The full interview for this room was featured in Episode 2 of House Beautiful’s new haunted house podcast, Dark House. Listen to the episode here.
Halloween is just a few weeks away, which means it’s a great time to decorate your home in the spookiest and spookiest setting you can find. Naturally, Beautiful House spoke to Supernatural production designer Jerry wanek for exactly how to turn your abode into the haunted house of your dreams (and the best dressed in the neighborhood this spooky season) – so you’ll want to redecorate ASAP.
For starters, Wanek recommends turning to practices like frosting and glazing to spruce things up and add spice. One of those items you can do this on is a gold frame – and once you’ve finished applying the glaze or varnish liberally, you should be good to go, “depending on how many coats you are doing and the number of different colors “you choose. . As Wanek advises, your upholstery color could turn into a sort of verdigris if you overdo the application process, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide what works best!
Of course, no spooky space would be complete without a hint of eye-catching wallpaper. “It goes back to the idea of that old wallpaper in your grandmother’s house, and evokes the vibe of Edgar Allen Poe,” scary stories, he explains. While wallpaper can be “very expensive,” it can also complement a room. Plus, it introduces so many pattern colors with one piece. For a more economical approach to your temporary haunted house (assuming you demonstrate your spooky decoration after Halloween is over), try reusing old gift wrapping paper, sticky wallpaper, or fabric.
And now for color combinations beyond the basic orange and black combo … When we think of Halloween, it makes sense that Gothic architecture comes to mind – and although not all of us can living in the gothic mansion of our dreams, suggests Wanek finding inspiration in the colors, namely the jewelry tones, to really bring the spooky aesthetic to life. Examples include crimson and other deeply rich colors, as opposed to primary colors. Whenever Wanek incorporated primary colors on Supernatural, he “was trying to make a statement and sometimes it was for comedic relief.”
Wanek also took inspiration from the Americana aesthetic, given its timelessness. He cites motels and gas stations in Supernatural as examples of this vision coming to life. Naturally, these spaces were covered in emerald green and dark red hues, proving that a room’s color palette is essential, especially when looking to make things a little more ~ spooky ~. Another trick up his sleeve? If you really want to do it all, invest in a smoke machine or put dry ice in a cauldron for a spooky smoke effect (just make sure no one is touching it!).
Looking for more information from Wanek? Listen to episode 2 of Dark house, the new haunted house podcast from House Beautiful, on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Where all over you listen. This week, the co-hosts spotlight Villisca Ax’s murder house and interview Wanek to find out how true horror stories and haunted houses like this have influenced television and film.
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