Skip to main content

How to style your dining room for Halloween

If Halloween is a family favorite in your household, then you probably go all out every year. When it comes to hosting costume parties or Halloween dinners, your dining room can be the perfect focal point. Styling and decorating your dining room for a spooky Halloween look can be easy, fun, and quick with some of these tips and tricks.

A orange pumpkin sits atop a light wooden surface covered by fairy lights and lit from within
Aman rana b / Shutterstock

Keep your guests in mind

A Halloween party for a bunch of 6 year olds and a party for a group of adults tend to be very different. Because of this, it is important to decorate according to who you’re inviting. There can be a lot more gore and terror at an adult party, so it can be fun to go all out with the Halloween fright. Some fun ways to scare your adult friends include:

If you’re looking for a more PG-level party for kids, or just want a less gory look, there are a lot of great options for more inviting Halloween decorations, such as:

  • Bright Halloween colors like orange, purple, and green
  • Jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, witches, and other cut-out characters with smiling and welcoming faces
  • A yummy spread with fun cauldrons and serving trays
  • Balloons with happy pumpkin faces and fun sayings like ‘boo’ or ‘Happy Halloween;
  • Paper bats, moons, and other Halloween figures, like Good Housekeeping suggests.
  • Upbeat Halloween music 

Pick a theme

One way to absolutely nail a Halloween dining room dinner party is by having a theme. Themes help you stay on track and tell a story through your decorations. Oprah Mag gives several ideas for adults and kids. Once you pick a theme, you can plan your dining room look accordingly. It can be fun to get ideas and inspiration from scary movies and horror novels, but some other Halloween themes to consider include:

  • Freak show/clowns
  • The mad scientist/laboratory gone wrong
  • Graveyard
  • Ghosts, spirits, and the paranormal
  • Out of this world/aliens/extraterrestrial life
  • Zombies/apocalypse 
  • Mummies/ancient Egypt

To get guests excited about your dinner party, think of a creative name in line with your theme and include it on your invitations. This will also help guests dress accordingly if it’s a costume party.  

Color scheme matters

The colors you choose for your dining room can impact the whole feel of the party. If you are looking to go all-out scary, black is your best bet. A dark lace tablecloth, black chairs, black chandelier, black webs, and black wreaths are just a few items to get started with. By dimming the lights in your dining room, you can set an eerie feeling throughout the space that your guests will love. 

A more upbeat and fun Halloween party will benefit from bright colors like orange, purple, and green. This is the perfect color scheme for a kid’s party or a family-friendly Halloween get-together. 

If you select a theme for your Halloween dinner party, then decorate your dining room accordingly. For example, with a carnival or freak show theme, use striped white and red banners, clown wigs, and bright balloons. It’s all about getting creative, especially when you have a fun theme to work with. 

With any theme or party idea, it is important to use the color scheme wherever possible. Some ways to utilize your own color scheme include:

  • Tablecloth
  • Plates, napkins, and utensils
  • Table centerpiece
  • Chandelier
  • Wall decorations
  • Chair covers
  • Rug 

Make the food as creepy as the decorations

As you welcome guests into your creepy dining room, one thing they will expect is some delicious snacks and desserts. Before they are devoured by hungry guests, Halloween-themed dishes can be stunning decorations all on their own. Luckily, there are an abundance of Halloween-themed food ideas that will look stunning on your dining room table. Some of these terrifying treats include:

  • White chocolate covered strawberry ghosts. To make these, simply dip some fresh strawberries into white chocolate. Allow them to cool and draw on some spooky faces with dark or milk chocolate.
  • Cinnamon bun intestines. Start by unraveling your store-bought or homemade cinnamon buns and wiggle them throughout a baking sheet to look like intestines. After baking, cover them in a strawberry jelly or icing for a gory look.
  • Pumpkin deviled eggs. Make a batch of deviled eggs. Color the yolk mixture with a bit of orange food coloring and pipe into the hardened whites. Add a little stem made of chives for a cute little pumpkin snack.
  • Severed-hand ice. Fill up plastic gloves with water and freeze overnight. Take the ice hands out of the gloves and put them in a bowl of red punch for a creepy look.

Regardless of how you decorate your dining room, the important thing is to have fun while doing it. Remember to always think about your guests, the food, the colors, and the theme for a successful Halloween-themed dining room.

Need further inspiration? You can check out our guide on how to decorate your front door for Halloween.

Editors' Recommendations

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
18 scents that can make you happier at home
Studies have proven that scents like these can lighten up a person's mood
incense sticks in jar on coffee table in living room

Smelling lilacs may instantly transport you to grandma’s bedroom window, where the breeze wafted in the fragrance of the lilac tree outside. Others may consider the whiff of baking apple pie such a warm and snug experience that they refrain from getting rid of cooking smells in their home.
Or perhaps the aroma of freshly cut grass on a Saturday morning refreshes and soothes their spirit. Whatever the scent, it may help bring more happiness into your home, according to science. Let's explore the eighteen common smells that are said to make you happier at home.

But why does this happen?
It turns out that neuroscience has discovered that scent has the strongest connection to memory and emotion than the rest of the senses. This is because, with scent, the sensory information collected goes straight to the brain’s olfactory bulb, which is directly linked to the regions responsible for memory and emotion.
Additionally, studies on fragrance conducted at the Mie University School of Medicine and the University of Vienna have shown that certain fragrances lessen the need for antidepressants in some patients, as well as decrease anxiety in a group of dental patients. This shows the likelihood that some scents have a “clinically quantifiable effect on mood,” as stated by Yale Scientific.
Based on this information, it seems ideal to have scents in our homes that bring up positive memories or get us into better moods. The good news is that many scents have long been linked to positive moods and health benefits, and we can try them out anytime we like!

Read more
This simple change will make your bathroom feel ultra luxurious
Here are some creative ways to hang your bathroom towels to enhance your space
Rolled towels and plant in bathroom

Whether you’ve recently updated your bathroom or you’re looking for a few quick and easy ways to give it a refresh, there’s one little change you can make that could have a big impact on the look and feel of your bathroom—your towels. Changing colors, replacing worn or threadbare towels with new and plush ones, and even changing the way you fold and display your towels all have an impact on how your bathroom looks and how it makes you feel.  

Gather those scrawny hand towels and remove the damp towels your kids have strewn across the floor. This is how to hang towels in a bathroom to elevate the aesthetic of the space.

Read more
What colors go with brown? How to make this seemingly drab hue look glam in your home
Brown doesn't have to be boring. Here's how it can jazz up your space
Brown living room walls with neutral color palette design

Brown tones have a reputation for being "boring." These earthy hues often have a tendency to feel dull and bleak for many people. However, this is largely due to poor design execution. If used well, brown shades can enhance a room’s design and bring a new sense of vitality to a space. Brown can be a wonderful hue to add to your home if you're looking to create a luxe and vibrant environment. These rustic shades can be natural, rich, and earthy when paired with complementary colors that let this hue shine.

Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to find the best shades to pair with brown, which leads them to create spaces that feel drab, bland, or unfinished. Today, we’ll cover some of the best colors to pair with brown and how this stunning color can help revitalize your space.

Read more