Matthew Mead, style guru and author of the new book Frightfully Fun Halloween, is coming to Franklin, Tenn., and will be at the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Show October 17-18. And yes, he will be signing his book! The regional event is expected to draw more than 10,000 people; we personally know friends flying in from as far away as California for this crafters, antique-lovers and pickers extravaganza. Lucky us, we got to chat with him about all-things-spooky and spectacular when it comes to Halloween decorating.
StyleBlueprint: We all used to carve a pumpkin and call it a day. Not so much anymore. Why has Halloween decorating become so popular?
Matthew Mead: Halloween has become a season, starting with the celebration of fall. You can use much of your Halloween décor right through Thanksgiving with a few edits. And much of the Halloween decorations I like to create are budget-friendly.
SB: How can you create a big look on a budget?
MM: Repurpose things you already have. Spray paint an old birdcage black to create a scary vignette. Add mercury glass pieces and white pumpkins. You don’t have to buy Halloween decorations at a party store. You can use an assortment of items you probably already have. Or hit a flea market or antique store for old, chipped pieces that you can use.
SB: What are some kid-friendly ideas for Halloween?
MM: You can craft easy-to-make piñatas with balloons. Fill them with candy and paint them to look like eyeballs or spiders. Hang them from your front porch and, on Halloween evening, let the kids have at it.
For little kids, try a pumpkin decorating party. They can’t use sharp knives, but we suggest buying paint, using hay for hair and letting them use their creativity. Serve fun treats and decorate the table with more pumpkins.
SB: Halloween can get tacky pretty fast. What if you want a more sophisticated Halloween vibe?
MM: Try these ideas:
- Use all black and white as your décor theme.
- Instead of a costume party, throw a masquerade party. You can supply really great masks, and your guests can come in party clothes. It is more “Phantom of the Opera” than witches and vampires.
- Use black velvet for a tablecloth, silver candlesticks with black candles. It can look pretty in a spooky way.
SB: What if you just want to go old-school and just decorate a pumpkin?
MM: You can still make it really unique. You don’t have to just think about carving a pumpkin. You can make crazy creatures using things from the hardware store. Or if you use a white pumpkin, create pretty owls using cutout paper wings.
SB: How do you decorate your own house for Halloween?
MM: We have a sun porch on the front of our house. We cover the windows with black paper with cutouts of stars. We fill the stars in with tissue paper. When the lights are on in the house, it makes the front look magical from the outside.
SB: I know you are signing your book and meeting people at the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Show. Will you be shopping too?
MM: Absolutely. I was a style editor at Country Living magazine for 12 years, so my roots are there. I like to reuse and repurpose and find great things that have a colorful past.
For a special Middle Tennessee event, make plans to attend the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Show. We’re pretty excited about this entire weekend as even the venue promises oohs and ahhs as it’s at the “lost in time” gardens and mansion of music publisher Buddy Killen. For more information, visit cityfarmhousefranklin.com.