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A Guide to Buying the Best Halloween Decorations

A Guide to Buying the Best Halloween Decorations

It seems like only yesterday when parents and college students alike were getting ready for the back-to-school season. But now the leaves are starting to change, there's a chill in the air, and Halloween is definitely on its way. Now is the time to start looking for the best Halloween decorations that you can get your hands on.

But where to start?

Before you start decorating for Halloween, check out these home decor ideas and tips.

Plan With an Aesthetic in Mind

Before you can start your Halloween shopping, you need to think about the overall effect that you want to accomplish with your decorations. While mixing and matching varied types of decorations can sometimes yield positive results, it's more likely to make your home look like a garbled mess.

The best way to avoid that is to have a uniting aesthetic — a theme — in mind. This will give you the focus that you need to come up with a cohesive decor plan.

Here are a few themed Halloween ideas to spark your imagination.

Go for the Classic Spooky Look

Classic decorations are always charming, timeless choices. Black cats, witches, skeletons, the list is well-known. That said, you don't need to settle for whatever cheap, plastic decorations they have at the grocery store.

Even if you don't know the name, you're probably familiar with the look of the Beistle Company's classic Halloween decorations. These were among the first mass-market Halloween decorations ever made. As such, surviving examples are now prized collector's pieces.

Fortunately, you don't need to take out a second mortgage to buy a bunch of rare, mid-century decorations. The Beistle Company themselves are still in business, and many other companies have copied the look of their classic designs over the years.

So if you want a theme that will charm your party guests without scaring the trick-or-treaters away, this is a great direction to go.

Baroque Gothic Is a Timeless Choice

For a look that's a bit more tasteful, the gothic look is a style of choice. Gothic style and decor have taken many forms over the years. But perhaps the best suited to Halloween is the baroque aesthetic.

"Baroque" refers to a style of European art and architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. It's characterized by a lot of ornate details and flourishes. Think of the Palace of Versailles in France.

Baroque Gothic is a spin on the style. It retains the ornate details, but instead of glimmering gold and sunny colors, it opts for lots of black, bold reds, and violets.

Aurelio Voltaire is a goth musician, author, actor, and filmmaker. One of his many occupations is an ongoing YouTube series called Gothic Homemaking. On the show, he does tutorials on various home-improvement and DIY projects as well as product reviews on Halloween decor.

As his aesthetic tends towards the baroque, skimming through a few episodes is a great primer on the style and how you can integrate it into your decor scheme.

Show Your Love for Your Favorite Spooky Pop Culture

Halloween is a night where we all don masks — be they metaphorical or literal — and become someone other than ourselves. And for many of us, we'll choose to become a favorite character from pop culture.

The season is a great time to let your geek flag fly. Particularly for the dedicated horror fan, when store shelves are filled with Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger, and Jason Voorhees decorations and collectibles.

But if you err on the side of the family-friendly, you don't have to worry. The much-anticipated sequel to cult classic film Hocus Pocus arrives later this month, and the stores are awash in merchandise to capitalize. So if you want a good, witchy time this Halloween, you're in luck.

Plan Around the Design of Your Home

No matter what aesthetic you want to shoot for, the decor schemes that you can come up with will always be somewhat limited by the design of your home. If you live in an apartment or condo, for example, you're probably limited to indoor decor only. If you have a home with a yard or street-visible entryway, your options are much more open.

For example, if you get trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood, the path to your front door should be where you focus most of your attention. Buying a simple wooden or metal trellis from your local hardware store and draping some spiderwebs or other spooky accoutrements over it is an easy way to create an atmosphere.

What's even better is if you have a front porch. Even a small one can give you space to showcase your jack-o-lantern carving skills or position some decorations from your favorite horror franchise.

And if you have a front yard, then the world is your oyster. You can theme it to a chilling graveyard, a charming pumpkin patch, or a twisted carnival. The only limit is your imagination. Or put up a few of those gargantuan yard skeletons to make a real statement.

Start Preparing the Best Halloween Decorations Early

There's some debate on when it's acceptable to start decorating for Halloween. Most people tend to say anytime after Labor Day is fair game. But that doesn't mean that you should wait until then to start making plans.

Seasonal Halloween stores start setting up shop in August, and Halloween decor starts arriving in big-box stores around the same time. The search for decorations tends to spike in late August when the large quantities of Halloween decor arrive in stores and people start looking forward to the season.

And it peaks again in the first week of October as the season enters full swing.

Because of the seasonal nature of the products, you can only expect limited restocks at best. So if you see a must-have bit of decor or a special collectible for one of your favorite Halloween movies, it pays to grab it before it's gone.

Keep the Halloween Spirit All Year

The best Halloween decorations are the ones that you can find a use for all year round. After all, a 12-foot plastic skeleton in your yard may make a statement, but it will spend around ten months out of the year taking up storage space.

Home goods that blend in well with your dedicated Halloween decor but wouldn't look out of place in March are far more practical. For example, check out our bedding sets to find a lush, dusk sheet set that will make a bold statement no matter what time of year it is.