Seasonal decorating is great, because it doesn't need to be perfect and really the only objective is to have fun.I like to create a mood, but I don't like to store away box after box of stuff to get a creepy vibe going. So, here are some of my favourite tips for haunting your place up without needing to store too much stuff in your crypt year round.
I am always inspired by Disney's Haunted Mansion. I love that elegant and moody look, so if you like the slasher movie thing, look elsewhere. First, I know those spider webs are a bit of a mess, but I think they are a great decorating base layer. I think you need to know how to use them properly. Driving around Calgary in October, I often see trees done up with it, but it is applied incorrectly (to my eye) and it just looks like someone's comforter came apart on some bushes. With faux spider web, less is more (I can't believe I just wrote that sentence). Take a small piece of it and pull it gently across the area you want to cover. I have had a bag of that stuff for years. I use a tiny bit of it each season and I can cover whole rooms. Last year I stretched it from corner to corner over the whole ceiling in my living room and I used a couple of handfuls. If you just use a bit, it looks like the real thing. Knock your pictures so they are crooked and put some cobwebs on them. This sounds simple, but it's a great haunted house effect.
If you go to somewhere like Canuck Amusements you'll be able to find all kinds of great silhouette type decorations. Those look great on windows, walls, lamps etc. and at the end of the season, they pack away flat for next year. The other thing Canuck sells is light bulbs. We bought about 20 red light bulbs last year and changed out most of the bulbs on our main floor before our Vampire Awareness party (more on that next week). This made our house creepy inside and out. From the street our guests were wowed by the glowing red windows and it totally transformed the atmosphere in our house. If you get black bulbs and serve drinks with tonic water in them, they will glow. Great for a Roswell themed party. I am not sure if anyone has Roswell themed parties, but I'll just put that out there. Between cobwebs, red lights, some creepy silhouettes in windows and a few regular candles (keep them away from the cobwebs, you will have already created your own haunted mansion.
We finished up by adding a veil at our front door alcove (old black sheet from Ikea with a rod pocket sewn in and on a tension shower rod), a smoke machine and Chopin's funeral march playing from a hidden ghetto blaster and we had set the mood for the party before our guests were in the foyer.
If you find designing your space to be totally terrifying, we can help make it easy with our fixed price design packages.