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Sara’s Haunted (But Happy) Halloween House with Affordable New and Vintage Finds

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Today, we have a VERY EXCITING special guest…that’s right folks, SARA IS BACK. AGAIN. She’s a die-hard Halloween lover, so we partnered with eBay and challenged her to deck her halls (too soon?) using a mix of vintage and affordable items. It’s been hard to get into the spooky spirit now that a lot of our traditional favorite fall activities are off-limits – so this year, consider skipping the scary, public, crowded haunted house and cozying up in your very own happy haunted house instead 🙂 Take it away, Sara…

FRIENDS, I’M BACK…AGAIN! Just for one more little post, but it feels so goooooood. Several weeks ago I casually mentioned to Jess that if there just happened to be any sort of Halloween content needed to please keep me in mind. Fast forward a few weeks, and Caitlin texted me “word on the street is you have a thing for Halloween. I think we have a job for you.” The job? Shop eBay’s huge selection of Halloween decor (both new and vintage), and decorate my living room in the coziest way possible. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, and my hands were shakey with excitement as I tried to type back “YES” faster than humanly possible.

It was the job I had been waiting for my whole life. An excuse to do nothing for two days but decorate for my favorite holiday, and use the excuse that it was all for WORK.

So without further ado, may I present, for the FIRST TIME EVER, my living room decorated for Halloween . . .

Yep, this is the first year of owning our home that I’ve finally gotten to decorate. The past two years we’ve had too many renovations going on. So this year, despite having a kitchen renovation happening just a few feet away, I finally had an excuse to make. It. Happen.

I won’t lie. My initial concept about eBay was that it was only a place to buy vintage (or other unique hard to find goods). My dad shops eBay all the time for rare watch parts, which he’ll bid on over several days. But I was ready to put in the time and effort in order to decorate for Halloween. But folks, I was wrong. I found TONS of new, ready to ship, affordable Halloween decor alongside a few really special vintage pieces that fit perfectly into the vibe I wanted for Halloween. The best part was that I could shop it all at once, pop everything in my cart, and purchase it all at the same time – vintage and new. I browsed and ordered everything on a Thursday, and it was all at my house by Tuesday afternoon, without a single trip to the store. Which, especially now, was really such a treat. (You could have all of your decor delivered to your door by this weekend!)

And after watching Em decorate year after year, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the different elements I wanted to bring into my Halloween decorating. Let’s get into them. 

SMALL EFFORT, BIG IMPACT DECOR

Hands down the easiest, and most affordable way to instantly bring some spooky vibes into a space is with a few bags of faux spider webs. I only used one bag and was able to cover a lot of area in both my living room and TV room. The best part about these webs is that they’re a great way to cover large areas, like bookshelves, without having to fill every shelf. And the fact that the webs are neutral means they won’t overwhelm a space.

I also brought the webs into our TV room. This room is already dark and moody, so just a few Halloween touches went a long way. Part of me kind of wants to keep this decor up year-round in here, just because of the ambiance it really gives the space. You know, creepy old library ambiance. Just what everyone wants in their homes.

Next on the “big impact, little lift” list are these bats. They’re thin plastic with little seams along their bodies which allows you to bend the wings out for a 3D effect. And they stick on the wall with little foam stickers. Each pack comes with 28 total, in 4 different sizes, and since they’re plastic they won’t tear when you pull them off the wall, so they’re 100% reusable. 

Side note: Everyone loves my witches broom. I predict brooms are going to be a hot decor item this year, and I found one that’s going to last me several Halloweens to come. It’s hand-made, beautiful and just really, really cool. You know, as far as broom decor goes. 

Just like the spider webs, they cover a large area easily, but bring in a graphic element that the spiderwebs lack. I did one little spiral up the wall by the front door, and it’s one of my favorite areas of the whole room.

Also, look at Bean!!!! Guah, my heart.

REPEAT ELEMENTS

Another big holiday decor tip I’ve learned from my time at EHD? Pick a few elements (like the spider webs and bats) and repeat them around to help a space feel cohesive. So I threw some bats, in a smaller amount, above the entry console as well.

Now that we’re looking at the entry console let’s chat about the spiderweb table runner that I used. I found it as a pack of two, and decided it would be perfect over the entry console to help ground everything on there a little. But I didn’t really have plans for what to do with the other one.

I ended up using it on the mantle directly across from the entry console, and it worked like a charm. Having the mantle decor sit on top of the table runner instead of directly on the white shelf helps the area as a whole feel more like a centerpiece. It definitely draws your eye.

I decided to repeat the table cloth element, and brought in a smaller circle cloth to cover the little side table that sits between the living room lounge chairs. Subtle, but effective.

A little spooky lace never hurt anyone. Cue the hanging gauze, in both black and white, that I used. These gauzes give the mirror over the fireplace and the window an almost hauntingly ethereal look – as if they had been covered in fabric years ago when the house was abandoned, which was now disintegrating with age and neglect. Or at least that’s what I like to think. Also the gauzes were sups cheap *thumbs up*.

KEEP IT WHIMSICAL

I’m not really one for being scared in my own house late at night. So instead of going for dark, haunting, and morbid (which I totally support if that is your jam), I brought in some elements that kept the decor feeling lighthearted and fun.

MY BIRDS! I unpacked each of these faux crows, and immediately became attached. They really bring a Hitchcock/New England folklore vibe to the room, and at a really affordable price point. My bats! These cute little skeleton bats hang from their toes from any ledge. They’re perfect for bookshelves, in my opinion, but would also probably work great on mantles, art ledges, or light fixtures.

MIX IN SOME VINTAGE

Have some vintage books, the kind with leather binding and gilded edges? Some creepy old family photos? Time to break them out! Or, do what I did, and use Halloween as an excuse to shop for some new vintage pieces.

You know what’s pretty cute? A little bowl of eyeballs. You know what’s EVEN cuter? A little VINTAGE URN filled with eyeballs. That vintage urn is black glass, and such a gem of an eBay find. It really sets the mood. And right next to it a unique little candy bowl that I already had in my collection (don’t worry, I found a similar one for a few of you quick-fingered shoppers!).

Now, I’m not one for filling my shelves with holiday decor. Like I mentioned above, just cover big areas with some web. BUT, when I was browsing on eBay I came across a TON of vintage or reproduced Halloween postcards, die cuts, and photos. FRAME THOSE BAD BOYS. Voila, custom Halloween art that’s probably cool enough to leave up all year round. Peek our vintage framed Halloween photos in the black frame below:

Oh look, another vintage urn being used as a candy dish. eBay has a ton of really awesome vintage urns, like this one. The urn candy dish is my trend, and I want to personally take credit for this trend when you see it all over Instagram in the next few weeks. 

LET IT GLOW

Nothing makes a holiday space cozier or more festive than a good amount of warm GLOW. I wanted to make sure that no matter how spooky I got with the decor, I still had enough warm yellow light oozing out of my decor that it felt both inviting and charming. Which brings me to this sweet, sweet little haunted house (check out this similar one).

It’s a black metal haunted house, with orange plastic in the windows, and little shelves for votive candles. When you light them up inside the whole home glows with a spooky (but cozy) warm light. I went with flickering electronic votives, for safety reasons, and the overall effect is pretty magical. 

I also really love that black wire tree, which I bought separately from the haunted house, but was destined to be its friend. It’s like I’m building my own little Halloween version of a Santa’s village. Topped with a larger than life crow and next to a die cut palm reading diagram, and you’ve just visited my favorite vignette in the whole house.

It’s pretty cute, right? I MEAN TERRIFYING. It’s all so spooky and terrifying, right? 

The other big place I brought some glow in was our fireplace. It’s not currently functioning – something we desperately want to fix – so in the meantime, I filled it with orange, yellow, and white candles (taking my cue from the overflowing bowl of candy corn on our entry console). Once they’re all lit up it’s almost just as cozy as roaring fire, minus the immense heat. Which, to be honest, we haven’t really missed yet here in Pasadena. Plus, the candles make the whole house smell like pumpkin spice. Some joys are just so basic.

There you have it! My very first decorated Halloween in my home, all thanks to EHD and eBay. My heart is so full every time I come back into the house, to finally have it nice and spooky for my favorite holiday. And! I get to enjoy it all month long. If you need me I’ll be eating all this popcorn, drinking some cocoa, and watching “Practical Magic” on repeat until October 31st.

Emily here to sign off – I just want to say a big thank you to the team at eBay and ShopStyle for partnering with us on this post (it was so. much. fun.), a big thank you to Sara for being a great stylist, friend, and photographer (hire her or follow her on Instagram!), and a big thank you to YOU, the readers, for helping support the brands who support this blog. Happy Halloween and have a great week. xx

**Styling and Photos by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Fin Mark

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karen

The skeleton in the rattan chair might be my favorite touch.

Lisa

I almost missed it – that really is so cool!! I also really liked the little cat skeleton on the fireplace, my favourite were probably the crows – they weirdly feel like such a cohesive part of the place, like they’re just your bird friends casually hanging out with you this halloween eve ^^ SO happy to see you back again so soon, Sara!!! Love the halloween decor – really whimsical and fun and of course always lovely to see your beautiful living room (and yourself obvs)! 🙂

THEY ARE MY BIRD FRIENDS!

Alice

How many of us went back to look? And now it’s the greatest.

Hahaha, it’s the little things, you know?

Kim

Great ideas! I like to add peanuts to my candy corn so I get the taste of a Payday bar.
Also, love, love the shirt. Please share were it came from.

Alice

Yes, 50/50 peanuts and candy corn, old family favorite mix.

What?! I’ve never heard of that! Also – shirt link: https://rstyle.me/+GqqIHwa4lav_hLlyjakcxw

Rachel

I mean this in a completely non snarky sincere way -I’m not from the US – is decorating the inside of your house for Halloween actually a thing, especially if you don’t have kids or aren’t throwing a massive party? I’m Australian and other than a few twinkly lights and Christmas Tree seasonal decorating is not really something most people do here, so I’m very curious!

LouAnn

I’m from the US and, no, I would say that most Americans do not decorate their homes inside or out for Halloween. I certainly don’t. But there is a solid portion of Americans who do, and they entertain the rest of us. 😉

Seriously the only holiday I decorate for is Christmas.

NancyS

I think it depends on the individual. Christmas decorations – inside & out were always second to Halloween at my house. I loved a full yard of monsters & gravestones and a living room full of crows and spiderwebs 🙂 I can’t say for the inside of homes, but in my neighborhood Halloween & Christmas yard décor pretty much run the same.

Alice

I don’t even decorate for Christmas, so it’s not universal.

My mom also loves Halloween, and so I grew up always just as excited to decorate for Halloween as I was to decorate for Christmas. So it’s an inherited overzealousness.

Isabelle

Some people do it. I think this year since we can’t trick or treat or host parties a lot of people are trying to create that festive environment within their own homes.

Patricia

I think Halloween has become a more important holiday in the US in the last 20 years, but now since traditional trick or treating and holiday parties are ruled out by Covid 19, it’s become a substitute to bring some of the fun back for kids.

Karen T.

Great job, Sara! Love all of the little vignettes.

Thank you!

Lisa

Also just wanted to say, that I know its probably annoying and frustrating to not have access to locations as easily (and probably also somewhat disruptive to have those locations now be your homes), but so far I am actually really enjoying seeing places I already ‘know’ quite well being stiled out in different ways (like here), or where I don’t know the place exactly but do know something about the style of the person who usually lives there and thus influenced the design (like the bedding post in Sara’s bedroom) – it somehow makes me feel a little bit more connected to the spaces? And its just a fun way to rediscover and reshare beautiful spaces, I guess… not sure where I’m going with this, but mostly just wanted to say that I really loved your recent design posts (though to be fair I always do) and I’m really happy to see/’hear’ Sara and her beautiful home again! 🙂

Rusty

Me too! I like seeing the same spaces styled differently.
Being Australian, iveonly ever had one Halloween party, so ivonly decorated for it once.
In the last few years, the local kids have hit the American bandwagon and done trick ir treat sporadically. It’s really nothing more than an advertsizing excuse.
That said, it’s fun and (besides even more plastic!!!) and a distraction from the pandemic! Like really? We’re all living a nightmare, right here, right now! 😳

It’d definitely a very commercial holiday here, but still very fun

Actually, it’s SUPER fun. I love getting to style out areas in my home. And it usually makes for a really relaxing styling day and shoot 🙂 Also, glad you like it, because holiday decorating is coming up next. This is also gonna be our first year decorating our home for Christmas, and having our very own tree, which is super meaningful to me. Considering that last time we had a tree and decorated it all burned down, haha. Stay tuned!

This is so good! Perfect “friendly spooky”, which is how we decorate too! Nothing gory or super scary, just super fun.

I really can’t do gore, unless it’s in a zombie movie weirdly? I have a soft spot for zombies…

eek! no zombies for me! just smiling pumpkins please!

Cat

Fab! Can you tell us where your sofa throw and cushions are from please?!

Suzanne

I want to know, too. I love that throw!

My sofa is from CLAD Home (custom – it’s the Cole sofa in basil green velvet), and the throw and cushions are from Target!

WHAT A FREAKING TREAT, SARA!

It was a dream come true

Sheila

Love this! I’ve never decorated for Halloween but it’s always a treat to visit my fun friends who go all out. Thanks, for sharing, fun friend!

Thanks for reading!

Patricia

I’m participating in a Halloween door decorating contest in my building and you’ve given me several ideas. Love it!
PS I did not spot the skeleton kicking back in the rattan chair until I read Karen’s comment. Whoa!

That sounds like a really fun (and socially responsible and safe) way to share Halloween with your whole building!

Patricia

We’ve also got a pumpkin decorating contest and a costume contest coming up … since we can’t have parties. Someone videos all the doors and posts it on our in house TV station so even the most shut in can participate.

I won last year’s pumpkin decorating contest: I made Cinderella’s pumpkin as it was turning into a coach, complete with white mice!

Alice

Putting family Halloween photos in frames as a part of Halloween decor is a great idea and something I’ve never seen before. Clever and unique!

I have a box of old black and white family photos at my parents house that I want to go through for next year!

Sara, this was too cute and fun! I loved everything from the birds to the bats to the mini bones chillin on the rattan chair. This makes me feel like getting in the spirit!

MINI BONES – the skeleton’s new name.

Nicole

OK, the halloween decor is awesome, but I am totally in love with the paint colour and sofa in the TV Room….sources?

Suzanne

She has all the links in her living room reveal.
https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/saras-living-room-dining-room

Kim

How do you get web so thin and to connect? I Love this but can never replicate the web effect as well as seen here. Any tips? So cute!!

Just lots and lots of pulling and stretching!

Suzanne

I usually just do fall decor, so that it lasts through Thanksgiving, but I love this simple, repetitive, modern feeling Halloween decor. I may have to copy some of these elements. Thanks for the inspiration!

Vicki Williams

This was weird. No pictures to show us what you’ve done? Anyway some good tips.

ahhh there are 20 photos in the post – are they not loading for you?

Katie Chapple

Every time I reload I see a different set of photos, in groups of 4. Weird little glitch but entertaining to keep pushing the refresh button!

i *thiiiiink* we just fixed permanently! thank you both for the heads up 🙂

Sarah S

So happy to see her back here! Made my day! ….and INCREDIBLE as always

Thank you fellow Sarah!

Susie

I LOVE THIS!!!

Marla

What a fun post! Thank you for the great ideas
Just one important point – that ‘webbing’ can trap and kill little birds when used outside – they perceive it as ‘real’ spider webs, and land on it to eat the little bugs, and then can’t fly out!

I promise I will not being using it outside! On the bright side, the webbing INSIDE did catch a real fly the other day, so that was cool.

Kj

This is amazing, love everything! The only thing is…drinking *cocoa*. Shouldn’t it be apple cider or pumpkin lattes, amiright?? Thanks also for posting a bit earlier than usual. Your holiday posts are often honestly way too late; coming just a few days before the holiday so there isn’t enough time to “get the goods”. Ideal timing would be Halloween posts 10/1, Thanksgiving posts 11/1 and Christmas posts the day after Thanksgiving.

Apple cider is too sweet and I can’t abide caffeine, haha. So cocoa for me!

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