By Nancy McKeon
IN CASE YOU didn’t get the memo, over the past decade or so Halloween has become a very adult occasion. Maybe we Grownup Girls don’t go out trick-or-treating, but we have our ways. Grownup ways. Ways that don’t necessarily focus on plastic witch’s legs sticking up out of a flower pot on the porch (though I have to admit I laughed the first time I saw that; the 40th time not so much).
Here then are some Grownup ways to address the Eve of All Hallows. Beware!
The late fashion designer Alexander McQueen obviously didn’t invent skulls but he certainly made them into fashion motifs.
LEFT: A set of four Jeweled Skull Napkin Rings is $62.99 at Z Gallerie. They’re made of silver-color pewter alloy.
RIGHT: When your host asks, What’s yer poison? watch out! This Doomed Skull Shot Glass is $14.95 at Z Gallerie.
LEFT: From the Vermont Country Store comes the papier-mâché pumpkin of my youth. I doubt it cost $40 or the equivalent back then, but $39.95 is what the Jack-O’-Lantern Halloween Bucket costs now.
RIGHT: From the “Peanuts” gang come these Peanuts Great Pumpkin bed linens made of cotton percale in Portugal. A twin set (one flat, one fitted, one pillowcase) is $109.95. Or, you can limit the festivities to the head of the bed: Pillowcases are $32.95 each. At the Vermont Country Store.
Inspired not by Halloween but by the “cabinets of curiosities” of old, these mouth-blown crystal glasses from Artel are made in the Czech Republic and depict some of nature’s wonders and oddities. Order the artisan-crafted pieces—the skull, the beetle, the bat—and have them in hand this coming winter. Each double old-fashioned glass is $210, at Gump’s San Francisco.
Tempaper, which makes easily strippable wallpaper, offers this 11-piece set of reusable glow-in-the-dark Full Moon and Flying Bats vinyl decals (the bats have glowing eyes). The set is $34.99 at the Tempaper site.
The Poe Bowl features the always-foreboding but this time hand-engraved Raven of Poe’s classic poem. By Artel, the bowl is hand blown in the Czech Republic. It’s 9¾ inches in diameter and 6½ inches tall; $1,110 at Gump’s San Francisco.
LEFT: Owls can denote wisdom. They can also be spooky as all get out. This Owl Cuff can also be a potent style piece. It’s carved from bronze and sterling silver and made using the lost-wax method. The cuff is $138 at The Good Collective.
RIGHT: Jeweler Anthony Lent finds (well crafted) whimsy in the natural world. These petite (9mm x 18mm) Bat Stud Earrings are 18-karat yellow gold and $690 at Anthony Lent.
LEFT: These Petite Pumpkin Candles (available only in the red-tone glass container, at rear) boast a pumpkin patchouli scent, ready for the fall holidays. Each is 3¼ inches tall, and a pair is $26 at Anthropologie.
RIGHT: Also from Anthropologie, this glazed stoneware Pumpkin-Shaped Mug is back-ordered until the end of November because of supply-chain difficulties, but orders are being taken. Each mug is $14. (Mmmm, I’m foreseeing wintry nights and cream soups served in these mugs.)
LEFT: Just like one of those self-propelling vacuum robots, this Animated Floating Candelabra changes direction when it bumps into something. Unlike those useful appliances, though, this does nothing except perhaps freak out the occasional guest. It’s voice-activated, with fake candles and stands over 5 feet tall. It’s $99.50 at Grandin Road.
RIGHT: Okay, you need at least one skeleton this year. How about this Gunmetal Tabletop Skeleton from Grandin Road? (The company, by the way, has a complete freestanding Halloween decor catalogue.) He (I’m assuming) is made of pewter-finished plastic and is fully hinged (as opposed to unhinged, I guess?). He’s 2 feet tall and $24.50. (I’m tempted—and would leave him out all year. Full disclosure: I just bought Grandin Road’s Gold Snake.)
I call it a Ouija board, but the Grandin Road catalogue calls it a Black Spirit Board Hooked Door Mat, ready to “welcome” those who cross your threshold. It’s made of polypropylene (so, good indoors and out), is 4 feet wide and $99.50 from Grandin Road.
No compilation of the odd and often eerie would be complete without something from John Derian, whose hand-découpaged glass plates are legend. The “Skeleton, Front View,” composed of five slightly curved plates, is about 4 feet tall. A rear view of the skeleton is also available. Either way, the assemblage is $880 at John Derian.