Decorating Your Home’s Exterior for Halloween

It’s that time of the year again—time for hot cider, pumpkin picking, and welcoming little ghosts and goblins to your doorstep for treats. Why not make your house the coolest on the block with some truly spectacular—or spooktacular—Halloween decorations? You can choose to present a haunting display or simply stick to a seasonal theme as a tribute to autumn in general. If you’re still looking for inspiration, here are some great ideas from The House Designers that will help you dress your home up for the month of October.

The Harvest Approach

A classic presentation of natural materials is a great option for anybody who wants to celebrate October for all that it is. With the growing season coming to an end, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get your hands on things like dried corn stalks, straw bales, and fresh pumpkins. You can ask around at local farms, livestock feed and supply stores, home improvement stores, and craft stores to get the materials you need.

Try stacking bales of straw or hay around on the edges of your entryway and in your yard, where they can help create a cute photo opportunity for trick-or-treaters. Lean dried bundles of wheat and corn stalks on either side of your door as well as around the bales, and punctuate the design with pumpkins in a variety of sizes. What you’ll have is a beautiful tribute to the season that isn’t too scary for younger visitors, but one that will still look spooky in the dark.

Flowery Decorations

October definitely isn’t spring, but there are still plenty of gorgeous floral options. Chrysanthemums are a great choice because they bloom in the fall and are generally low-maintenance, hardy plants that will overwinter year after year to keep adorning your home. Keep some mums in planters so you can move them around as you see fit, and try to stick to the natural colors—white, yellow, orange, red—that look great in autumn with the changing foliage.

If live flowers aren’t your thing, take a trip to your nearest craft and hobby store. You’ll find plenty of artificial blooms that you can pack up and reuse. Chances are you’ll be able to get synthetic mums, but even if you can’t, there are sure to be dried flower arrangements that will still get you excited. Even though you don’t have to take care of them like you would live plants, fall floral accents in boxes and garlands are just as beautiful, if not more so, because they have been carefully designed by decorating experts.

Get Carving

It’s a great crafty activity to do with friends and family and can help you dress up your front entry, so making jack-o-lanterns should be on your to-do list. Kids love to draw faces on their pumpkins even if an adult has to do the actual carving. Use safe carving tools to make sure there are no injuries that would take away from all the fun!

Get creative with your project. A variety of scary and silly faces on the stairs is a great way to invite trick-or-treaters to your door. You can also get a bunch of smaller pumpkins and carve individual letters into them to spell out a greeting. Use a drill to poke out little dots in the shape of letters to let light through and the process will be much faster.


It is Halloween, after all! If you love this holiday, let it show! You can set up a skeleton on a porch swing or sitting on a straw bale, or cover the façade of your home in giant spiders in artificial webs. For the arachnophobes among us, an empty web woven from thin cotton rope or even yarn will be plenty—just hang it across the front door or stretch it from the peak of your porch’s gable down one supporting column to create a cobweb look.

Skeletons, webs, spiders, witches, bats, ghosts, black cats—pick some of your favorites and go wild. Utilize every part of your property if you’re a devout celebrant of Halloween. You can hang bat cutouts and little fabric ghosts from your trees, and placing some decorations that are partially hidden in bushes or around corners will make people stop to look and admire your design scheme.

Enjoy the Season

Once the summer wanes, it seems like it’s only a short time before winter swoops in. That’s why we love to celebrate autumn. Whether you enjoy the natural beauty of the season or prefer the holidays by themselves, you can decorate your home to reflect your fondness.

As you decorate, keep safety in mind. Keep jack-o-lanterns with candles away from flammable materials, or just use flameless tealights in them instead. The walkway should be clear of anything that could be tripped over or somebody might get tangled up in, and make sure there aren’t any big surprises—like motion-activated sound effects or movements from decorations—near stairs, where somebody might jump back and fall. If you try to keep Halloween fun for everybody, your house will be a neighborhood favorite!

Christine Cooney
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Christine has over a decade of experience as a house plan and floor plan expert. Outside of providing her expertise to customers to help them find and build their dream homes, her passion and knowledge of the home building industry allows Christine to guide families and builders through all of the important steps from finding plans to building custom homes that meet the expectations of today’s new home owner. Christine’s years of knowledge of the diverse trends and needs of the modern homeowner has made her into an authoritative and trusted voice in the online house plan community.

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