Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall Inspiration & Ghoulish Halloween Magic

Tis the season…………….OK, maybe not just yet, although it is approaching a little too quickly for many of us. So, prior to cutting down the tree and setting out the stockings, let’s focus on burgundy and golden hued tree lined streets,  The wonderful time of fall, the inspirations conjured by nature’s bounty, and how a little imagination can go a long way.

Fall and Halloween_-2-2  reedsw-spider  THEtree  
For true design inspiration on how to decorate in style for this spooky holiday, we turn to my dear friend Gloria de Lourdes Blalock’s Halloween Mantel. The following paragraphs are in her own words: (pic: Gloria loving fall)Luly-5

“With each and every season comes a fresh start, especially in the fall. On September 1st, no matter the year, the wind blows differently and slightly cooler. My thoughts turn to Autumn’s candy-corn colors, pumpkin patches, and the smell of wood burning  fireplaces wafting under an early evening sky. As the leaves begin to turn and cascade from the tall oak and maple trees, the once densely leafed branches begin to show their skeletal forms. And in these, and because of these, I find inspiration in the shadows they create.


For my 2009 Halloween Mantel, Manzanita branches anchor the vignette and help ground the grouping of ghoulishly inspired accessories. Two black crows perch  on the branches and watch the skeleton heads as candles flicker in their midst. An antique glass decanter filled with colored water, sits next to a fabulous bottle of Bubble Bath, and two crystal glasses sit to their left. The idea for this came from the phrase” ‘Pick Your Poison’. By positioning them side by side, it offers a subtle temptation for the not so feign at heart. An arrangement of dried white roses in an old Wedgewood black vase, serve as a backdrop for a small picture of a single eye. The eye watches you as you approach, and it sets an eerie mood around the display.


Finally, the old map of Cuba was the perfect background for a season of change. A feeling of decay looms below it on my mantel. It is my personal hope that the poison that surrounds my birthplace,  will find the joy it deserves in my next mantel and Laura’s future post: The hope, love, and light of the final Christmas in the first decade of the new millennium. And for Cuba… and for this Cuban born interior designer… a 2010 filled with the winds of change and a new beginning and branching out …on many different levels and in each and every season it will celebrate!”         

  skeletons grilling Fall and Halloween_-2  Fall and Halloween_-4    Fall and Halloween_-5  Fall and Halloween_-7     Fall and Halloween_-3     Fall and Halloween_


Photos above were taken in the Aurora Hills neighborhood or Arlington, Virginia, located just 5 minutes away from our nation’s capital.

Thank you to Gloria for sharing your beautiful words and awesome inspiration.



  1. Further to your question on light bulbs, I refuse to use those halogen ones, I can't stand them, I think they throw off such a bad light. But if people have them, then the colour gets adjusted accordingly!

  2. Wonderful photos and copy!! I'm so inspired for next year's decorating!

  3. There is nothing like bright yellow trees in the fall. Love the Cuban map too!

  4. I love your decorating magic. You mantel is spectacular. I would love to see what you do for Fall/Thanksgiving, and Christmas of course. You really captured Fall in your first bunch of photos. Wow! Keep posting so we can enjoy!!