It seems almost inexcusable that for someone who “moms so hard” and goes all out for Christmas, that this is our first time decorating the outside of our house for Halloween. But listen, prior to Covid, in LA, we didn’t live in a thriving trick-or-treat area (and never spent Halloween in our neighborhood because we went to “those streets” instead – shout out to Atwater Village and Toluca Lake), and then during Covid, we lived in the mountains. Then we had the year in the rental (where I wasn’t in the best mental state) and a year of mud – which was scary in a different way, lol. So with the kids being 7 and 9, and finally living in a trick-or-treat community, they begged and I screamed, “OK! LET’S DO THIS!!!” I’m sure it also has to do with the fact that we are done with the renovation and I have the bandwidth…and perhaps I want to show off the house a bit 🙂
So while it was an initial investment and a few days of (super fun) work, I’m officially a Halloween person and my kids are SO EXCITED (if not still disappointed that I didn’t buy huge inflatables, BTW. I swear they are not as impressed with my work as they should be ;)). I think my enthusiasm also comes from living in the northern states, having actual seasons (no offense LA), and up here it gets dark earlier. So the houses that are decorated with festive lights really add to the day-to-day love of the neighborhood on all my walks. Of course, our house is super set back from the road so I’m going to have signs/lights to ensure people come up, but I’m excited to finally be someone who hands out candy and really participates in this totally superfluous and absolutely made-up holiday.
Before the fun photos, here’s a really cute video of the space! (Just wait for the short ad to play:))
The Front Porch – Daytime
As you can see I went with a spooky vibe, with a side of harvest. I remember years ago I got shade for not having orange in any of my holiday decor, which I actually did really understand and retroactively agreed with. That punch of orange I think is a real necessity, especially when you have a white house with just hits of blue/black. So during the day, it looks really pretty and definitely fun (keep scrolling for how it looks at night).
We foraged and painted huge branches black and zip-tied them to the big posts. Now, I know that a lot of people might not have these sticks just lying around (if you are in our neighborhood – shhh – and need some feel free to reach out – we have a TON), but usually they are at parks, too, just on the ground. I then strung battery-powered orange mini lights on it (on a timer) and at night it’s SO FUN. My kids helped spray paint them (because it’s one of the fun jobs) and we even made that wreath for the door, too. (But Crate & Barrel has an excellent branch wreath, BTW).
Yes, that is an antique-legged chair that I can’t seem to quit. It’s been in storage because it’s so special to me (I sound like one of my kids with their collection of stuffies when I try to purge them – NO THIS ONE IS SO SPECIAL TO ME MAMA). But lo and behold it is PERFECT here next to the front door – creepy and rickety. The trio of pre-lit trees is also pretty great (and splurgy – but you’ll have them for YEARS) and at night it gives so much ambiance in a classy way (no offense to non-classy Halloween methods – I’m an equal opportunity holiday decorator and just want people to have fun). We’ve had “Boris” the dog skeleton and all the spiders and spider webs for years (from Target). I found the birdcage at a vintage store (shout out to Montevilla Antique Mall in NE Portland – where you can buy mimosas to “help” you shop – GENIUSES).
All pumpkins (except the faux black one) came from Trader Joe’s and I’m just so thrilled that they had these beautiful colors. No offense to the typical orange (that little one) but these more interesting tones and the green just feel so much more real. Like many other things (peonies for example), the highly perfect and ubiquitousness of the real thing has almost ruined my love of the real thing, so these organic/bumpy and misshapen pumpkins are what I’m drawn to right now.
These hanging bats, with creepy light-up eyes, are pretty great and high quality. We hung them with fishing line and you can’t really control what way they face, but it doesn’t matter.
So here’s what this area looks like around 6 pm, dusk – which is so much more fun and festive.
I focused a lot on the lighting for this – again because it gets dark up here soon really early and you wouldn’t really be able to see the decor at night. Similar to Christmas, I feel like you only see shots of content creators’ work during the day when the light is the prettiest, but so much of the holiday is enjoyed at night. So keep scrolling…
I love how that Schoolhouse pillow works so well out here (and this is pretty covered from the elements so I think it should be ok?). Also yes, that is another headless antique doll – thanks to the mimosa-driven birthday antiquing session that Kaitlin and I went on (candelabra, too, which I painted black as well as the birdcage).
The Front Porch – AT NIGHT (Trick Or Treat Time!)
Now, if that’s not glowy and festive I don’t know what is. Admittedly it’s a LOT of orange and I’ve thought about maybe switching the sconce bulbs to purple so that we have orange (from the trees) AND purple. But it’s honestly so fun either way.
I feel like it’s spooky and creepy, but not too scary. Because SPOILER – kids that say they want to be scared (but you know they don’t). So we had to return or donate the two animatronics that we had bought because one of my children, in particular, was terrified and had nightmares immediately. But this vibe they can handle (and I can’t wait to show you the graveyard/covered walkway on Saturday).
This girl came home from cheer practice right when we were shooting portraits of me (excuse the witch’s hat – I didn’t plan to be on camera at all and this is actually just a 99-cent hanging decor piece that we shoved on our heads). She immediately went upstairs, dug into her costume box, and came down wearing this 🙂
And now to prove a point about how much I care about both daytime and night-time vibes – feast your eyes on some good old-fashioned side by sides.
I know that for a lot of you who aren’t going to go all out, so this post might just be a fun distraction from work. But as someone who will now be looking for fun Halloween ideas for trick-or-treaters, I hope that seeing it at night is helpful.
A huge thanks to Kaitlin for coming over to shoot at 8 pm one night – not our usual call time, but getting these dark shots felt strangely important to me. Halloween isn’t just for pretty daytime Pinterest shots – I hope the neighborhood kids make the trek up so my obsession over the vibe can be fully appreciated (spoiler: they, like my kids, might likely only care about the candy, but maybe the moms??). Everything that isn’t vintage (or pumpkins) is linked up below!
10ft Spider Web
Dewdrop Halloween Fairy String Lights Garland
Pre-Lit Twiggy Trees
Large Talking Skeleton
Orange Light Bulb
Front Porch Resources:
Bench: Danish Design Store
Bench Cushion: Sunbrella
House Paint Color: SW 7005 Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
Door Paint Color: SW 9655 Mountain Pass by Sherwin-Williams
Windows and Doors: White oak, Aspen Casement by Sierra Pacific Windows
Door Lock: Level
*Styled by Emily Henderson (me!)
**Photos by Kaitlin Green
THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE.