Most of my ideas start out very small. I think the weight of reality prevents me from dreaming too large. That's probably a good thing though as like any engineer I tend to turn molehills into condominiums once I get started. This years Halloween decor was no exception to this rule. A quest to remake my living room in the image of the Adams Family mansion started out with a simple categorization of goods in the "Halloween Box".
I'm not even going to try to explain why I needed to categories my holiday decor. I don't really know. What I do know is that I originally decided Halloween items fall into 1 of 2 categories - Cute or Gory. I did my best to divide my favorite decorations into these 2 categories (not wanting to cross the streams) but quickly realized that there was a third category: Creepy. Not the kind of "Creepy" that's sold in stores that show up every year around the middle of September and sell foam chains, plastic bats, decals for windows and overpriced light up junk better suited to Christmas. Those places specialize in cute or gory. I mean the kind of thing that's just off kilter enough to make you look twice or three times and say wow... thats kinda messed up.
It was this third category that really appealed to me. I wanted to live in a house decorated so that people would come in get creeped out. Only trouble is I wanted it livable too. I needed inspiration and turned to one of my favorite movies of all time - The Adams Family. After all, nothing says Halloween like the Adams Family Mansion. I watched the movie twice writing down all the everyday items that make their home the creepy/kooky place it is:
- Big Clocks
- Old books
- Dead Plants
- Old Mirrors/Paintings
- Mysterious Bottles
- Black and Gray Curtains
- Old Chests
- Jacobs Ladders
... I also had written down "black blueberry pie" on there but honestly I don't know what hell that was all about?
I figured most of the items on that list short of Dirt and the Jacob's Ladder were doable. I bought a pile of old display swords off of a guy from Craigslist(Note to myself here: don't buy things of Craigs List late at night anymore). I found some creepy used books at Bookmans. The liquor store provided me with a Crystal Skull
. I put together a nice dead flower arrangement for the dining room table. Kristin began collecting the empty's from the bar she now works at. I bought machetes, chains, and hooks from the hardware store. I even went so far as to create black curtains for all the windows in the living room. The only thing I really couldn't procure were candelabras. Antique shops had a few but they were just too much money or not the right style so I settled on a ton of candles instead.
My crowning achievement was a giant frame I nabbed at Goodwill on the cheap. I got some mylar from a local hydroponics place and after far too much effort created a big warped mirror. It wasn't perfect but it was fun to try and build - the perfect geek decor :)
After getting all this crap up it really did create the feel that I was looking for. The house wreaked of Halloween and was neither gory nor cute. Perfect for the Halloween party I was throwing in a few days. The only thing I can hope for next year is a budget to get more swords, and some old paintings. Damn this economy and my compulsive behavior!