When people ask what my favorite holiday is, it’s really hard to give a straight answer. I like different ones for different reasons. Christmas and Thanksgiving bring real reasons to celebrate: the birth of our Savior and gratitude for what we’re given, but Halloween is simply a fanciful time filled with fun. There is not the stress level the other occasions provide. No need for hustle and bustle, big, elaborate meals, or gift giving. Now that we have little ones it’s all about finding a costume, cooking up some chili and walking around our neighborhood with family to gather candy. I mean, who doesn’t love that?
Since I was a little girl, it’s always been the holiday I enjoyed decorating for the most. Nothing was off limits as we carved out tombstones and hung webbing from every corner. As I’ve gotten older my taste has changed, but I still love to add that element of spook and creep wherever I can. Curiosities are something I’ve always been drawn to, and I thought adding some to the bookshelves could be a subtle nod to the holiday without stating the obvious.
These shelves are a mix of new and old, “halloween decor” and things that just seemed appropriate to me. Instead of stating the obvious, I think it’s fun to showcase items that fanciful characters like witches and monsters may keep in their homes. The artwork is something I thrifted a year or two ago and have just been holding onto. I picked up the real bone and speckled gourd from an antique shop for a few dollars and got the turtle shell from my in-laws. Everything looks more important under glass, and these cloches are so versatile for all kinds of decorating and entertaining. The dinosaur skull is from At Home and something I knew Xander would enjoy in his room after I use it here.
Grouping like items really helps things feel collected and curious. Collections feel much more cohesive than similar items spread throughout a vignette. Opening up books draws you in and if things are on topic like the anatomy book from the 1930’s on the bottom shelf that’s even better.
Classic pieces have their place among the curiosities. A small grouping of busts and loads of books specifically black and all of the mystery/suspense I could find add to the drama. The painting is of my great, great grandmother and the box of shells and rocks is a collection that is usually in the wood room. A few thoughtfully placed ravens add instant spook.
The kids have been totally into all of it, but the fog machine I got may take the cake. It provides such great atmosphere, but they have smoked up the whole house on more than one occasion in the last few days!
Do you decorate for halloween? Have you started yet?
*Some of these items have been provided to me by wonderful partners, but all selections, visions and ideas are my own.