She uses black cheesecloth in the dining room instead of curtains. "It looks much better than it sounds," she said with a laugh. "I place little purple spiders on it. It looks nice."
Even the kitchen's dishwasher is adorned with festive window clings.
"I make sure each room is different, but the overall house goes together — it's the transition from room to room that builds excitement," Brzozowski said. "I love to have items that complement each other, not that match. It is more appealing to the eye to look at a room of things that go together, in different ways, than a room that has all things matching."
Most importantly, you should keep yourself in mind when decorating your home, according to Brzozowski.
"Remember that you will be the one looking at it the most, so surround yourself with things that make you smile or that remind you of your childhood," she said.
Invitations: Melanie Brzozowski, event design consultant for Chef's Expressions, advises setting the tone with invitations, preferably on paper. "There is a joy that overcomes me when I open the mail and there is a nice paper invitation; already I want to go to the event because I feel the host has put time and energy into it," she says.
The menu: "Make sure your menu fits the time frame of the event," Brzozowski says. "If you are hosting a party that starts at 5 p.m., serve enough food so it is equivalent to dinner. You can still do a cocktail-style reception during this time, but you have to go heavy on the hors d' oeuvres so you satisfy your guests. You never want guests to leave hungry. If you want to do a lighter meal, then opt for a later start time and serve wine, cheese and some desserts."
Homemade goods: Carmen Brock, owner of Trohv, says the best way to incorporate that Halloween feel is through homemade treats. "Use orange frosting for a chocolate cake," she says. "You don't have to do a million things. Take one item and put a Halloween twist on it. It will also photograph well."
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