FYI: Here are the best Halloween decorating tips

Your place is gonna look spook-tacular

Two pictures of a living room with Halloween decor on a black sparkly background
(Image credit: @littlehauntedhome)

There’s only one holiday that I properly decorate for, and that’s Halloween. My family always went big on the holiday, and I’ve taken that tradition and brought it into my own place. I've distilled all the right methods for figuring out how to decorate for Halloween and figured out where to buy Halloween decorations. As soon as fall comes around, I’m fully ready to get them out.

Want to decorate your place in spooky style? There might be a couple of reasons why you’re doing this. You might want to just get your apartment to match the seasonal vibes, or maybe you're planning a Halloween party. Either way, I’m totally here for you.

I’ve rounded up my top tips for decorating for Halloween in a way that’s super stylish and that will match your aesthetic. Oh, and because I've been doing this for years in my rental, I have picked up plenty of renter-friendly tricks and treats along the way.

Ready to turn your place into a haunted (but hella cool) home? Come with me…

7 tips for decorating your home for Halloween

Let's get spooky, bestie. As well as giving plenty of tips and ideas, I've also rounded up decor buys for some extra inspo along the way.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Choose a theme

The key to taking Halloween decorations from looking cheap to being chic is through creating cohesion. Decide on what kind of style you like and that works for your home, and stick to it when buying decorations. Styles you could choose from include pink, whimsical, scary, or even ‘90s Halloween decor. Have a look through Pinterest or Insta and fill your own board or bookmark folder with Halloween decor pics you like. This will help you understand what sort of aesthetic you gravitate toward and visualize what the end result will look like.

2.  Make your doorway slay

This is the first thing you and your guests see when entering your home, so if you want to give a spooky impression, this is the best place to start. If your door has a built-in hook or if your landlord doesn’t mind you adding one, go for a wreath. (Hot tip: I just loop my wreath thread to the other side of my door with a stick-on hook.) You could also add an adorable Halloween doormat. Then, if you have space, add some cobwebs and fairy lights to tie the whole doorway together.

3. Use lighting to create atmosphere

Have you ever seen anyone tell ghost stories in a brightly lit room? No! Instead, turn off the big light and go for atmospheric lighting, such as fairy lights and neon lights. I especially like using the best candles for this. They not only provide a cool flickering light, but they also come in delish scents. Pumpkin spice and caramel fragrances both give major Halloween vibes, IMO. Or, if you live in a dorm, battery-powered candles will give a similar lighting effect.

4. Get creative with DIY

Home decor is all about bringing your personality in, and a great way to do this is by getting your DIY on. From cutting out paper ghosts (think like making paper snowflakes!) to painting pumpkins, there are so many ways to get artistic with your decor. You don’t even have to spend a lot to do this — DIY Dollar Tree ideas like making lanterns could work really well, especially if decorated with sparkles and spooky illustrations. 

5. Swap out your fabrics

This is one of my favorite ways to change up how my place feels, and it literally takes less than 10 minutes once you’ve got all the right materials. In the living area, I like to change my tablecloths and pillow covers, and in the kitchen, I like to change my tea towels and oven mitts. When it comes to creating a Halloween aesthetic in my bedroom, I like to change my throws and sheets. If you really wanted to go all-out, you could do all this and even change up your towels and bath mats (…I’ve absolutely just given myself an idea for this year).

6. Add a pumpkin (or three)

I might be stating the obvious, but it just wouldn’t be Halloween without pumpkin decor. Pillows, glass figurines, or felt gourds are all cute ideas that will work in most rooms. For a smaller, subtler touch, go for mini scatters that you can place around your apartment. Pumpkins also work well as fall decor, so you can keep them in your home before and even after October 31 is over. Yay to versatility!

7. Finish with thoughtful touches

The art of decorating is all in the detail. It’s amazing finding decor that looks aesthetic, but it’s even better when you discover options that are functional, too. When decorating for a particular holiday, like Halloween, this is an especially great way to get into the spirit of it. For example, you could change your jewelry tray, your dinnerware, or even your desk decor. Heck, you could even have a candy bowl in your entryway for trick-or-treaters (or, y’know, for snacking). Whatever works for you, boo.

Up next: Where to buy Halloween decorations this year

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.