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Decorating with Halloween Hues

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Kevin_Sharkey_Orange_hermes_collection

How do you like this picture of me and my collection of orange Hermes boxes?! Fitting for the season, I think. To supplement, I've collected some images of stunning orange and black decorating schemes that I think you're going to enjoy. Lots of these offer inspiration for seasonal decorating that can actually be kept around long after the holidays.

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A single bright orange element draws similar hues out of a tortoise-shell wall element. The bold stripes on the zebra bench accentuate this statement. (www.designsponge.com)

1 A single bright orange element draws similar hues out of a tortoise-shell wall element. The bold stripes on the zebra bench accentuate this statement. (www.designsponge.com)

The leather on this chair is bright and earthy all at once. The tint of the file cabinet and other wooden pieces keep the orange leather from feeling stark. (www.bodieandfou.com)

2 The leather on this chair is bright and earthy all at once. The tint of the file cabinet and other wooden pieces keep the orange leather from feeling stark. (www.bodieandfou.com)

The dark walls and slate flooring here provide a perfect canvas for mauves and sunset oranges. (www.designsponge.com)

3 The dark walls and slate flooring here provide a perfect canvas for mauves and sunset oranges. (www.designsponge.com)

The simple copper lining of this lighting fixture resonates against dark room elements in the same room. (www.designsponge.com)

4 The simple copper lining of this lighting fixture resonates against dark room elements in the same room. (www.designsponge.com)

Black pieces are softened with the addition of gray tones and natural, orange wheat clusters. (http://www.dearlillieblog.blogspot.com)

5 Black pieces are softened with the addition of gray tones and natural, orange wheat clusters. (http://www.dearlillieblog.blogspot.com)

Navy blue bookcases are emboldened with sets of vintage hardback books in all ranges of oranges, browns, blues and reds. The linen furniture keeps the composition comfy. (www.domesticbliss.com)

6 Navy blue bookcases are emboldened with sets of vintage hardback books in all ranges of oranges, browns, blues and reds. The linen furniture keeps the composition comfy. (www.domesticbliss.com)

Clean white bedding keeps these woody oranges from being too overwhelming. (www.designsponge.com)

7 Clean white bedding keeps these woody oranges from being too overwhelming. (www.designsponge.com)

An orange-tiled rug and bone-white wall hangings add subtle seasonal spook. (www.decorpad.com)

8 An orange-tiled rug and bone-white wall hangings add subtle seasonal spook. (www.decorpad.com)

If you're comfortable with bright paints, go all out! With orange, entryways that offer good light allow multiple shades to meld gently. (www.designsponge.com)

9 If you're comfortable with bright paints, go all out! With orange, entryways that offer good light allow multiple shades to meld gently. (www.designsponge.com)

A statement-making orange fabric can be used for temporary and permanent decorations. A new set of pillows, a table runner, and window treatments can all me rotated seasonally or worked into existing arrangements. (www.calicocorners.com)

10 A statement-making orange fabric can be used for temporary and permanent decorations. A new set of pillows, a table runner, and window treatments can all me rotated seasonally or worked into existing arrangements. (www.calicocorners.com)

Unexpected bursts of pink and red keep this room from being too theme-y to last past the holidays. (www.houzz.com)

11 Unexpected bursts of pink and red keep this room from being too theme-y to last past the holidays. (www.houzz.com)

Something as simple as a sheath of corkboard and some strategic pushpinned cutouts can transform a whole wall! (www.theselby.com)

12 Something as simple as a sheath of corkboard and some strategic pushpinned cutouts can transform a whole wall! (www.theselby.com)

This punchy clock could be donned with a pumpkin-stem for instant Halloween hours. (www.flickr.com)

13 This punchy clock could be donned with a pumpkin-stem for instant Halloween hours. (www.flickr.com)

The contrast of dark black elements brings out the orange of wood, especially in a season of those colors. Make the most of woods you have in place by framing them with black additions. (www.theselby.com)

14 The contrast of dark black elements brings out the orange of wood, especially in a season of those colors. Make the most of woods you have in place by framing them with black additions. (www.theselby.com)

I love the industrial base of the wooden coffee table. The geometric rug pattern is also fantastic. (www.decorpad.com)

15 I love the industrial base of the wooden coffee table. The geometric rug pattern is also fantastic. (www.decorpad.com)

This room looks like a bouquet of fall flowers to me. The leafy pattern on that wall is so expressive!

16 This room looks like a bouquet of fall flowers to me. The leafy pattern on that wall is so expressive!

A strand of burnt-orange velvet ribbon makes for an easy silverware holder. (www.mydesigndump.blogspot.com)

17 A strand of burnt-orange velvet ribbon makes for an easy silverware holder. (www.mydesigndump.blogspot.com)

Just a reminder that candles glow in orange! Hints of a twinkling lights tucked in a centerpiece will add mysterious allure to your Halloween decorations. (www.stylemepretty.com)

18 Just a reminder that candles glow in orange! Hints of a twinkling lights tucked in a centerpiece will add mysterious allure to your Halloween decorations. (www.stylemepretty.com)

Eerie branches can be culled in a range of Halloween colors, or they can be spray-painted to work with your existing decor. Gnarly, twisting twigs have that ghoulish elegance to them inherently. (www.pinterest.com)

19 Eerie branches can be culled in a range of Halloween colors, or they can be spray-painted to work with your existing decor. Gnarly, twisting twigs have that ghoulish elegance to them inherently. (www.pinterest.com)

A piece of artwork can transform the whole slant of a designed space. Abstract pieces with rich hues make a quick impression. (www.decorpad.com)

20 A piece of artwork can transform the whole slant of a designed space. Abstract pieces with rich hues make a quick impression. (www.decorpad.com)

Be creative with your pumpkin carving this year! Green and white pumpkin varietals are often still orange inside, so make the most of shaving down designs without all the effort of excavating seeds. (www.pinterest.com)

21 Be creative with your pumpkin carving this year! Green and white pumpkin varietals are often still orange inside, so make the most of shaving down designs without all the effort of excavating seeds. (www.pinterest.com)

This breezy geometric window treatment splashes color and texture in a pinch. (www.decor8blog.com)

22 This breezy geometric window treatment splashes color and texture in a pinch. (www.decor8blog.com)

A cluster of macabre plates makes a statement on a tinted wall. (www.pinterest.com)

23 A cluster of macabre plates makes a statement on a tinted wall. (www.pinterest.com)

Orange roses are gorgeous to cluster or tuck in other arrangements. (www.stylemepretty.com)

24 Orange roses are gorgeous to cluster or tuck in other arrangements. (www.stylemepretty.com)

These wall decals are poignant or eerie, depending on how you use them. (www.urbanoutfitters.com)

25 These wall decals are poignant or eerie, depending on how you use them. (www.urbanoutfitters.com)

Blankets and pillows are especially important in this season, so color-coordinate with your room accessories. (www.cococozy.com)

26 Blankets and pillows are especially important in this season, so color-coordinate with your room accessories. (www.cococozy.com)

For an ultra-mod look, keep whites bold and lines graphic. Mixing in oranges and blacks to a very clean canvas will ensure bursts of color. (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/)

27 For an ultra-mod look, keep whites bold and lines graphic. Mixing in oranges and blacks to a very clean canvas will ensure bursts of color. (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/)

The gentle lines of this creamy orange headboard support a Halloween tint that is plush and sleek. (www.linihome.blogspot.com)

28 The gentle lines of this creamy orange headboard support a Halloween tint that is plush and sleek. (www.linihome.blogspot.com)

The marbled finish on these dining chairs incorporates multiple hues from the room. Remember that natural patterns often contain colors that can bring together brighter pieces. (www.decorpad.com)

29 The marbled finish on these dining chairs incorporates multiple hues from the room. Remember that natural patterns often contain colors that can bring together brighter pieces. (www.decorpad.com)

What are your favorite ways to work Halloween colors into your decor?

My Fall Palette for 2011

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Since tomorrow marks the first official day of fall, I wanted share with you my picks for a fresh fall paint palette. The following paint colors are swatches from the Martha Stewart Living paint collection at The Home Depot.

kevin_sharkey_martha_stewart_living_paint

From the left: Burl MSL 224, Graham Cracker Crust MSL 051, Pup Tent MSL 095, Cornichon MSL 102, File Cabinet MSL 200, Cornbread MSL, 070.

My palette is derived from an early fall moment, when there are still a few green leaves on the trees, but just a few are starting to turn yellow and brown. The air is still crisp, and not too cool. Finally, I threw in a basic black as an anchor. It reminds me of the Halloween fun, yet to arrive.

Here a few ideas from the pages of Living to show you how to decorate with the colors in this palette.

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A yellow lamp with a black shade adds a bold element, while ecru and cream bedding, a blond-wood side table, and a jute rug temper the intensity of the walls, creating a balance of elements that's romantic but not predictable and feminine.

1 A yellow lamp with a black shade adds a bold element, while ecru and cream bedding, a blond-wood side table, and a jute rug temper the intensity of the walls, creating a balance of elements that's romantic but not predictable and feminine.

Layer on blacks and grays. We've mixed plaid and floral prints -- and shaggy pillows and plush throws -- on this black four-poster. Dark artwork and lamps carry the color scheme throughout the room, while a single shot of color -- the yellow-trimmed pillow -- keeps it lively.

2 Layer on blacks and grays. We've mixed plaid and floral prints -- and shaggy pillows and plush throws -- on this black four-poster. Dark artwork and lamps carry the color scheme throughout the room, while a single shot of color -- the yellow-trimmed pillow -- keeps it lively.

Patterned green walls? Yes! Patterns can be mixed when a palette is this restrained.

3 Patterned green walls? Yes! Patterns can be mixed when a palette is this restrained.

The use of brown and yellow against a crisp gray wall is calming in this sunny room.

4 The use of brown and yellow against a crisp gray wall is calming in this sunny room.

A pale yellow is the perfect backdrop for a collection of photos in black frames.

5 A pale yellow is the perfect backdrop for a collection of photos in black frames.

I  love Martha's black bureau. An inexpensive mirror, framed in whimsical fretwork, became a glamorous accent for the bedroom when its old varnish was replaced with a deep, charcoal-gray paint.

6 I love Martha's black bureau. An inexpensive mirror, framed in whimsical fretwork, became a glamorous accent for the bedroom when its old varnish was replaced with a deep, charcoal-gray paint.

The combination of green and brown in this room is delightful. Who says a lively green isn't a fall color?

7 The combination of green and brown in this room is delightful. Who says a lively green isn't a fall color?

Remnants of four graphic fabrics add drama when placed in metal frames and hung in a grid. The yellow and black really stand out.

8 Remnants of four graphic fabrics add drama when placed in metal frames and hung in a grid. The yellow and black really stand out.

Black doesn't have to be heavy. This kitchen is bright and airy, but the black-painted island and chairs give it a central focus.

9 Black doesn't have to be heavy. This kitchen is bright and airy, but the black-painted island and chairs give it a central focus.

Yvette's European Door Inspiration

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A few weeks ago, Assistant Decorating Editor Yvette, went on a well-deserved vacation to Central Europe. She spent two weeks traveling to the beautiful cities of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. Upon her return, Yvette was kind enough to share with me some of her vacation photos. The pictures were great, and Yvette's artistic eye captured many features of the Central European cityscape. One album in particular grabbed my attention, an album devoted specifically to doors.

The first photo of this album was an aged wooden door, with an ornate detailing over the threshold. “You could just see the age and feel the history,” Yvette said. “I was drawn to the detail. We just don’t do that anymore. An artisan was probably commissioned to do the threshold work."

I was surprised to learn, that most of the door pictures she had taken were of residential buildings. The fact that these extraordinary doors were used in ordinary places, was something that mesmerized Yvette. “Here, in the U.S., for the most part, doors are pretty basic... The doors in the cities I visited were special in some way, whether it be the shape, color, or materials that were used.”

I’ve included the doors album below for you to look through and feel the same inspiration that Yvette did. Hopefully you too can draw inspiration and look for ways to incorporate the colors, lines, textures, and materials of the doors she saw in Europe, into your own home design. Whether it be for your front door or bedroom door, adding adornment and style to this decorating feature goes a long way.

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You can tell how much thought and hard work went into this masterpiece of a door. (Budapest)

1 You can tell how much thought and hard work went into this masterpiece of a door. (Budapest)

The metal work on the windows reminds me of fleur-de-lis. (Budapest)

2 The metal work on the windows reminds me of fleur-de-lis. (Budapest)

What an outstanding color for a door. (Budapest)

3 What an outstanding color for a door. (Budapest)

The woodwork on this set of doors is amazing. (Budapest)

4 The woodwork on this set of doors is amazing. (Budapest)

What a great contrast of colors. (Vienna)

5 What a great contrast of colors. (Vienna)

What attracts my eye most to this picture is the detailing around the entryway. (Vienna)

6 What attracts my eye most to this picture is the detailing around the entryway. (Vienna)

I'm loving this unique color palette. (Vienna)

7 I'm loving this unique color palette. (Vienna)

I'll have to save this idea. Shutters on a door look great. (Vienna)

8 I'll have to save this idea. Shutters on a door look great. (Vienna)

The rusty coral color of this door reminds me of vintage photos. (Vienna)

9 The rusty coral color of this door reminds me of vintage photos. (Vienna)

The combination of wood and metal work so great together. (Vienna)

10 The combination of wood and metal work so great together. (Vienna)

The slanting woodwork gives this door such character. It's almost as if it's sleepy. (Prague)

11 The slanting woodwork gives this door such character. It's almost as if it's sleepy. (Prague)

I think the graffiti actually adds something to this door. (Vienna)

12 I think the graffiti actually adds something to this door. (Vienna)

The detailing makes this door look almost armor-like. (Prague)

13 The detailing makes this door look almost armor-like. (Prague)

A great detail of the door. (Prague)

14 A great detail of the door. (Prague)

The cool blue of the graffiti mixed with the chocolate of the door and the pop of red flowers is an inspiring combination. I see why Yvette was drawn to it.  (Prague)

15 The cool blue of the graffiti mixed with the chocolate of the door and the pop of red flowers is an inspiring combination. I see why Yvette was drawn to it. (Prague)

I like the diamond patten. (Prague)

16 I like the diamond patten. (Prague)

This is such an exciting color for a door. (Prague)

17 This is such an exciting color for a door. (Prague)

Emerald is such an interesting idea for a door color. It's bold, but earthy. A good choice if you want a unique front door. (Prague)

18 Emerald is such an interesting idea for a door color. It's bold, but earthy. A good choice if you want a unique front door. (Prague)