Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas

If you’re looking to go next level with your DIY Halloween decorations this year keep reading. I love using seasonal decor, but I loathe the tacky look that is so prevalent. So I’m sharing my favorite ideas for tasteful Halloween decor!

Ornate wooden mirror with the Halloween tablescape reflecting in it with a jack-o-lantern for a centerpiece.

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I know it’s popular and easy to just go pick up whatever the big box stores have, but often that is the opposite direction of the elegant Halloween decorations we dream of. This year I’m digging deep and going all out, it’s chic Halloween decor all the way.

What Separates Tacky Halloween Decoration Ideas from the Right Halloween Decorations?

To sell that tasteful look we’re going for you really need a plan to execute a cohesive look. Or fail and look like a garage sale of last year’s holiday home decor.

Festive decorations don’t have to look like you shopped at a party decor store. In fact, you don’t even have to do the common orange color palette. So whether you’re decorating for the joy of it or you’re planning a big Halloween party and you want to blow your party guests’ minds, I’ve got some great ideas for you to use.

Supplies + Tools

None of these are required, but depending on the Halloween vibe, budget, and the rest of your decor these might come in handy. Especially if you intend on getting your Halloween look with DIY.

Halloween tree tasteful halloween decor sitting next to my farmhouse style open shelving in my dining room filled with vintage ironstone and pfaltzgraff dishes.
Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas – Bring a tree inside! Or several trees. This almost makes you feel like you’re in the woods, I find it very charming.

How Do You Tastefully Decorate for Halloween?

The best way to start any decorating project is to think in terms of a theme. This way you can organize your thoughts around what type of elements you’d like to use. And the good news is, it’s pretty simple, but let’s break it down into bite-size chunks anyway.

Picking a Halloween Decor Theme – 5 Best Tips

This can be as simple as choosing your favorite spooky season books (Frankenstein’s Monster) or scary movies (Hocus Pocus), or an inspirational photo you saw that you’d like to recreate.

Tasteful halloween decor ideas including DIY envelope pillow covers with a black and white theme underlying my sleepy hollow theme for halloween.
Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas – My color scheme was basically black and white this year. I whipped up a couple of DIY Envelope Pillow Cases to accentuate my sitting chairs in my dining room.

01 Pick a Color Scheme

This year I chose a theme based on the book The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and did an underlying black-and-white victorian theme around that. But I have seen beautiful dark jewel-colored schemes as well, like a deep burgundy, emerald, or even citrine.

02 Choose the Main Theme

This makes it easier for everything else to fall into place. I’ve come up with 8 Great Halloween Themes with corresponding elements that are great for both inside and outside of your home.

Apothecary bottles as apart of the victorian macabre halloween decorating theme that goes well with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow theme I chose as tasteful halloween decor.
Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas – Apothecary bottles and antique books in a small vignette, as apart of the Sleepy Hollow victorian macabre theme.
  1. Haunted House faux cobwebs, faux spiders & other creepy crawlies,
  2. Pumpkin Patch plastic pumpkins, hay bails, a scarecrow, corn stalks, black crows, etc.
  3. Hocus Pocus underlying witch or magic theme, crystal ball, antique book or stack of books,
  4. Mad Scientists’ Lab vintage apothecary, asylum, etc.
  5. Victorian Macabre vintage medical posters, skeletal body parts, gothic details, an antique mirror, etc.
  6. Natural Elements dried flowers and grass, white pumpkins, autumnal wreaths, string lights, white candles, wooden candle holders, etc.
  7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow jack-O-Lanterns, bats, dead trees, black + beeswax candles, faux spider webs, plastic spiders, etc.
  8. Alice in Wonderland brass skeleton keys, tea cups + teapots, cakes and fancy drinks, the Cheshire cat, white rabbits, top hats, and pocket watches, etc

I recently did an Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party and you can check out that post for great ideas and free printable decorations, A Very Merry Unbirthday Party.

03 Choose a Focal Point

Because I decorated my dining room with the Sleepy Hollow theme it was only right to make my focal point the centerpiece on my dining room table. So, I chose to do a really spooky display with a jack-o-lantern cut like the headless horseman’s pumpkin head. Then I added a few mini pumpkins with my brass candlesticks.

Halloween tablescape a tasteful way to decorate for halloween is to choose a theme like the legend of sleepy hollow. Dark black embroidered table cloth, vintage ironstone, cloth napkins, candles, and a jack-o-lantern as my centerpiece.
Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas – My Halloween tablescape included a black-dyed embroidered tablecloth, cloth napkins, vintage ironstone dishes, brass candlesticks with black and beeswax candles, and a Jack-O-Lantern as the centerpiece.

04 Create Vignettes

It’s best to work in small vignettes, in that simple way you help keep a larger room (or your whole house) from becoming overwhelming. Cutting your room or home into small sections to decorate in stories will help you create inviting spots throughout.

05 Spooky and Elegant

You don’t have to choose one. You can go full-on scary Halloween decorations, or you can be selective and use them as an underlying part of another theme. Like, adding a ghost peel and stick vinyl to a beautiful mirror. Or filling beautiful frames up with antique macabre posters.

Andreas Vesalius vintage illustration prints of the human anatomy.
Download these for free in the Wonderland Subscriber Library

Implementing Tasteful Halloween Decoration Ideas in the Details

At this point, you’ve chosen a color palette, and the main theme, and you’ve got your centerpiece picked out. Now it’s time to fill in all the spaces with an elegant twist. This is the perfect time to shop the rest of your house and turn something you already own into one of your newest favorite Halloween displays.

16 Small Halloween Decor Ideas

Get into the Halloween spirit with these 16 small ideas to fill in the spaces and create that cohesive feeling we’re going for.

  1. Paper Ghost Garland
  2. Whimsical Wreaths
  3. Real or Faux Pumpkins of varying sizes, shapes, and colors
  4. Faux Birds of Prey Owls, Crows, Vultures, etc.
  5. DIY Halloween Window Silhouettes
  6. Dried or Fresh Bouquet of Flowers mums, grasses, etc.
  7. Pillar Candles think large collection on a mantel, buffet table, dining table, or coffee table
  8. Jack-O-Lanterns use a stencil that coincides with your theme, scrape the inside of the pumpkin to clean it out, and put candles lit up to add a warm glow.
  9. Personalized Name Cards with a spooky touch for a dinner party with guests or family members
  10. Halloween Season Treats + Goody Bags gourmet pumpkin spice cupcakes with specialized cupcake liners in beautiful single take-home boxes
  11. Apothecary Jars & Glass Bottles
  12. DIY Halloween Twig Tree bring the outdoors indoors this year
  13. Sleepy Hollow Sign Or a sign that fits in with your personal theme!
  14. Oil Lamps add charm, a warm glow when lit, and a sense of history
  15. Throws and Decorative Pillows pick a fabric that goes well with your theme and DIY!
  16. Antique or Vintage Books the fancier the spines, the better!
Using vintage oil lamps in your tasteful halloween decor is a very classic and chic option.
Tasteful Halloween Decor Ideas – Adding vintage oil lamps to your decor for Autumn and Winter add that beautiful warmth and charm to a space.

Ideas for Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because I’ve always loved dressing up and going trick or treating, who doesn’t love free candy?! But I’ve never been a fan of witchcraft, ghosts, or ghouls. Because I just never liked feeling scared!

So, this year I’m going more whimsical when it comes to outdoor Halloween decorations. I fell in love with this vintage man on the moon and thought it would be fun to use that on my porch (post coming soon!).

Ideas to Decorate the Outdoors for Halloween

Whether you’re decorating your front porch, front yard, or just your front door this time of year doesn’t dictate a spooky spirit.

Halloween Themes that Transition Easily

Let’s talk about a more stylish way to decorate the outdoors for an easier transition to the fall season as well as the rest of the year. Whimsy is the word we’re looking for, even with a touch of spook, like the dark woods.

  • DIY Vintage Man on the Moon the harvest moon is a well-known autumnal theme, add stars, twinkle lights, dead trees, owls, etc.
  • The Pumpkin Patch is probably the most used porch decor with bunches of pumpkins, corn stalks, hay, scarecrow, etc. I would go scary with the scarecrow + crows and then eliminate them to transition to fall.
  • The Dark Woods with a lot of stick or twig trees, birds of prey perching, and bats hanging from branches with nylon string, decorate your door with a dark and mysterious theme

I always consider it a fun project and challenge to think through these themes and brainstorm what elements I could realistically pull off in a DIY project. Even better if I can do it without spending any money!


Quickly and cohesively decorate your house for Halloween by following these 5 steps:

  1. Pick a Color Scheme
  2. Choose the Main Theme
  3. Choose a Focal Point
  4. Create Vignettes
  5. Spooky + Elegant: You Can Have it Both Ways

Decorate your entire house on a budget following these 5 steps:

  1. DIY Your Halloween Decor
  2. Use Natural Elements from the Outdoors as Much as Possible
  3. Reuse Home Decor You Already Own
  4. Upcycle things from Thrift Stores
  5. Carefully Curate Items from the Dollar Tree

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope I have given you some inspiration, ideas for creativity, and maybe a push to start creating your own wonderland one piece or project at a time.

Don’t forget to come back for more great projects like these DIY Projects and many more!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


  1. I love that you choose a tasteful approach to Halloween. It’s not my favorite holiday but you’ve covered it from a great angle.

  2. Beautiful! I’m not much for decorating for Halloween anymore but your decor would go perfectly in our rustic, old, log home. Lots of items that I hadn’t considered using in a different way before, like oil lamps and antique bottles!

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