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Grown-up themes for Halloween

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: October 14, 2013

Jack-o’-lanterns and cheesecloth ghosts are fine for decorating kids’ Halloween parties, but what about an adult bash?

Sara McLean of Dunn-Edwards Paints suggests these grown-up themes for Halloween:

Buggin' Out – Decorate with bugs ensnared in spider webs, insects trapped in beakers and other scientific equipment, exaggerated insects such as centipedes and caterpillars, and half-bug, half-human hybrids.

Sherlock Holmes, I presume? This theme incorporates fingerprints, incriminating blood spatters, crime scene tape, body outlines and magnifying glasses in the decor. How about photographing guests in a police lineup?

Witching Hour – Witches go glam in this theme. Encourage guests to dress in their bewitching best (think long, black gowns, opera gloves and opulent jewelry), and decorate with items adorned with black lace, ornately covered witches' hats, glittered and lacquered pumpkins, and luxury finishes such as satin, sequins and silk.

Supersized World – Florals, mushrooms and other garden wonders grow to otherworldly sizes and get an eerie glow with glow-in-the-dark paint.

Who's Afraid of the Dark? Dress the home like a dark alleyway made creepier with shadows, graffiti, metal bars and skulls.

Jazz Age: Invoke the spirits of the Gatsby era by decorating skeletons in Roaring ‘20s garb. Maybe set one up at a typewriter -- a ghost writer, get it? 

You can see photos of the themes and color palettes for carrying them out here.

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