The Terrain Halloween Doorstep with our Creative Stylist
Halloween is right around the corner, and while it’s not a traditionally terrain holiday, we decided to have fun this year and let the spooky season speak to our design sensibilities with this inspiring doorstep moment that our creative photo stylist Beth Clevenstine created. We took a minute to chat with Beth about how it all came together and for her expert tips on elevating the kids’ holiday into something much more grown up.
terrain: Hi Beth! This Halloween doorstep is so beautiful and hits the mark of being seasonal without being kitschy. We’d love to hear your inspiration behind the idea.
Beth: Our art director took a trip to Sweden earlier this year where she photographed the most beautiful containers in a botanical garden in Stockholm called Bergianska tradgarden. They used branches and grapevines in a wild and fluid way. Using this as inspiration, I was hoping to evoke a wind current scattering branches and leaves over the door. Through the deeper tones in the plantings, the pops of bright orange in the pumpkins, and the current of wind blowing through the installation, I was hoping to convey a whimsical Halloween tone.
terrain: These container plantings are some of our favorites yet. Can you tell us more about how you planted them?
Beth: Sure, I was looking for a certain spookiness by using plants that were a deep burgundy-black tone like in the grasses and the deep foliage in the dahlias. The underplanting is a brighter conifer, (I love using conifers this time of year for their evergreen and hardiness). The kale was a great intermediate height plant and the copperleaf and bittersweet branches helped the transition into the branch installation over the door.
terrain: This Halloween doorstep moment feels holiday-appropriate but in an elevated, unexpected way. Can you share some details folks at home can incorporate into their own Halloween décor that’s a little more grown up?
Beth: Bittersweet is great to add! It’s an invasive vine that is easy to forage and you help the trees by cutting the vine away from the tree. The little orange berries are great mixed with grapevine and in planters. I also love anything natural: pumpkins, deeper-toned plants accented by a citron green, beautiful branches with leaves turning color (oak leaves hold their yellow tone and don’t fall off the branch). I also really love how the lanterns look stuffed with mini pumpkins with a gradient of tone in mind.
terrain: Can you take us through your creative process when it comes to putting together a cohesive “installation” like this one that has many different components? When do you decide to pull back and when do you decide to go all out with these differing elements?
Beth: First, I suggest picking a focal point. In this, the branch installation is the star while the planters anchor and support it. The pumpkins on the floor and in the lanterns add color without being too fussy. The branch installation is so wild, it’s important to keep the accents on the door simpler. It’s all about finding the right balance between wild and structure to create an artful and interesting look. Play around with your own doorstep installation with multiple elements until it feels “done” to your eye. It’s all about feeling your way through it.
Like this post? Check out our Fall Planted Lantern Looks, Behind-the-Scenes of our Preserved Botanical Canopy, and our Mini Moss Walls at Westport.