Halloween Chic

Simple Halloween decor that is classic and spooky

Our Halloween decorations were all sourced from Michael’s craft store. We spent less than $100 and will use all of the decorations again next year. I wanted to bring in the “spooky” and “freaky” without making the decor too dark or sensational, and on a white bookcase it was impossible to make the decor too dark anyway, so I worked with what we had and even incorporated some of our usual shelf decor, that with the black fabric looked spooky too!

The hand mannequin that is always on our shelf looks spookier with the Halloween colors

I flipped all of our books so that black, white and red bindings were the only visible colors facing out. I removed all items from our shelves that were out of the color scheme and hid them below. I layered a combination of black fabric, black stuffing and faux fall leaves across the shelves with a mix of styrofoam (read: cheap) skeleton heads, black crows and a “bag of bones” nestled in a chicken wire box.

All of the books turned out or face forward were red, white and black / B&W

The black stuffing went a long way to elevate basic shelves to Halloween chic with the mix of faux leaves. Be sure to stand the leaves up in the stuffing so that you can see them from afar vs. simply laying them down flat.

Leaves standing up in the black stuffing add more color and texture than leaves laying flat

The crows were a fun addition to the shelves and we were able to tuck a few away in some “surprise” places throughout the house.

A crow perched atop the Sapiens bookcase

Each fireplace mantle was decorated differently with a combination of small pumpkins, white and orange, and more faux fall leaves. In total, I used four bags of the faux leaves and they went a long way. I took all of the extra leaves and piled them at the edge of the fireplace on the ground.

Out of frame is a pile of faux leaves at the base of the den fireplace

The dining room fireplace was decorated with faux leaf branches from Michaels and a line of orange and white striped pumpkins from the patch!

The faux leaves look real against the [real] mini orange and white striped pumpkins on the dining room fireplace

The dark Calla Lillies that we always have in our living room in their bone vases look perfect for Halloween! The white pumpkins are simple and sweet. 

Friendly “Halloween” flowers in the kitchen

All of our mini pumpkins were purchased at the pumpkin patch. We bought 15 of these minis and scattered them through the house!

All of our pumpkins were cleaned before we placed them around the house. 

While we will have to toss the pumpkins at the end of the season, all of the other decor can be stored for next year. 

In our entry, we nested a bundle of dried corn against a cluster of larger pumpkins and more faux leaves

Happy Halloween!

Living Room Layout

The seating area is coming together with the addition of artwork and furniture transitioned from the loft. As a reminder, this is what the living room looked like in the listing (staged).

Living room in the listing photo

And, the living room when we moved in:

Delivery day!

The living room offers a good amount of space and light but as I’ve mentioned before, the paint job was not high quality (stray painters tape, drips and drops) and I am not a fan of gray, so our first step was to paint the entire space Wimborne White and start FRESH.

The moldings, walls and ceilings were all painted Farrow & Ball Wimborne White

The paint made a huge difference in unifying the space and making the moldings pop!

A fresh coat of paint unified and brightened up the space 

The paint brightened up the space and highlighted the woodwork, providing a great fresh slate for furniture and art, beginning with the Pink Eyeshadow Monkey.

The Pink Eyeshadow Monkey fit perfectly in this nook (Ralph Lauren upholstery)

The living room will have two seating areas and each will be anchored with two matching rugs. After some time spent swatching, I decided on two Restoration Hardware Teen rugs that were on sale in 10×12 size. Unfortunately they will not be delivered until August, but they were relatively well priced and the colors fit the space.

Our choice RH rug with neighboring fabric swatches and papers (Gucci, Room & Board)

We faced the chairs away from the fireplace which is a trick I first noticed at Twin Farms in Vermont and I like it here because it includes the couch in the conversation vs. facing the chairs towards the fireplace and away. The Sapien bookcase, artwork and furniture came together nicely to frame the fireplace until the rug comes in.

Final furniture layout in first seating area, pending rug

Our real estate agent purchased the horn vases for us in Africa, the bookcase is an Amazon find, the coffee table was a floor sample from Molteni, the chairs were reupholstered in Ralph Lauren fabric and the chaise couch is from Room & Board.

almost forgot. 🙂

I almost forgot the flowers!

The Story / Sapiens Bookcase

How I make a good looking book stack

Design Within Reach has finally re-released the famous Story Bookcase in a short and tall version here. I purchased ours on Amazon in 2017 before the re-release here. The Amazon version is 79.6″ high, 14 shelves and $285 + $43 shipping. The DWR version is 75.5″ high, 12 shelves and $295 + $21 shipping. If you’ve ever seen this bookcase in a photo and wondered how someone can possibly stack their books so neatly without them falling over, well, this is how.

The Sapiens Bookcase from Amazon

While the bookcase is a bit pricey, I love it because it can hold a ton of books in a super space efficient way and it looks chic.

 

Large to small, white bindings out (or pages)

I stack my books from large to small, bottom to top (I wouldn’t recommend any other way), with white bindings or pages facing out. Yes, this means that if the binding is colored, it is facing pages OUT and binding IN such that the entire front of the stack is in shades of white. Of course you can stack any way you’d like.

Time consuming exercise to get this right!

To most quickly order the books from tallest to shortest I first line them against the wall to gauge height and organize on the floor first, into groups, then transition to the shelves.

 

 

I leave a bit of room at the top for extras that tend to collect around the house

The Sapiens Bookcase is such a great architectural piece that adds nice interest to any room. If short on floor space, the short stack can be added to the top of a desk or console for equal impact.

Gucci wallpaper

The front console and overall floor plan has been evolving as I decide on the paint, wallpaper and stone for each room. The Bird and Thistle wallpaper from Brunschwig & Fils was one of the first wallpaper decisions that was made, and in addition to the paint colors, this pattern has been influencing the choices made throughout the house.

Brunschwig & Fils
Bird and Thistle wallpaper in Guest, Brunschwig & Fils

The back console will be papered in a beautiful grasscloth from Brunschwig & Fils that has a nice dark backdrop to the woven pattern.

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Walnut grasscloth in back console, Brunschwig & Fils

What remained until this week was the circular entryway console and the color of high gloss paint in the dining room. Papers that were in consideration for the front console included everything from an array of Farrow & Ball papers to Kelly Wearstler geometric patterns to Phillip Jeffries Coffered Wood.

Ultimately, the geometric patterns too harshly contrasted the toile in the guest bedroom and I couldn’t get excited for more than a week about a pattern until, .. behold.. Gucci.

Gucci Light-Herbarium-print-wallpaper
Gucci makes wallpaper (and it is fabulous)

As you may know, Gucci makes wallpaper now, and it is fabulous. It is also surprisingly inexpensive compared to other makers with similar square foot coverage. Less than $200 will get you over 110 sq feet of coverage. I am anxious to check on the quality but the design is perfect and the texture is even better.

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Close-up texture of the Gucci Herbarium print wallpaper

The wallpaper design is inspired by a vintage fabric and will be a beautiful in the entryway. I’m looking forward for it to arrive and will do a last check then to make sure it works with our paint colors in person.

Wallpaper for measure

We are planning to paper the guest bedroom in Brunschwig & Fils “Bird and Thistle” wallpaper in the Green colorway. We removed a bookcase from this room and it is looking less than perfect these days with lots of color patches.

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Many colors happening in this room today, with our chosen swatch of the future, Bird and Thistle by Brunschwig & Fils.

Guest Bedroom
Close up of Bird and Thistle, Brunschwig & Fils

I’m working on placing an order for this paper so we can be ready for Walter to install in the coming months. As a reminder, we are working on the guest room, highlighted below.

Astor 1210 Floorplan Guest
Floorplan of Guest, with built ins

I have found a couple of different resources for estimating the number of rolls needed. The bookcase helps us out because we do not need to paper the majority of that wall. I checked Lowe’s = 6 rolls. I checked Amara Living = 6 rolls. I checked Omni Calculator (this site has a calculator for everything!) = 6 rolls. Three for three! We will go with 6 rolls and get this order placed.