21 subtle Halloween decor ideas that even minimalists will love

From elegant seasonal ornaments to pretty wreaths and tableware, learn how to create a chic Halloween scheme with our subtle yet stylish decor ideas

Subtle halloween decor ideas.
(Image credit: Pottery Barn | Getty Images)

For many of us, Halloween is a chance to go all out with scary decorating ideas across the inside and outside of our homes, however, ghosts, ghouls, skulls and spiders are, understandably, not for everyone. 

To help you create a more chic and sophisticated Halloween scheme, we've gathered our favorite Halloween decorating ideas that are more subtle and stylish rather than spooky and scary.  

From simple stacks of pumpkins for by your front door for outdoor Halloween decor, to elegant ornaments and tableware, we've gathered our favorite design ideas and products that embrace cozy, neutral and natural color palettes, and a more minimalist approach to Halloween styling.

21 classy Halloween decor ideas for a more subtle take on seasonal decor

There is no right or wrong way to decorate your home for Halloween – embrace decorations that coordinate with your own style and personality, and focus on making your home feel more cozy, special and unique for the season. Explore just some of our favorite decor ideas below.

Style with plenty of faux pumpkins

Rattan pumpkin

(Image credit: OKA)

One of the most timeless and popular decor ideas for Halloween, decorating with pumpkins is guaranteed to make your home feel more fun and festive for fall and Halloween.

However, instead of using real pumpkins and gourds (bright orange and other classic fall colors are not for everyone), why not style your space with a more unique collection of faux pumpkin designs instead. 

From glass pumpkin ornaments, to rustic faux designs crafted from basket weave, there are so many beautiful designs to choose from. Shop some elegant faux pumpkins below.

Hang a pretty fall wreath

fall wreath and garland on pink door

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

Subtle Halloween and fall decor ideas will always go together hand in hand. 

Instead of embracing scary ghost and ghoul decorations for Halloween porch decor and Halloween door decor, opt for a more natural, cozy look instead and use a pretty fall wreath.

Fall flowers and foliage can also be used throughout your home to make it feel more in-keeping with the changing seasons too. Style your indoor spaces with vases of cut stems and dried flowers, like these branches and dried flowers from Afloral, to bring the natural beauty of the season into your home.

Embrace a simple Halloween garland

Halloween decoration ideas, happy halloween garland

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Halloween and fall garlands really do come in all shapes, sizes and designs. Often crafted from an abundance of real or faux foliage and flowers, there are many other styles to shop too.

We love the HALLOWEEN and BOO garlands from Terrain and Anthropologie below, and think the simple yet striking designs are a perfect, more modern take on Halloween decor; ideal for hanging on a wall or mantel. We explore how to decorate a mantel for Halloween in our dedicated feature.

Decorate with cozy candles and string lights

An unlit jar candle on a wooden tray next to a small pumkin and a lit pumpkin shaped candle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, you can decorate with the best candles and twinkling string lights all year round, but purchasing some pretty new designs to use during fall and Halloween season will only help to make your space feel even more cozy, inviting and special for the season, and is and easy more understated decor idea to embrace for a subtle Halloween look.

There are also plenty of seasonal candle scents to choose from that will make your house smell like fall; perfect for using across fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas.

Use elegant Halloween ornaments

Ghost ornaments

(Image credit: Crate & Barrel)

From chic hanging decorations that can adorn your houseplants, to larger ornaments that can be placed upon a dining table or coffee table, there are plenty of stylish Halloween ornaments to choose from. 

When decorating subtly for Halloween, small, simple touches that can beautifully enhance your existing decor is often one of the best options to embrace, and by adding a selection of chic ornaments to your space, you can beautifully – and easily – switch up your interior space for the season.

Dress your dining table

Halloween tablescape

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Of course, many of us associate a Halloween color scheme with orange and black, but there are a whole host of colors to embrace for seasonal decorating ideas in the home – especially for Halloween table ideas.

We love the vibrant, fresh colors used on the Halloween table above by Pottery Barn, which shows that not all Halloween decor has be dark and spooky – it can be both bright and joyful too. 

Below we've found a selection of products that will work wonderfully together to create an understated, monochromatic Halloween table setting.

Opt for a small stack of pumpkins

Halloween front door decor

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

If you don't fancy embracing pumpkin carving or pumpkin painting ideas, simply placing a collection of pumpkins – real or faux – outside your front door and porch is good enough for subtle Halloween decor ideas. 

This beautiful neutral Halloween scene by Pottery Barn above establishes a truly warm welcome into the home. The pale and woven pumpkins perfectly complement the house's wooden and stone construction, with the fall wreath and fall planters adding an elegant final flourish.


How do you decorate for Halloween that is not scary?

As we have explored in this piece, there are so many creative, contemporary decorating ideas that you can embrace this Halloween that are not scary. 

From using decorations in brighter, lighter color palettes, to choosing more simple, rustic decorations like wreaths and garlands, not all Halloween decor should evoke feelings of fear and horror, simply style your space with designs that bring you joy, and make your home feel more special for the season.

One other way you can style your space subtly for Halloween is by refreshing your pillows and throws with more seasonal (and spooky if you so-wish) designs. 

Interior designer Brooke Spreckman says, 'one way to incorporate fall and chic Halloween decorating ideas into your home is by re-doing your throw pillow covers with a new color palette or design. If you have lighter tones, try swapping all of them out with a richer palette of fabrics. I'm currently showing a space with navy pillow covers that immediately make the room feel layered and warmer for the upcoming colder months.'

We think this Ghost Shaped Pillow by Pottery Barn is positively adorable rather than scary.

 Brooke Spreckman
Brooke Spreckman

Principal and Owner of Design Hutch Interior Design, Brooke Spreckman has been practicing Interior Design since 2013 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and beyond; and has a diverse background in residential and commercial design.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.