A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:30b-31, NASV)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Halloween at the Hampton

As I mentioned before, my general manager at the Hampton Inn where I work asked me to decorate the lobby for the upcoming holidays - a request that delighted me to no end. I might as well declare it: my favorite, favorite thing about fall and winter is decorating for the holidays. It's a chance to celebrate the changing seasons - a reason to welcome the cold. That one task, spanning Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, captures wonder and joy. It is like wrapping a fur jacket around a snowman - it just makes everything so cozy and cute!

Recruiting my husband's help, we put our decorating "skillz" to task. Decorating a hotel for a holiday like Halloween is a fun challenge, as it requires capturing the spookiness of Halloween in a very family friendly way. And being a brand new hotel, I knew the decorations had to be spot on in order to coordinate with the clean, contemporary design of the space. Keeping to an allotted budget, I wanted to highlight key areas, like the front desk and the dining area.

Our "jackpot!" find this season, "Little Dude," has found his calling in the hotel business! Meet the hotel's new doorman! When guests walk through the sliding glass doors, he greets them at the front counter, donning a very Hampton name badge. Along with his new occupation comes a new name - CONRAD! I'll leave it up to, dear reader, to figure out the reference... ;) As well as greeting guests, Conrad also holds the HHonors Diamond & Gold Member Welcome Snacks.

This fringe and lace lampshade cover was a favorite find as well. So classy with the black roses, so eerie with the skull and cross bones - it's a perfect blending of elegance and spookiness for the front desk.

A lot of our shopping was done at our local Halloween Express store. While we looked through all of the racks of severed, bloody limbs, maniacal, toothy rats, hairy, leggy spiders, zombie babies, oozing brains, and screaming poltergeists bound with chains, I found myself asking aloud, "Where's the 'Happy' Halloween section?" After some searching, I found it, and this little marshmallow ghost was just what the snacks and candy store needed. So this is Marsh, the Suite Shop ghost.

Moving to the dining room, there's a communal dining table right in the center. Without springing for a new centerpiece to fill the large table, we simply added a lovely table runner (which can do double duty for Thanksgiving) and added black roses and a sparkly black and orange pumpkin to the already existing arrangement, which mirrors the lampshade cover in its spooky elegance.

And last but not least, meet the "Ladies Who Dine." With such a large dining room in the lobby area, we looked specifically for something that would have big impact. We were very happy to find these spooky wall decals. They are meant to spread across one large wall, but with a bit of craftiness we were able to cut the vinyl to fit each panel of the sliding glass door. In the morning, the doors slide back to serve the hot and fresh breakfast buffet, and once breakfast is over, these "polter-spooks" are revealed!

Better than the joy of decorating has been hearing the comments from our guests who have taken delight in the decorations as well. And one of my co-workers told me that he was present when a couple of guests took souvenir pictures with Conrad before hitting the road back home! Now that's just the best!



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