I wear Goth fashion and have a thirst for the macabre, so many people assume that my home is as dark and kooky as the Addams Family’s manor. However, visitors are surprised to discover that I live in a modern, minimalist space that is mostly decked out in light colors.
I love the idea of black damask wallpaper and Rococo furniture, but these design choices would make my tiny apartment feel like a coffin. Instead, I express my Gothic tendencies through a select number of high-end furnishings with morbid aesthetics. When my guests take a closer look at my interiors, they’ll notice a skull painting on the wall, and hand-thrown mugs with goat-headed sigils. Here are my tips for adding a touch of elegant darkness to your home, without turning it into a vampire’s lair.
Invest in high-quality spooky cookware and tableware
Every fall, home goods stores release a limited number of Halloween collections. Visit retailers like West Elm and Pottery Barn, and stock up on well-made dining items that you can use year-round. I found a pumpkin-shaped cutting board and raven spatulas at Crate and Barrel, which have held up well in my kitchen. I also collect coasters that look like tarot cards, Ouija planchettes, and pentagrams. For handmade mugs and cruelty-free candles, I visit the Satanic Temple’s shop. Its home accessories feature devilish artwork, including some by cofounder Lucien Greaves, and proceeds go to their campaigns for pluralism and reproductive rights.
Look for Gothic furniture with light colors and modern materials
Black or blood-red vintage furniture is as Goth as it gets, but these ornate pieces can overpower a small apartment. Instead, look for edgy furnishings with brighter colors and sleek silhouettes. For instance, DeadRockers makes coffin-shaped bookcases and hanging crescent moon shelves. Order a coffin unit in white or natural wood, choosing the backless option for a lighter effect. Similarly, seek out seating that has a centuries-old feeling but is made for the modern era. The Magis Proust chair is one of my favorites: designer Alessandro Mendini molds a Baroque throne out of space-age polyethylene, which can be customized in a wide variety of colors, including rainbow.
Focus on fine Goth decorations with multipurpose
Rather than cluttering your home with plastic Halloween decor, put the spotlight on a few well-crafted Gothic pieces. Grace your mantel with Alexander Girard’s Wooden Little Devil, a cheeky red Satan that was first released by Herman Miller in 1952. I like to display dark memorabilia from my travels such as a Japanese horned demon mask, and a hand-painted sugar skull from Mexico. To keep my living space streamlined, I look for designs that serve a dual purpose. MoMA’s skull table lamp, for instance, brightens a room through a laser-cut skeleton’s head.
Invest in one-of-a-kind dark artwork
As a teenager, I covered my bedroom walls with posters of Japanese Goth rock bands. Now, I invest in a few original paintings by underground artists, which I get professionally framed. In my living room, I have a large watercolor skull by Jón Sæmundur of Dead Gallery. The Icelandic painter creates one-off pieces with deathly imagery, which he offers at a variety of price points. By shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces, you can find art that not only speaks directly to you, but works with your space.