Gilding the Halloween pumpkin: Creepy chic decor

BY KIM COOK
For The Associated Press
Modified: October 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm •  Published: October 20, 2010
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photo - This product image released by Pottery Barn shows their Haunted Gate wall mural featuring a black-and-white photograph of an iron gate opening into a mist-filled graveyard.  This season you'll find lots of ghoulish yet glamorous pieces to decorate with for Halloween.       (AP Photo/Pottery Barn)  NO SALES
This product image released by Pottery Barn shows their Haunted Gate wall mural featuring a black-and-white photograph of an iron gate opening into a mist-filled graveyard. This season you'll find lots of ghoulish yet glamorous pieces to decorate with for Halloween. (AP Photo/Pottery Barn) NO SALES

If you prefer a contemporary decor style, you aren't interested in rustic jack-o-lanterns or homespun stuffed witches when Halloween comes around. But fear not: This season you'll find lots of ghoulish yet glamorous pieces to fete the occasion.

Modern Alchemy's Memento Mori collection includes a set of beautiful black porcelain plates etched with silver skulls. There also are sleek, ebony skull candles to provide drama on a beverage bar.

Send invites using their elegant skull-printed stationery, or check out websites like Graphics Fairy (vintage clip art) and Living Locurto (bold, colorful designs) to make your own.

Z Gallerie's got skull goods, too — glitter-dusted in black or silver for display, plus glossy black mini-candles and little metallic spiders to scatter on a buffet. There's also a wonderful wood-finish, hinged skull made of resin that holds a wee clock; it's got an antique look, but would be a great counterpoint to more modern decor.

Each Halloween, Pottery Barn presents a new wall mural, screen printed with a suitably ghoulish image. This year's version is a cool black-and-white photograph of an iron gate opening into a mist-filled graveyard. Resembling a horror movie still, it would really turn a party space into something unique.

You're well on the way to creating a super spooky room with a few of the retailer's black feathered crows; add a set of life-size black cat wall decals from Domestic and 5.5 Designers, and get out the fog machine.

Grandin Road has a fun Halloween collection that includes dancing brooms and life-size green or silver glittery skeletons. Thick velvety tasseled cords evoke the Opera, and phantoms seem to fill the eye sockets of shiny chrome skulls.

The early 20th century was really the golden age for Halloween in the United States. Wealthy families returned from their summer mansions to the city, and lavish Halloween parties were one of the ways they launched the winter society season. While balls and galas may not be your speed, there's lots of inspiration online for chic and sophisticated Halloween festivities.

Check out Pier 1's website for party ideas like Nightcap on Elm Street and Vampire Dinner Party. Celebrations.com suggests a Victorian themed party, or an all-white Ghosts and Ghouls bash, among other ideas.

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