Halloween less the kitsch

Halloween, in all its Autumn splendor, can easily turn into the most “kitschy” holiday of all. I see this holiday as a kickoff to the main event: Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Though focused around the family and trick-or-treaters, it is possible to create a Halloween party with ambiance. Whether you go spooky or whimsical, there are ways to have an upscale look to your home on October 31st. I’ve always enjoyed the local flair of the Hillcrest Avenue neighbors. Anytime an entire street can get involved in an opportunity, it creates a buzz that may not otherwise exist. When my own sons were young, I enjoyed taking them to see the outlandish decor on Hillcrest and seeing the newest ideas, particular with the outdoor “canvas” with which they started. Of course, a family tradition was always to visit Caulfield’s and choose over-the-top costumes. Now that the boys are grown, their Halloween traditions will become their own.


Hillcrest Avenue, Louisville, KY

Of course, taking your party to the next level is easier than you might think. Checking a site like Pottery Barn can make your one-click shopping a quick experience. And locally, in Louisville, a local favorite, Nanz & Kraft has some beautiful pieces of decor that can make your front porch look a lot more like it’s part of a plan.

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Whimsical Halloween decor from Nanz & Kraft.

Even the menu can be creative. Turn the mundane into elegance by serving potato chips with caviar and calling them “Fish & Chips.” I also enjoy visiting other cities this time of year. In my travels through Manhattan, each part of the city has a different feel. The Upper East Side of Manhattan has a particularly beautiful look to it during any holiday. But there’s no need to hire a professional to decorate for Halloween. A little creativity can go a long way. My recommendations: Pick a theme: Scary Kid-friendly Whimsical Pumpkins Create a decor plan for your front steps that leads into your entry foyer. Intertwine flowers, sticks, and pieces from nature so that not everything looks “store bought.” Keep that homemade feeling without looking like the preschooler decorated (unless that is actually your theme). A festive Halloween-themed welcome mat with some beautiful mums and a few pumpkins and gourds may be all you need. Easy ways to make your Halloween home festive without blowing the budget: Spray a Fall Harvest scented spray on your lightbulbs. Fragrance can really set the mood of a room. Using this spray and lightbulb idea can save dollars. Uncarved pumpkins can be much more elegant when placed strategically on your front porch. Project whimsical ghost flashes onto the front of your home (easy clean up!). A mantel is the perfect place to put some small decorations – a witch’s hat, a candle. The key is to not overdo it. Make it beautiful, make it subtle, make it yours. Happy Halloween!