Stay classy, people—even while you nurture your dark side. Forget plastic pumpkins and fake cobwebs. Maybe you don’t have kids, or even if you do, you’re not into that kitschy, crafty stuff. But you still want to get in the Halloween holiday spirit. No need to go all colored-construction-paper-glue-and-glitter on us.

Embrace the DarkGifts for the Goth GourmetWe have ways to spread the spirit throughout your home for your creepy-crawly soirée without being all tacky about it. Think of it as an eerie kind of elegance for your Halloween, a holiday which usually doesn’t whisper of fine taste. Rather, these end-of-October bashes typically scream bloody murder and excess. *Sigh* So passé.

“I like a fresh + clean + uncluttered aesthetic, and stay true to that thinking when it comes to seasonal decor as well,” says Landyn Hutchinson on her lifestyle blog, Living with Landyn. “While it’s so fun to be able to start embracing all things fall, sometimes it can be a tad overwhelming as to how you’ll incorporate it into your home.”

Live like Landyn, and don’t be overwhelmed by skeletons, masks, spiders, and gore galore. Chill. You can have a cocktail party, a dinner party, or a full-blown Halloween féte with quite the distinguished décor. Sit in that wing chair by the crackling fire, put down that Wall Street Journal, and grab your snifter of brandy. Drink in the following Chowhound wisdom. Then show off your newfound knowledge at your party—tastefully of course.

1. Your color scheme could be classier than the usual orange-and-black tradition or multi-colored mess. Black-and-white is an easy—yet still ghoulish—color choice that can stay classy. For her Halloween dinner party, Chloe Crabtree of the Celebrate and Decorate blog started with an oversized table runner of black-and-white chevron to set the stage for white chargers, black plates, and white soup bowls topped with black linen napkins. She built the rest of her Halloween tablescape around these colors.

Celebrate and Decorate

Black and White Chevron Table Runner ($14)

Bring bold design and classic colors to your table.

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Consider staying in the same color scheme, but using different shades (light orange, medium orange, and dark orange) as another way to go. Or try orange and gold, like this table setting from House Beautiful.

House Beautiful

LED Orange Glass Pumpkin ($24)

This will lend a warm glow, year after year.

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2. Do pumpkins differently. You can buy or paint your pumpkins gold, silver, black, and white—or anything muted and more elegant than that garish orange.

The Decorista

These black and white pumpkins lend a bleak and moody effect to the atmosphere.

Set of Three Handmade Black, White, and Gray Velvet Pumpkins ($32)

Classy and everlasting.

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Living with Landyn

You don’t even have to go the dark and dreary route if you prefer another path. Something light and airy can still be Halloween-themed, like we see with Landyn’s example.

Decorative Metal Antler ($20)

Lend a little rustic charm without sacrificing shine.

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3. Set up a smashing bar. Decorating the bar is key. You can go Southern Gothic, like this West Elm example set in Nashville. Subtle skulls, golden pumpkins, black vases with orange flowers, and things that look vintage all provoke a chic, yet eerie vibe.

West Elm

These bourbon cocktails of the genteel South are served atop an antique printing press for a rustic air to the whole affair.

Ceramic Skull Plate ($23)

Ghoulish but lovely, and good for eternal use.

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West Elm

Engraved Glass Spider Decanter Set ($79)

Because you need something festive for serving your boos.

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4. Go gothic and literary. See a theme here? Call it antique, call it vintage, call it rustic. For Halloween, we’re going with gothic. When decor-hunting, keep your eyes peeled for gothic + (insert your fave). Here, it’s gothic writers, actors, and poets.

Honestly Yum

Clothbound Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ($18)

This handsome edition of the classic Gothic novel is a perfect addition to your tableau.

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5. Consider the crow, the raven (if you’re going all Edgar Allen Poe on us, see No. 4), or other foreboding-animal tablescape ideas like these. Head toward the Victorian era.

Between Naps on the Porch

Cast Resin Raven Statue ($20)

Perch this sturdy statue on your table or mantel.

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Creepy black birds, black candelabras, ornate crystal, and gilded silverware plus black cloth accents do wonders for an otherworldly table…

The Decorista

…as do black cats, swords, poisoned apples, and more black fabrics with blood-red accents.

Black Candelabra ($25)

Insert tapers, real or LED, for flickering atmospheric illumination.

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6. Create vignettes. You can create a little cluster with a minimum of three items.


See? Spooky and sophisticated can pair up perfectly, when you have some imagination and know-how. The creepy-classy coupling can leave a lasting impression…forevermore.

Related Video: Spooktacular Dishes for Halloween

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