By Kristin Kalning / Special to Sunday Market
There’s no denying it: That unmistakable chill in the air means fall has fallen. But there’s still a long way to go until That Really Stressful Holiday.
So in the meantime, have some fun with spooky Halloween decorations and inviting autumn décor that can transition easily to Thanksgiving.
Until recently, Halloween décor tended to be more tacky than classy — not that there’s anything wrong with that giant inflatable pumpkin on your front lawn.
For creepy front-yard decorations that won’t earn the ire of your neighbors, buy a bunch of white Super Stretch Spider Webs ($4 for 200 feet at Spirit Halloween) and string them between trees and on shrubs.
Hang Pottery Barn’s Mummy Ghost (on sale for $59.50) from a tree and scatter some tombstones around the front lawn, such as the RIP Cross Tombstone ($13) or RIP Reaper Tombstone ($8, both at Spirit Halloween). Both are made of lightweight foam but look realistic in low light, and come complete with fake moss and crack details.
On your front porch, position a Posable Skeleton ($35 at Oriental Trading) in a chair, and drape Spiderweb Net Lights ($20 at Target) over your porch. Hang a couple of Skull and Bones Paper Lanterns ($10) from the rafters, and place a Black Crow Doormat ($38, both at Simplicity Décor, Kirkland) between your flickering jack-o’-lanterns.
If you’re throwing a Halloween party, set the scene with a wrought-iron Pre-Lit Spooky Gate (on sale for $48 at Pier 1 Imports), dangling spiders included. Add some realistic Hanging Bats ($10–$28 at Lucca Great Finds, Ballard), made of rabbit fur and goatskin.
Also from Lucca: creepy foam Standing Crows ($19–$21), made of real feathers, and Scaredy Cats ($26), with arched backs and glowing red eyes.
For your mantel, roll out some Freaky Fabric ($7 at Simplicity Décor) and create a grouping with the Spooky Crow Cutout ($20 at Simplicity Décor) with a couple of Meadowbrook Gourds Miniatures ($18–$19 at Eurostyle Your Life, South Lake Union).
Once Halloween is over, pack away your scary stuff and welcome the rich colors and textures of fall. Start with your front porch, and the welcoming Pier One Imports Harvest Leaves Doormat ($20).
Add the all-natural Tag Fall Wreath ($48 at Camelion Designs, Ballard), made of red lampions and dried laurel and bay leaves. Treat it gently and wrap it carefully for storage, and you’ll have this pretty door-adorner for years to come, says Camelion’s owner, Nicole Vandermeulen.
The natural world offers the best inspiration for fall décor. Start with Cost Plus World Market’s Birch Bark Candles ($5–$25) and Mossy Fern Nests ($4–$8), which can be filled with leaves, pinecones and mini-gourds.
Animals are also a popular theme for fall décor — particularly owls. They can be seen in Lucca’s Papier Maché Owls ($25–$45) and the Pier 1 Imports Natural Feather Owl ($14). Then there’s that other autumnal bird, the turkey, celebrated in Crate and Barrel’s Buri Turkeys ($8–$80), made from raffia and abaca fibers.
Of course, it wouldn’t be autumn without pumpkins. For the living room, there’s Pottery Barn’s Pumpkin Embroidered Lumbar Pillow Cover (on sale for $55). For a side table, pick up a couple of handcrafted Crate and Barrel Glass Pumpkins ($15–$20). And for your harvest table, there’s the ever-popular Pumpkin Tureen with Ladle ($50) and coordinating Pumpkin Soup Bowls ($10 each, both at Sur La Table).
After all, Thanksgiving is less than a month away.