Autumn is upon us again, and with that we find ourselves looking to what’s trending for the Halloween season this year. For the second year in a row, Halloween will be celebrated on the weekend, which will bring an amplified potential for parties, events and trends for all ages. Looking to what’s trending for 2015, we look back in history.
From the ancient Celtic times; to the 12th-century Gothic Revival; the 1840s Irish immigration to America, which brought the U.S. its first Halloween, this holiday covers a lot of ground. This years' trends also deliver something for all ages to enjoy. Happy Halloween!
Halloween Haute Cuisine
The foodie trend carries over into the kitchen with favorite Halloween-specific recipes on the menu. This special, spooktacular Halloween cooking club comes together once a year to prepare a feast. Dead-man meatloaf; calzone snakes; wicked stuffed potatoes; and stuffed Jack-o’-lantern peppers mixed with favorite ingredients, including bat wing, bone powder, and eye of newt!
The kitchen is filled with spice bottles; silicone, cat-shaped hot pads; dishes with zigzag, dot, stripe or argyle rims. Wood is lacquered or painted and cut into witches hats, cats and pointy boots. Ceramics with themes such as “frightfully delicious” dot the counters. Bone appetit!
Colors in copper, black and Halloween orange provide the backbone of this theme - along with accents of acid green and yellow, taupe and amber. Layer on fashion-forward colors of softened lavender, aqua, aged copper and misty lime to add the finishing touch.
A Gothic Revival
Vampires re-awaken! A Medieval backdrop sets the stage for an air of gloom and spookiness. Decorate with concrete gargoyles, moonlight settings, coffins, spire-shaped candles with dripping black wax, and ornately carved wooden crosses.
Midnight supper! Set the table with darkly saturated colors in dried-blood red, navy and green. Damasks and floral silhouettes soften the edges, while elaborate linens, fringe, and applique and tufting elude to the
Black, dark charcoal and blood red set the scene. Add accents of Halloween orange, concrete, resin and sunset for additional moodiness. Layer on platinum, gold, navy and green for final refinements.
The Straw Man
Long before witches and vampires, the scarecrow made frightful appearances each autumn. The primitive form was originally set for burning someone as a sacrifice to the sun. This grim historical pagan revelation continues to haunt, and fire is key to this theme. Wicker and straw figures appear in wildlife motifs, along with nests and haystacks, straw brooms, and sisal mats, which add to the critical base. Weave in gourds, pumpkins and pine cones. Simple patchwork assembled from linen, cotton, canvas and burlap and distressed leather add depth. Add details such as rope, feathers, grosgrain and frayed edges. Accents are unrefined and worn.
Base colors include harvest gold, corn yellow, fall greens and sunset. Layer on deep copper, golden resin, concrete gray and deep brown. Final color touches include apple green, wheat and rust, with a surprise of
Looking back at the roots of Halloween in America, we find that this holiday was brought to the U.S. in the 1840s by Irish immigrants. Décor is more country than city, with dried corn stalks, straw bales, and scare-crows setting the mood just like the olden days. Add more country flair with leaves, gourds, pine cones, apples and berries. Textiles include paisleys, checks, dots and ticking stripes.
The evening on the front porch awaits for visitors with caramel apples, nuts and homemade goodies to munch on while drinking hot cider. The children search in the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin to carve out.
Ghost stories are told by the bonfire as the full moon casts eerie shadows over the landscape.
Halloween orange, sunset, sage and country brown provide the color base. Add midnight black, golden mane, bubblegum pink and country red for nostalgia. A final color layer includes marine blue, rain, jungle green and gauzy yellow to keep the theme current.
A Ghostly Apparition
The haunted mansion beckons you to come and enjoy your stay…but you cannot ever leave! Floorboards begin to creak while apparitions appear from nowhere. Decorate with thick cobwebs, holographic candles, and trick
mirrors with changing portraits. Introduce gauze and gossamer throughout, along with candelabras, worn letters and flowers - and finish with suggestions of objects floating in mid-air.
Color begins with midnight black, dried-blood red, aged paper and old walnut. Add snakeskin green, tarnished gold, faded lavender and Halloween orange. The final layer of color includes old royal purple, deep
turquoise, rosewater and floral pink.
The Lurking Cat
Black cat silhouettes lurk in the alleys as the moonlight casts shadows on the walls. Perched on windowsills or slinking along in the dark, these felines are waiting and watching for their next catch of the day. Décor includes fish, mouse and rat skeletons, showing the cats as carnivores; cat scratches on the door; alley graffiti warning off people with sayings such as ‘Cat-Scratch Fever’ and dishes with cat fangs. Fabrics are worn, deconstructed and streetwise and include leather, frayed cotton and hide. Add chain mail, zippers, glitter and pipe cleaners.
For color, begin with black, back alley concrete gray and Halloween orange. Add silver to highlight the chain link, along with graffiti yellow, green and blue. A final layer of color includes grunge gray, punk green and true red.
A Haunting in the Woods
Venture out into the woods and you may not return! Predators such as owls, spiders and foxes blend well into the trees so they appear to be part of the landscape. Gnarled limbs twist like witches fingers while enormous webs wait for their next victim. Decorate with bats, owls, large spiders and human skulls. Add black-painted pumpkins and gourds to look ominous, along with dark-stained wood patterns. The air is scented with oak, moss and musk. Enhance the mood with details such as fallen leaves, moss, smoky glass charcoal outlines.
Color in your design with deep forest green, aged green leaf, soil brown and the deepest black. Layer on eerie, late-evening sunset oranges and yellows with a spot of ghostly pale white. Final color layers include
Halloween orange, corn yellow, faded lavender and charcoal.
Welcome to the Jungle
Beware! The jungle will make the walk in the woods seem tame. Hearing the sounds of the deep jungle – the roar of lions, to the shrieking of monkeys; snakes and spiders crawling and slithering around looking for their prey; and the beats of the African drum all sound a warning to those who dare to enter.
Décor begins with venomous snakes and spiders, as well as includes witch-doctor potions, skulls, and glowing Jack-o’-Lanterns carved into fierce animals or African death masks. Fabrics go exotic with faux snakeskin, zebra,
hide and crocodile. Acacia wood and woven grasses are used for place settings while design details include wood, bone, horn beads, feathers and distressed metals.
Hues begin with jungle coloring, including a variety of greens, deep rust oranges and browns. Add exotic color accents of deep blue, green and red - and finish off with softened grassy colors such as gold, yellow
and aged green.
Until Death Do Us Part
With a mixture of celebration and macabre, the bride and groom skeletons make their commitment permanent to the grave and beyond. A mix of Halloween and Day of the Dead, these two celebrations mark the end and new
beginning of their afterlife. Have your guests dress their best… this is a wedding after all! Tables are set with wedding feast style, elegant and colorful while the skeleton bride and groom pose in their wooden coffins. Add
candelabras, tons of flowers, lace and tulle for added glamour.
Color begins with tuxedo black and white, soft taupe and aged gold. Add Spanish red and blue, treasure gold, and Halloween orange. Finish off with copper, deep plum, turquoise and strong yellow.
It’s a Party!
Targeted for the children, this party brings out all the little witches and goblins. Happy, not scary, the ghosts and witches are putting on their best smiles, and skeletons are covered in flowers. Merriment continues with pumpkins, happy patterns and child-like prints. Food is child-friendly -- with popcorn balls, marshmallow treats, cake pops and coffin-shaped gingerbread cookies.
It’s a hue-riffic party beginning with classic Halloween orange, black and white. Add purple, bright yellow and green, along with a grounding brown as a backdrop. Highlight with bubblegum pinks, blues, turf
greens and softened oranges.