blog » October 24, 2017 by Nicole DeAvilla

Halloween Decorating & Fun Food Ideas With Interior Designer Serena Armstrong! by Nicole DeAvilla

6 years ago
Halloween Decorating & Fun Food Ideas With Interior Designer Serena Armstrong!

Halloween is a spook-tacular time of the year for both kids and adults. This week we were thrilled to welcome Serena Armstrong as our #30Seconds Twitter chat guest. Serena, creator of the blog Farmhouse Urban and Northern California-based interior designer, helped us prepare for Halloween by sharing modern farmhouse ideas and inspiration for your home on Halloween. 

Q: How do you decorate for Halloween?

I like to start by focusing on three areas of the house – the front door, the fireplace mantle and the dining room table. For a clean modern look, I like to stick with a monochrome color palette. Sometimes I opt for all white now that pumpkins come in neutral shades. I often mix in a few other items, especially on the table like votive candles, branches or even antlers. For a modern look, it’s important to keep things simple, clean and uncluttered. Less is more.

Q: How do you recommend incorporating Halloween ‘themed’ items for the kids?

Again, less is more, but have fun, too! They don’t trick-or-treat forever. I love Pinterest for some great DIY ideas, Like spiderwebs and cool pumpkin carving ideas. I also like to start decorating for fall in late September for Thanksgiving. So, the Halloween themed items should be added in a way that they can be taken away without reinventing the wheel. For example, a fall foliage wreath on the door can be easily taken down for a skeleton and then put back up. When my kids were little, we had a bat theme. I added more to it every year including a bat on a string that hung from a tree branch and flew around!

Q: Tell us about your giveaway!

I received a cookbook, "Pantry and Palate," from the publisher recently and it’s perfect for Halloween! The author, Simon Thibault, is from Novia Scotia and has roots in Acadie, which few people have even heard of. The food is rustic, hearty and perfect for cold, fall days. Without giving too much away, there is a chapter on foods that have a slightly gory element.

Q: For pre-trick or treating, are there Halloween recipes that you recommend?

The first Halloween recipe I made was Martha Stewart’s Hungarian Ghoulash, lol! Delicious and hearty. (Try this Hungarian goulash recipe.) Perfect for Seattle weather! I like things that look appetizing. As fun as the severed fingers look, I can’t go there. Again, Pinterest is my go-to place for inspiration for just about everything. There are so many great Halloween recipes to be found. Now I know that I can go to 30Seconds' Halloween Headquarters for recipes and inspiration, too! I love anything and everything pumpkin. My family favorite is pumpkin loaf cake from the Tartine Bakery cookbook. It is divine!

Q: For a small space, without a mantle or a front porch, do you have any suggestions for creating a festive Halloween space?

Yes! Use a board – either a cutting board or something you find outside or at a craft store. It can be any shape. If you need to protect your table, use a piece of burlap as a runner. Get several mini pumpkins and put them on top of the board. Mix in pillar candles of different heights. Last year I bought a box of acorns and have used them for several centerpieces. If you can find them or something similar like walnuts in the shell, sprinkle those in as well.

Q: You wrote about going green, the environment, giving back and helping the Northern California area ravished by fire with style and wine. Tell us more!

Wine country was severely affected by the fires. The best organization to donate is Napa & Sonoma County Fire Relief Fund. I also recommend drinking lots of California wine! Thankfully, more big companies w/in the home furnishings industry are going green, so it feels good for all when we make the big investments. Also, I really like supporting artisans, small businesses and shop from places that source things from local makers. 

Be sure to follow  @FarmHouseUrban and check out Serena Armstrong's blog,!

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Meredith Schneider
So fun! So busy... need all the decorating ideas I can get.
Kim Kusiciel
I'll be hopping between this and the Chicago Toy & Game Week Preview Event. Check us out on the 30Seconds Mom facebook page for that and stay on Twitter for Serena!
Elisa Schmitz
Excited to meet you, Serena, and looking forward to learning from you! Hope to see all of our amazing community members for this chat! Donna John Nicole DeAvilla Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Kim Kusiciel Holly Budde Meredith Schneider Chef Gigi Gaggero Toni B Pam McCormick Kristy Dominiak sherry bracy Sheryl Gould Kelli Schulte Cheryl Butler Cheryl Leahy Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP 2 Minute Yoga Jan Mostrom Samantha Kemp-Jackson Laurieann Janssens Laurie Balles Simpson Jeannine Jeannie Greener MrsTaylor2U Stacey Roberts Mike Prochaska Amanda Ashlee Benest Amanda Heyser lorri langmaid Lorri Langmaid Lori Leal Dawn Lantero Stacie Ast-Kutzbach Stacy Draeger-Brogan Stacey Freeland Tiffany C Tiffany Anne Kathy Shimmield Kathy Ast-Kutzbach Adeline Benovil Adeline Benovil SillySheep Sharon PingPing Lauren Harris-Pincus sonlight00 Sonia Satra Sandy VanBuskirk Hustle N Glow ✈️It's Just Me✈️ Correy Kustin Margaret Steck Margaret McSweeney Mei Marcie Kat McQuaid Andrea Hinckley Amber Chandler Amber Cheras Alex Bryant Tommy FRIEND Geraci misterme TONIA L.CLARK Toni Graham joell51868 melinda Melinda Sutton Melinda Casey Mclendon Kim Kleeman 4WEALTHFG Jennifer Essad Infatuated™_desi®€ Jennifer Young Maria Koshechkina Marianne Clyde Lydia Tamara O'Shaughnessy Dr. Shayna Mancuso Christie Gosch Beth Aldrich, CHC, AADP, CNT Carrie Beth Beth Engelman @juliewaltz_dōterragirl Ann Poyer Cheyenne&HuntersMama Raquel Masco Kimberly @flipflop_mommy Kathline Arce Mommaofboys33 Mary G Laurel Smith jennah jackson Jenna Lee Candace Curtis Candace Reid Mitchell Barney Rachell Montgomery Rachel Markwood Rachel W. Lewter Dr. Christina Hibbert vidya P Ashley Martin Dawn W. Debi Lilly
Beth Aldrich, CHC, AADP, CNT
Pumpkins, goblins, and candy..all the things that make Halloween Great! :)

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