
Simple additions such as these add so much.
Check out our Autumn in the Hudson Valley Pinterest board for some more fall color/Falloween inspiration.
Of course, this is an excellent time of year for candles and twinkling fairy lights of all sizes and shapes. Jack-o-lantern days are on their way. But what can you do with your normal lights?
You might consider dressing up traditional chandeliers with seasonal accents. Think sheaves of dried corn, feathery things in fall colors, and black lace—maybe the old stuff you keep next to the arsenic? Weaving through the arms, casting charms on company sitting below.
Some light fixtures are stylistic and stunning all year long, and then easily slip into a supporting role when seasonal décor bends sinister.
Black finishes and wrought iron are a natural in this regard, but it’s not just them we’re talking about.
Take something like Archie. Inspired by a midcentury candelabra, Archie has some of the stylistic verve of the cinema of German Expressionism, especially the incredibly influential film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), credited by some to be the first horror film. Non-symmetrical and angular sets as well as an exaggerated use of shadow suggest something about the characters’ psychological states or indicate to the viewer that this is a fantasy world. So high-brow Archie is ready to play along when you turn your home into a fantasy wonderland of dark dreaming come October.
From The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to the lab of Dr. Frankenstein, with fallen golden leaves in between, imaginative sconces such as these three add allure all year-round but stand ready to assist in transforming the home into Falloween for the season.
The power of suggestion from the proximity of Halloween items puts these lights in, well, a new light.
Explore more of our sconces with an October state of mind, and you'll see what we mean.
Happy Falloween decorating! We can't wait to see what you come up with.