Most people don’t think of Halloween as an “elegant” holiday, and that is exactly why you should try to make it one. Here’s how to do it.

Pick a Party Theme

Go with masquerade ball, angels and devils, witches and wizards… you can even take a poll on your Facebook invite to see what your guests like best. Use your theme to inspire your décor.

Stay Subtle, but Don’t Forget the Details

You might be surprised at the effect, but using metallic spray paint in the right way can give your haunted house upscale flair. Paint branches and leaves in silver and bronze, and arrange them in clusters around your living and dining rooms to create eerie vignettes.

No need to cover everything in that spider web stuff that no one ever stretches out enough. Instead, go for a more subtle transformation. Bring out the candelabras and place them on tables and mantles. Trade standard light bulbs for black, blue, or red. Place a few Gothic-looking pillows on the sofa and don’t forget your playlist—set the scene with ominous, classical tunes.

Stay on Theme

For a sit-down dinner, opt for service items that work with the theme, but that you can use year-round—such as a black or metallic tablecloth—and black, white, or metallic platters and bowls. Continue the metallic motif by using spray-painted branches as a centerpiece.

Before dinner, serve bite-sized appetizers, and follow it up with whimsical, seasonal desserts—such as my Personal Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes—and a signature drink, preferably with seasonal colors and flavors. This Ginger Tea & Clementine Punch is perfect. Pour it in a pretty punch bowl with a ladle and glasses to instantly add class to your bar.

Give Guests a Parting Treat Bag

It’s a small, tasteful gesture that will make guests feel special, so it’s worth the effort. You could hand out a small pouch of high-quality chocolates, a seasonal candle wrapped in a bow, or two homemade scones for the morning after will make your party even more memorable.

Have a blast and enjoy feeling like the most grown-up host on the block!

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