This summer, my husband and I sold our house and moved to a much smaller apartment that was more centrally located to public transportation and an interesting social life. We're enjoying it a lot, but it is still an ongoing challenge to learn to live smaller and more simply, and we're still creating our 'look'.
But holidays come when they come, ready or not, and while I am not able to totally deck out the place for Halloween, this is still my favorite time of year, and I wanted have a few touches. I keep a bin of Halloween decorations (now living in an offsite storage room), and rooted through there to see what I could use, and we wound up buying an item or two that caught our eye, and this is what we came up with:
We'd just set up this shelf arrangement near the door shortly before it was time to decorate for Halloween - we needed a place to hang keys and our dog's leash, as well as have a landing zone for my husband's loose change. So, when it's not Halloween, we have this row of hooks (that are actually dog butts) for the hanging items, the rustic blue crate shelf that holds two little stoneware cups for change (one of them is specifically for quarters for the laundry room), as well as a sign about dogs and a dog motif cross stitched piece I did.
We didn't take down any of it, but I did add an additional cross stitch piece, a couple purchased raven items, some fresh mini-pumpkins (now sitting on the upturned change mugs, so there went that bit of organization), and some artificial autumn sprigs from my Halloween bin.
On a small end table that sits to one side of the living room, I tucked some artificial sunflowers and other seasonal sprigs inside our tripod lamp.
A beat up hanging clock (from Michael's), another older cross stitch piece I did, and a small ceramic skull created a nice, shabby Halloween still life that will transition easily into November with the removal of the skull.
On a whim, I covered the shade with a black lacy poncho-style shawl of mine. It provides a little more atmospheric l
lighting down in that part of the room.
Nearby, we have an IKEA ladder that is currently rather overflowing with things (we're still deciding what it is we want to do with that space). I had a length of grapevine garland and several ornaments which I'd normally put up on a year round tree I like to decorate each season. Here, we just have no space for it, but I was sad to not get to show off my ornaments, so I draped the garland around the top of the ladder and hung them off of that.
But then we saw this really nicely made roughed up cabinet-door style picture frame, which I would have wanted with or without a plan.
After the holidays, I'll replace the photos with more personal to us family photos, but for now...
We bought two of the cheap Halloween pics, and, after cutting them out of their molded frames (which was tedious and involved some non-ladylike words), put the one of the twin demon babies into the top section, and the nice gentleman that turns into a half-skeleton monster into the center section.
That left the two smaller panes unfilled. Well, as it happens we have a really lovely antique store that is a two block walk around from our apartment.
(I KNOW, RIGHT??! I AM SO DOOMED)
I took a walk down there to see if perhaps they had any old photos I could use for the bottom panes, and they did! Sadly, not identified, but I selected one of two children looking very stiff and uncomfortable in their finery, and one of a mother for this little family. Her photo had faded with age, giving her a ghostly appearance.
The pictures did not quite fit in the frame, so rather than cutting them up, I scanned and printed them onto photo paper so they would be the right size.
I really like the end result!
My final decorated spot was outside on our balcony, where I was able to use a few more of my favorite goodies from the bin without making our indoor space look overly cluttered.
The Witch plaque hanging on the utility door was bought years ago from a dollar store, and still makes me smile everytime I see it. Bright orange autumn flower garland is draped overhead, where we took a length of rope and wrapped it around a long metal beam for our various hanging needs - we use large S-hooks from IKEA to quickly add and remove whatever we want up there.
The two tin Witches Hats are also dollar store finds from years gone by - they have little doors so that you can set a tea light inside. I have some remote controlled battery operated tealights in them to provide a bit of glow in the evening.
Even when it's necessary to keep things simple and easy to switch out, I find that being able to decorate for the holidays goes a long way toward making a new apartment look and feel like 'home'. I may still be trying to figure out where I'm going to put my spices, but at least I know where the spooky stuff goes.