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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I do have too much Halloween stuff (although I'm still not admitting to it on Matrixmom's OGBA thread-so by saying it here it really doesn't count. Hee!) I have been accumulating Halloween decorations for 30+ years-much of it vintage but there are newer Dept.56, Radko, Glitterville, Gallerie II things (+etc.) and what I call "filler"stuff. What I need help with is making it look pulled together-kind of like when you walk into your favorite boutique or giftware store during the Halloween season. You know the place you ALWAYS look forward to visiting each Halloween-the place where you want everything? I recall walking into one such boutique (at Halloweentime, of course) and wire ribbon was draped and twisted-suspened from the ceiling. I tried doing that at home and it looked silly. Just plain silly. Are there design concepts that I should learn? How DO you make it all look like it's been professionally tweaked-like a store display or magazine spread? Does anyone have any advice or tips?

(Yes, white walls make decorations stand out and great furniture contributes to the effect. I do have antique display cases-when they are filled they look very nice-but something is lacking with the other stuff...)
 

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The Cackling Cauldron
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I agree with MC Haunt, Rogers Gardens is an excellent place for inspiration. It think it could also help if you mapped out your areas before hand. Breaking it down into groupings will help get items organised together for display. :)

Do you have any themes or are you more of a general all around Halloween vibe?

Here is a set of items I have started for next years party. I really want an old world kind of cursed artifact and antiquities shop for the house, so I have stared a collection of items to group around the place. There will be lots of cobwebs and dusty items all around with plenty of spiders some bats and a few skeletons too.
Some aged photos of many famous (fictitiously) cured people who have owned some of the items.

Room Glass Interior design Table Antique
 

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I agree with MC Haunt, Rogers Gardens is an excellent place for inspiration. It think it could also help if you mapped out your areas before hand. Breaking it down into groupings will help get items organised together for display. :)

Do you have any themes or are you more of a general all around Halloween vibe?

Here is a set of items I have started for next years party. I really want an old world kind of cursed artifact and antiquities shop for the house, so I have stared a collection of items to group around the place. There will be lots of cobwebs and dusty items all around with plenty of spiders some bats and a few skeletons too.
Some aged photos of many famous (fictitiously) cured people who have owned some of the items.

View attachment 277219
Ooooh! Love it A_granger. Gotta get my butt in gear!
 

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Making a display look busier or bigger can sometimes be made to happen by using a mirror for a "Floor" under the small items and maybe another mirror as the back wall? The random motion of people seeing some of themselves reflected might add more interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Have you looked at the Rogers Gardens videos to see how they do it? I've found that more is more for Halloween. Group collections together for max impact.
Thank you for considering my "lack of design" problem. I WILL look for the Rogers Gardens videos. I really appreciate it-it's something that has always baffled me. I have nice decorations but am not getting that pulled together look. I've tried to diagnose where I go wrong-but have been unable to get that great look with newer items!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree with MC Haunt, Rogers Gardens is an excellent place for inspiration. It think it could also help if you mapped out your areas before hand. Breaking it down into groupings will help get items organised together for display. :)

Do you have any themes or are you more of a general all around Halloween vibe?

Here is a set of items I have started for next years party. I really want an old world kind of cursed artifact and antiquities shop for the house, so I have stared a collection of items to group around the place. There will be lots of cobwebs and dusty items all around with plenty of spiders some bats and a few skeletons too.
Some aged photos of many famous (fictitiously) cured people who have owned some of the items.

View attachment 277219
EXACTLY what I'm talking about! To me, that looks perfect! I have general Halloween items-I have difficulty pulling the different brands together. Different brands are known for their different "looks" Bethany Lowe vs. Dept. 56 whimsical. I have more of the new whimsical not vintage STYLE (because I have real vintage.) I have the stuff but am unable to display it for impact. I don't want it to look "flat". Thank you for your reply. Any ideas given are a springboard! Your photo is GREAT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Making a display look busier or bigger can sometimes be made to happen by using a mirror for a "Floor" under the small items and maybe another mirror as the back wall? The random motion of people seeing some of themselves reflected might add more interest.
That's an idea....I've never thought to do such a thing. See? There are tricks and basics to learn about I'm sure. Thank you for the suggestion! Going off now! HAIL storm! Aaargh!
 

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You're probably aware of the principles, but just in case--
Note that in a_granger's display there's a variety in height, and there's front to back depth. There's no lineup of things; they're staggered. There's variety, but there's also repetition. If she had one thing each of brass, glass, black lacquer, wood-- it wouldn't be held together the way it is when there are several brass things, several glass things, multiple candle-holders, multiple "bug" displays, etc. She's also got an "anchor" by having one table covering under it all.
It looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You're probably aware of the principles, but just in case--
Note that in a_granger's display there's a variety in height, and there's front to back depth. There's no lineup of things; they're staggered. There's variety, but there's also repetition. If she had one thing each of brass, glass, black lacquer, wood-- it wouldn't be held together the way it is when there are several brass things, several glass things, multiple candle-holders, multiple "bug" displays, etc. She's also got an "anchor" by having one table covering under it all.
It looks great!
Thanks, Ooojen! I know to do odd numbers not even! HA! I'm very good with repetition because I buy multiples for that reason. My mixing lacks flair, though. I'm beginning to think that I can't mix different collectible brand lines together? I'm well aware of different "styles" and always seem to separate them. BUT when I separate things you look at each "cluster" and I was hoping to integrate the decorations. I just keep thinking about store window displays (displaying a variety of lines, usually) and how I get so sucked in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This type of thing. I have a variety of stuff but the mixing is not good. These photos are from Christmas Traditions- it's (kinda) what I'm thinking of. I do think it comes down to design principles? Collection Souvenir Art Toy Collection Pumpkin Or is it because it's all one line?
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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I used to create displays for Luxury Linens (leased area in most Burlington Coat Factory stores), and a few other retail stores that I worked for.

oojen is correct about using different heights. You may want to look into pedestals to create heights, too. Such as taking a piece of floral foam, wrapping it creatively in "ruched" (scrunched) material or crepe paper to give it a less plain look, and then setting your item on top of it. The creases in the ruches or crepe paper will catch the eye, without overpowering the display.

When we would do spirals with ribbon, we wrapped them around our forearms and slid them out, but we generally used short lengths. I'm not sure how well it would work with longer pieces.

The little easel type displayers for decorative plates can come in handy for things other than plates. Dollar Tree carries wooden ones, and braided metal designs in brass, and maybe silver. Craft stores carry really pretty ones, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think that we were responding at the same time. :)

What I have always done is add my favorite pieces first, and then things that coordinate. If you have a mixture of different lines, maybe it would look better with a smaller display for each, if you have the room.
LairMistress, thank you for your advice-I envy your display skills-would love to create displays except that I, apparently, lack the skills! HA! I actually was just talking to my Mom and explained to her that many people on this forum switch up their decorations-changing themes. I asked my Mom if I should eliminate everything and focus on one type of item or theme. She said, "You have one theme-Halloween." HA! I'm thinking it is impossible to mix certain lines-Bethany Lowe has that dark color palette and Dept. 56/Glitterville has whimsical/bright. I think buying whatever I like (throughout the years) has led to this problem. Never had a problem mixing basic Halloween decorations-just the collectible lines (Lowe, Dept.56/Glitterville, Radko, Krinkles, Hallmark, etc.)

Would you say color palette is THE most important thing when pulling it together? IF that is the case then it will be impossible to mix brands/lines. Do you think grouping according to subject matter would work with diverse styles?

And what about ribbons and sprays, darn it! HA! (joking.)

I suspect you understand what I mean about mixing different brand lines/styles (from throughout the years). It has been challenging. I'm quite sure the worst part is unpacking the stuff and wanting to display ALL of it-I don't want to rotate the decorations.

I HAVE seen Roger's Gardens displays while googling-just didn't know it! I would need a whole 'nother house! HA!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tremblin'Toad do you have any pictures of the items you have to work with? That might help to inspire more ideas or groupings to try out.
Hi, AGranger! Yes, I am going to pull some stuff out of the bins (they are quite handy right now) and take some pics. You'll see what I mean after I get them posted. I don't know if it's the same with you but I buy things that I really like (quite a range), then the friends give me the gift type items, the family gives me anything they think I might like, other friends give me ANY type of Halloween thing they find. So there is a huge range of different types and styles of items to try to pull together. The only thing that is super easy to pull together is the vintage stuff-layer upon layer. It's the newer gifty type things I can't pull together-and it's all good stuff but varied. So I am really thinking if I should eliminate some of it if I can't present it well. I do have issues with separating Halloween decorations according to age. You can't place an early century German diecut next to an Empire blow mold pumpkin without it looking weird. (just my opinion) So that's the problem I'm facing with some of the more modern items. It seems to me many gift shops/boutiques can pull it off. I think it must come down to good design skills?
 

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If you could divide types of items by "Scary"+ "Non-Scary" then place the Scary items behind the non-scary items but leave some space, then when some looks at everything if they were standing in that one spot , it's not scary, tell them to move one step to the side then they see all the scary ones peeking from behind the others.
Yes, i often have many different ideas.
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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Also, lifting things off the ground so they are more at eye level is important too for some props. Having things in various heights def makes the difference. Mind you, I have no experience like the ladies above, but I study the pics well and try to recreate. Also the lighting is extremely impt too. See my pirates album- I have 2 table top decor there that I think you might like. Notice on the rattan chest one, I also added a "broken" flickering candelabra on the ground. Added interest and light too.
 

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I think everyone has given some great pointers and advice!

I used to be an interior designer and one of the tricks I've done (I do this for any type of accessorizing) I gather all the items I am wanting to display on a table, or whatever clear surface you have available, and start to group things in "collections". Items that look good together, maybe based on theme, color, height variety, whatever. Then I clear all my surfaces and display areas around whichever room I am accessorizing. In other words, start with a clean slate. Then I start creating vignettes using the principles that many of the other members have already mentioned. Think about collections and perhaps, telling a story with these groupings. It can take a lot of time to pull together, but it will be so worth it when it's done and it looks professional and fab! :)
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Would you say color palette is THE most important thing when pulling it together? IF that is the case then it will be impossible to mix brands/lines. Do you think grouping according to subject matter would work with diverse styles?
I would say that if you are dealing with matte/dulled/antiqued colors of vintage items, and brighter, eye-catching colors in the more modern things, then yes, I would separate them. But, if there are only a few pops of color in the more modern things, you might be able to make it work.

My biggest problem is differing size of items. For instance, if I had miniature Jack o'Lanterns, but an almost life-sized cat, the cat would be giant next to the JoLs, which probably would look odd. So I would have to put them in different spots.

I can't remember if it was Loretta Lynn, or Dolly Parton (or maybe some other female country singer?), but I recall her saying that how she decided on an outfit, was to put on something that she really liked, while not looking in the mirror. Then turning quickly to look in the mirror, and whatever first caught her eye as not really flowing together, she'd change that.

Maybe that concept would work here, too?
 
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