Nineties Halloween decor lives rent-free in my head for 11 months of the year. But in October, I get to live my best Hocus Pocus life. Sure, most girls go wild for PSL szn at Starbs, but one of my favorite things to do is recreate nostalgic schemes from the grunge era.
Here I've "crawled" the net for nine ways to decorate your small apartment (or dorm) while paying homage to the best decade ever (IMO). I've made sure that everything is affordable, so you won't be spooked by the prices. Plus, a lot of this decor can be reused year after year — 'cause climate change, environmental irresponsibility, and single-use plastic creeps me the F out.
Many of my memories are based on cultural references from music, movies, and TV shows. So when decorating for the spooky season, I'm relying heavily on Nickelodeon and other media way before Netflix or Disney+ was even a thing. Yup, I'm talking Blockbuster's era, bb. It sounds weird to admit it, but one of my favorite past times involved going to a store to rent a bunch of VHS video tapes and buy some snacks in the same place. Pizza Hut for dinner, too? You've just hit the Friday night jackpot!
Now I'm older though, I can host my *own* Halloween nights. And that means I don't have to see Mom and Dad dress the pad with cheugy furnishings that'll scare an interior stylist. No plastic figurines, motion-sensor models and I promise there won't be any cheesy or garish accessories either.
U ready, boo?
Nostalgic '90s Halloween decor
Price: $0.89 per square foot
I usually hate the clean-up that's involved with holiday decorating. By the end of Christmas, I'm usually covered in glitter and on October 31st, I can't get the stink of pumpkin innards out of my nostrils. Luckily, this Beetlejuice-inspired, monochrome peel-and-stick wallpaper won't wreck your walls and is a super affordable solution to switching up your scheme.
I hated the white doilies that my mom and grandma used to decorate the kitchen table with, but I'm so into this lace runner. It's gorgeously gothic, and I just love the scalloped and raw edging on it. Use it to decorate a dorm common room table to transform it from the care home vibes it's currently giving. If I had a dinner invite from Morticia Addams, I can imagine a long dining table dressed with this.
Dishwasher- & microwave-safe
I totally get it. Paper plates were totally worth it for our parents when we used to go HAM at the Halloween buffet. But now we're older and can use proper dinnerware, I'm really loving these glazed plates. It's totally giving Salem from the Sabrina The Teenage Witch series.
Price: From $11.70
NGL, I was obsessed with Sabrina The Teenage Witch when I was younger. I dreamed that my future husband would be called Harvey (I ended up with a George) and that I'd have a black cat called Salem (there's still hope). If you were a fan, you would have noticed that she had stained glass windows in her iconic purple bedroom. These decals are wickedly easy to install.
Comes with a decorative lid
Inspired by my love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is this gorgeously fruity candle. The first episode of the hit TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar aired in 1997, but this crimson candle is also subtly giving me Y2K Ed Hardy vibes too. As well as the soy wax blend, this also contains natural essential oils to ward off all of the bad spirits. Smells like red berries.
Was $79, Now $59 (save $20)
Yes, I know. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone didn't actually hit cinema screens until 2001. But I was reading the paperback books in 5th grade, so it's going in the guide! These dorm room lights are hauntingly chic and even if you're not a HP fan (or are pretending you've grown out of it), these gold owls are hooting up the right tree. Can someone say "Potter-y Barn"?
Jack-O, Pumpkinhead... What was the late '80s and '90s obsession with gourd-based baddies? Though these films weren't the most tasteful, this Staub Ceramic 16-ounce Petite Pumpkin Cocotte has a gorgeous glass porcelain finish. Use it as a dramatic way to serve punch or invite the girls over for a hearty autumnal soup or stew. Available in burnt orange or matte black, this cozy cauldron was made for communal dining.
Price: From $43.33
Charmed was one of those series that my mom knew I probably *shouldn't* be watching, but she let me anyway! The power of three did set me free (from reality) and I loved the Halliwell witches: Prue, Phoebe, and Piper. This poster print is the perfect way to pay tribute to this television show.
Tried and tested, I actually bought these for a scarily-adult life event: my wedding. But although these remote-controlled, battery-operated flameless candles gave my wedding Mediterranean appeal, they're very "Addams family" when styled correctly, too. Obvs, you can't take real candles to college, but these LED alternatives won't pose a fire risk. Unlike tacky Halloween decor, you can keep using these all year round. I'd personally add some clear fishing wire to my Amazon basket to recreate The Great Hall scene from Harry Potter.