How to Decorate for Halloween Like an Adult

halloween shelves

Home and Spirit

Halloween is generally seen as a holiday for children, one on which they can dress up as their favorite person or character and grab as much free candy as they can. Home decor generally follows the same pattern, with a lot of displays of inflatable cartoon characters or spooky scenes full of ghouls and goblins.

When those kids grow up, the love for All Hallow’s Eve doesn’t necessarily fade away. These adult fans have evolved their decorating style while retaining the tone that defines each October 31. Take a peek... if you dare. 

  • 01 of 14

    Black and white

    black and white halloween decor

    @dehavencottage

    This display by Instagram’s @dehavencottage keeps it simple with just a few elegant touches of the season: a witch's hat, a bag ready to fill with sugary treats and raven linens. Take note of these stick-on bats: You will see them again!

  • 02 of 14

    Potent potables

    witchy buffet

    @melissa_mckitterick

    Kansas City resident Melissa McKitterick (@melissa_mckitterick) has transformed a buffet into a spooky tavern setup... or is it a witch's workshop? The setup includes the makings of a spell of some kind with muted Halloween colors. And the very popular bats!

  • 03 of 14

    On-point porch

    pumpkin porch

    @scullyhouse

    Pittsburgh’s Scully House keeps her theme in line with her home’s farmhouse vibe, placing metal, cylindrical jack o’lantern candle holders alongside metallic-look pumpkins, all lining the front stairs.

  • 04 of 14

    Haunted Mantel

    spooky mantel

    Modern House Vibes

    Ana Isaza Carpio of Modern House Vibes has fun with some of this year's new seasonal decor from Target. Her Halloween mantel includes bats, ravens and a skull along with a little black netting draped just so for a spooky but elegant look.

    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14

    Decked out in checks

    checkered mantel

    @stacreative74

    Mantels are another hot spot for more sophisticated seasonal scenes. Artist Stacy Geiger mixes a black-and-white checkered plate and swag with a few skulls, candlesticks and foreboding home figurines above her fireplace.

  • 06 of 14

    Let Me Take a Selfie

    pumpkin selfie

    Modern House Vibes

    Modern House Vibes boasts several grown-up Halloween scenes, including this picture-perfect grouping of cheerful, muted pumpkins. These gleeful gourds play well with the greenery and provide the perfect prop for the beautiful mirror.

  • 07 of 14

    Hard-core Halloween

    concrete pumpkins

    Renee Rails (@renee_rails)

    Renee Rails (@renee_rials) created her own concrete pumpkin planter for her front porch. Here is how she did it: “First, I oiled the insides of my trick-or-treat buckets. I made sure to purchase the kind that had the indentations of a jack-o-lantern face on them. Then, I used them as molds and poured cement into each. I cut the molds (buckets) away from the cement about 24 hours later. I then painted the faces a metallic gold. Check out the tutorials on YouTube for cement pumpkins. You’ll see how to turn them into planters as well.”

  • 08 of 14

    Clean scene

    Minimalist ghost prints

    @caitlynmarieprints

    These simple prints proclaim the season with the cutest ghosts you ever will see. Caitlin Marie of Caitlin Marie Prints stamps her creations with traditional Halloween and fall colors, plus a surprising splash of pink. The end result is a minimalist wall hanging that is festive without being overbearing.

    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    Very illuminating

    halloween tree candlesticks

    @the_gypsys_allure

    These heavy, striking candlesticks are modeled on trees and evoke a slightly unsettling feeling of being in unfamiliar, disconcerting woods, all while looking stately on a dinner table. These spooky centerpieces from Lisa's Vintage and Pre-Loved Shop set the perfect Halloween table.

  • 10 of 14

    Go Batty

    paper bats

    M Starr Design

    Sometimes, just a touch of a season speaks volumes. Emily Starr Alfano, founder of M Starr Design, added a bevy of this Halloween's popular bats along two joined walls to create a simple yet effectively festive look above a sideboard bar.

  • 11 of 14

    Ghostly sophistication

    halloween embroidery

    @needfulstringsshoppe

    Sydney of Needful Strings Hoop Art offers up embroidered opaque seasonal scenes that create a haunting, shadowy effect that still boasts an elegant, handmade touch.

  • 12 of 14

    Sweet spirits

    ghost canister

    Rox Van Del

    Who says ghosts have to be scary? These canisters made by Rox Van Del are ready to be filled with candy and other yummy treats for all the little goblins in your house. Mr. Bones in the background gives this scene a high-five!

    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Spooky shelving

    halloween shelves

    Home and Spirit

    Erika (@home.and.spirit) put in these rustic shelves over the summer, and this Halloween is the first holiday she has been able to really do it up. Creepy branches, watchful ravens—and there are those bats again!

  • 14 of 14

    Oh, the horror!

    michael myers door

    @Michaelmyers364

    It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a nod to Michael Myers, the terrifying star of the "Haloween" horror movies. The aptly named Instagram user @Michaelmyers364 puts the familiar, frightening masked man front and center among the more rustic items in this home's front-door display.

With a little creativity—and inspiration from these creators—you can decorate your Halloween home with scenes fit for grownups. But we bet the kids will enjoy the looks, too!