Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

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After a successful, 12+ years run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

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How to Do A Spooktastic and Elegant Halloween Dinner Party

How to Do A Spooktastic and Elegant Halloween Dinner Party

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because you can do a lot and get away with a lot. But it is super easy to go overboard if you are not careful and if you want a classic dinner party. Here are some of my top tips on making it elegant, rich and still spooktastic.

1. PICK A COLOR SCHEME & THEME

A dinner party is awesome, but a themed dinner party elevates it to a whole new level. When I am researching for decor ideas for clients, I often look for images for the mood that I’m trying to achieve, and then I make a mood board. Once I have my mood board, I pick colors that I think will be great for the event. I will pick 1-2 central colors and then accent colors.

Here is an example mood board I made for a Gothic Halloween:

For this mood board, I wanted something that’s really rich and filled with textures. I loved all the muted gold accents in the photos, so I wanted gold as one of the main colors. Black obviously is a must, I also chose a deep gray with a very subtle tint of blue. I am also very drawn to contrast between the matte, smooth surface v. worn textures.

2. ELABORATE AND EXPAND

Brainstorm ways to really make the ideas to come to life. Elaborate on your concept and really go in deep with each idea. Doing a mad scientist themed Halloween dinner? How about a cocktail with floating “eyeball” in blood? Surprising details like this can really make the scene! But the interpretation of that can go either way. It can either be very campy, or very elegant, like what The Happy Heathen did by using cut crystal glasses. I also loved that she built on the theme by layering different textures of moss, cobwebs and gauze.

3. STICK WITH IT

The hardest part about planning is that you have a lot of ideas, and it can feel you are all over the place. Don’t get flustered, that’s part of the process. Stick with your color palette, add a lot of textures and details, that’s how you can successfully build a beautiful event to remember.

4. DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

You probably have heard of this a million times, but it is worth saying, especially when it comes to event decor. Details will build atmosphere and take your party from good to great and memorable. As the dinner host, you want people to have fun and leave talking about your dinner party for days, right? Surprising details will do that. You can achieve that by surprising your guests by using everyday materials in surprising ways. I love what The Happy Heathen did here by using bandages as napkins. And her jars of bones specimens and mystery organs. How fun is that?

5. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT

I always say that styling is all about editing, and there are no other ways about it. It is SO easy to go overboard and come cross as comical or cheesy. When you are interpreting ideas, it is very easy to do an orange and black Halloween. Think outside of the box a little. There are many, many ways to play this. I love this mood board here. Just by using black and white and playing with textures, the mood board is equal parts elegant and spooky. I especially love the wreath.

When I first started to work on my Gothic Halloween mood board, I collected about 30 images that grabbed my attention. Then, I started whittle them down by first putting them all together in a folder where I can see the thumbnails all next to each other. I started picking out the ones that spoke to me more and then I started placing them in my grid. Once I started working on my grid, I could start seeing the board coming together and the concept started to emerge. Lastly, I worked the color palette, picking my favorite five colors to use.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY MOOD BOARD? WHAT KIND OF HALLOWEEN PARTY ARE YOU PLANNING? TELL ME ABOUT YOUR OWN SPOOKTASTIC PARTY IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.

Photo Credits (from top to bottom, left to right): 1 Panda’s House 2 griege design 3 Designspiration 4 The Finishing Touch Blog 5 Designspiration 6 Indeed Decor 7 Desire to Inspire 8 The Happy Heathen 9 One Fab Day 10 The Happy Heathen 11 Fancy House Road

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