The Addams family has been one of the world’s favorite macabre families for decades. Most fans may think the family first came on the scene with the television series premiering in 1964, however, the Addams family actually made their world debut in a series of comics created by Charles Addams for The New Yorker in 1938. In fact, the Addams family home in the series was based on the real Addams home. Charles Addams was apparently just as eccentric, or close to it, as the TV family. He purchased an embalming table from an old funeral home and used it as a coffee table in his living room. Like Gomez, Charles also had a wall full of medieval armor, per MeTV. Most disturbingly, in a way only an Addams would be proud of, Charles also had a snake’s head preserved in a glass ball and a human thigh bone as decor in his home.
But Addams wasn’t the only fan of the Addams family aesthetic. Since the comics’ creation, Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley, and the rest of the ghastly family have been dreadfully warming the hearts of fans everywhere through movies and television series. From Morticia’s sensual black dresses to Gomez’s pinstripe suits and bulky cigars, each member of the family has their own unique sense of style. Even the family’s house itself feels like a unique character. Adorned with ancient weaponry, frightening specimens, gorgeous rugs and tapestries, and priceless antiques, the Addams family home is a gothic vibe all its own. Here’s how to decorate your home like this hauntingly iconic family.
A home’s layout is everything
The Addams family home wouldn’t be nearly as spooky without Grandma popping out of the basement with a fancy new potion or Wednesday sneaking through a hidden passageway from her room to spy on her brother, Pugsley. Additionally, Thing needs secret compartments to make his way through the home unnoticed. So, to capture the essence of the Addams family, you must first think about your home’s layout.
You’ll want to start with an open-concept space that allows room for a fancy ballroom. The Addams family loves hosting all kinds of guests for lavish parties, including ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters — the hairier, the better! It’s also no secret that Morticia and Gomez Addams can break a leg on the dance floor. The way Gomez literally spins Morticia around the dance floor may be more than most stomachs can handle, but having a space where guests can show off their dancing skills is a must. Be sure to add some dance-safe hardwood floor, so there’s plenty of room to tango. According to Dance Informa, several real hardwood options are available for in-home dance rooms.
However, an open-concept floor plan only accounts for one-half of the Addams family aesthetic. The other half calls for lots of secret passageways and hidden compartments. After all, Wednesday is not a social butterfly and will need an easy way to sneakily escape from the party festivities. Try adding a bookcase door that can only be opened by pulling the secret book. This room could lead to a secret wet bar for a spooky speakeasy vibe. You can also install secret compartments throughout your home where family members can hide notes or treats for each other, like cookies made from real girl scouts!
Go bold with a delightfully gloomy black statement wall
If there’s one thing no one can argue, it’s that the Addams family is bold. Take Wednesday, as an example. She’s also unapologetically herself, as seen in the 1991 film, “The Addams Family.” During a scene from the movie, a guest asks Wednesday if she’s going to wear a costume. Wednesday replies, “This is my costume. I’m a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.” So, if you’re going to design your home like Wednesday Addams, you need to go bold. A black statement wall is just the touch to make all of your fellow homicidal maniacs gasp with excitement.
Start by choosing which material you’d like to use for your black accent wall. According to Maria Killam, black accent walls are currently trending for a couple of different reasons. First, homeowners are looking for creative ways to bring bold pops of color, but they aren’t comfortable committing to an entire room of black walls. So, accent walls are the perfect solution. Second, painting an accent wall is far less of an undertaking than painting an entire room. For some texture, try using wood paneling to create a slated or herringbone panel across your wall. If you’re looking to go even bolder, choose a black wallpaper with an ornate gold pattern. Black glass tile can also be a great way to catch the eye.
Finally, if you’re looking for a simple way to bring darkness to your room, go for black paint. Many homeowners feel that a black wall could swallow a room; however, statement walls tend to do the opposite — they can help a room appear bigger. Because your eye is immediately drawn to the bold wall, that space becomes the focus of your room. Everything else, in contrast, seems more extensive and spacious. If a black statement wall is going to be the focus of your room, be sure to add some spine-tingling decor around the area. Vintage weaponry, preserved specimens, antique dental equipment, or other torture devices are perfect examples of decor fit for an Addams.
Bring in a pop of color with red velvet to resemble the inside of a coffin
Ah, the sweet, comforting embrace of…death. Nothing brings nostalgic vibes to the Addams family quite like death. Wednesday evens falls asleep on a tombstone in her backyard graveyard during the 1991 movie “The Addams Family.” Naturally, a home inspired by the Addams family must include nods to the final rest. Try adding hints of red velvet fabric throughout your space. According to Architectural Digest, velvet is fall’s must-have fabric. And for a good reason. Designer Miles Redd told the publication, “The thing that I love about velvet is that I can put a little tiny piece on a pillow or I can cover entire walls with it, and it will always look rich and cozy.” Not only does velvet bring an element of ornate luxury, but it also screams, “Don’t even think of knocking on my coffin until I’ve had my afternoon nap!” — a phrase any Addams family member can appreciate.
Try hanging red velvet curtains on windows framing a long, dark oak dining table. Turn heads with an embellished antique red velvet couch where guests can lounge with a spine-chilling after-dinner drink. Add some red velvet cushions to areas around your home for some extra comfort. Shocked guests are frequently passing out in the Addams Family home, so you’ll want lots of velvety soft pillows and seating areas scattered throughout your home. For a pop of color during dinner parties, include a long, velvet red runner adorned with lots of chunky black candles. If red isn’t really your color, feel free to opt for black velvet instead. Morticia Addams frequently dons velvet dresses and capes. Black velvet decor can also help bring some texture to your black statement wall.
Enjoy a gruesome playroom
Like any normal siblings, Wednesday loves playing with her brother Pugsley. And when we say “play,” we mean torturously bother. So, there absolutely must be a playroom in your home fit for the darkest-souled children (or for yourself). A room filled with possessed dolls, swords that are way too sharp, and a fully functional guillotine will bring a child like Wednesday all the joy in the world – although she’ll never show it. Luckily, building your own (safe) guillotine is more accessible than most might think. This DIY mini guillotine project only requires some tools and ten materials, per Instructables.
If possessed dolls and guillotines aren’t your things, fill your room with whatever activity does fuel your creativity. First, take some time to think about what types of activities drive your creative side. If crafting is your thing, try adding black tinted storage bins and baskets shaped like coffins to built-in shelves for some fun ways to store your craft supplies. You can add a desk painted black and lots of gold decor to pull in some of that Addams family ostentatiousness. If working out gets your mind excitedly racing, then use your playroom as a workout studio. Start by installing some black rubber matting and opt for all-black dumbbells, kettlebells, and other workout equipment.
If you’d like to turn your playroom into a home office, opt for a collage wall. Look for unique prints you can frame using black-stained wood or gold frames. To add texture to the wall, source vintage plates and tapestries to add to your collage. Some antlers or small antique knifes could be a nice nod to Gomez Addams’ design style. Not only does this collage wall create a consistent theme throughout your home, but it also makes for great conversation starters during work meetings.
Blackout curtains for a perfectly macabre aesthetic
Is there anything more lovely than a dark and dreary day? Definitely not if you’re a part of the Addams family. If you’re decorating your home like them, you’ll want to keep out as much sunlight as possible. So, installing some blackout curtains will be an important decor step. Blackout curtains are essential since they have the ability to block out 99% of sunlight from entering a room, according to Innuwindow. In addition to creating a sense of enveloping darkness and keeping nosey neighbors from peeking in on all your monster bashes, these opaque drapes can also help foster a deeper sleep.
Since most of your activity will occur at night when all of your monster friends thrive, you’ll need blackout curtains to help you sleep during the day. An added bonus is that many of them come in grey or other dark colors — which is perfect to match your home’s aesthetic. Try hanging some blackout curtains in each of your rooms — and don’t forget your kitchen — you’ll need them for when you wake up to get your midday snack.
Don’t forget the pipe organ
Forget the grand piano — your macabre mansion needs a full-sized pipe organ. Is there a more iconic gothic sound than pipe organ music? The imposing notes of an organ are discernible around the world. In fact, Bach’s “Toccata” and “Fugue” in D minor are some of the most recognizable. You may not know them by name, but you’ll undoubtedly recognize the pieces when you hear them, since they’ve been featured in horror, fantastical, and supernatural films for decades. So, it’s only natural that you incorporate the unearthly sounding instrument somewhere in your Addams-inspired home.
Any song played in a minor key on a pipe organ seems to immediately evoke a sense of melancholy or unease — both of which are literal music to the Addams family ears! But why is the pipe organ so chilling? The answer is no one really knows. But we do know that it’s a massive and loud instrument with a long history of being scary. According to Classic FM, the fear of organ music dates all the way back to the silent film era at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the silent horror films were accompanied by spine-chilling pipe organ solos. Movie villains are also often organists, including Davy Jones from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, as well as the Phantom from “The Phantom of the Opera.” Regardless of the pipe organs’ spooky origins, it is the perfect instrument to accompany a Addams family aesthetic. Add a pipe organ in front of your black statement wall with a vase of dried red roses for décor. You’ll be ready for an Addams family party in no time. Bonus points if you learn how to play Bach’s “Toccata” and “Fugue” in D minor!
Relax in a backyard graveyard
“Just a girl, a boy, and a graveyard.” That’s how Gomez and Morticia Addams met, according to “The Addams Family.” Gomez said that Morticia was so beautiful that no one even looked at the corpse. What a romantic! If you love cemeteries, funerals, and gravestones like Morticia and Gomez, you’re not alone. There are plenty of taphophiles out there who will relish the chance to hang in your backyard graveyard. Therefore, for all your romantic date nights with your significant other, you’re going to need a picturesque graveyard — ghosts and ghouls are a plus.
So, how does one begin to create a romantic backyard graveyard? Start by choosing a seating area. We recommend adding a salvaged concrete bench. Feel free to ignore any cracks or impurities in the stone, these simply add character. Place the bench in the center of your backyard graveyard along with a vintage table — wear, tear, and rust are a plus! This is where you and your loved one will have countless nights of romantic banter together. Now it’s time to decorate. What’s more romantic than flowers? Be sure to surround your bench with lots of dead plants. Add a vase full of decaying flowers to the table, then top it all off with lots of romantic tea candles. Finish off the area with some gravestones and fog. According to Dalton Jones, making realistic gravestones is relatively easy and only requires four materials: styrofoam, joint compound, latex paint, and a soldering iron (though, you could probably make do with any other carving device). And fog machines are pretty accessible nowadays. Between the moonlight and the gravestones, you’ll have your S.O. calling you Gomez’s iconic pet name for Morticia in no time: “Cara mia!” (“My beloved” in Italian).
Rejuvenate in a swampy wading pool
In the 1993 film “Addams Family Values,” Wednesday is sent to summer camp. The stark contrast between Wednesday’s all-encompassing gloom and her fellow campers’ cheeriness is pretty hilarious to watch. During one scene, Wednesday and her swim partner are tasked with practicing lifeguarding. Her partner jumps into the water and pretends to drown. When the instructor asks Wednesday to jump in and save her partner, Wednesday replies, “I can’t swim.” Whether she actually can’t swim or she was just saying that so that she could watch her bubble-gum-chewing nemesis drown, is up for debate. Regardless, a shallow wading pool is a perfect way to cool off without any worries of drowning.
However, a simple wading pool doesn’t align with the Addams family style. They need something…murkier. Luckily, shallow water makes for perfect swamp conditions. Another thing the Addams family loves is treacherous creatures, and a swamp creates the perfect breeding ground for bullfrogs, alligators, and all sorts of creepy, crawly creatures. Additionally, the Addams family seems like an eco-conscious bunch. After all, they certainly don’t like wasting electricity by keeping bright lights on. So, one bonus of having a backyard swamp is that it actually benefits nature. According to National Geographic, swamps are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. So, you can wade with the alligators knowing that you’re also benefiting the planet. Extra credit points for anyone who names their pet alligator!
Don’t forget the ghastly details
You’ve designed your Addams family-inspired home! Now, the fun part comes with finishing your rooms with the hauntingly-perfect details. Décor is the key final touch that will turn your home into a Addams-worthy haunted mansion. Be sure to includes lots of dried flowers, either loose petals scattered across a table, or vases full of deathly dark dried flowers. Orange and gold bouquets make the for the perfect fall accents, according to Urban Stems. Dust as little as possible so that the cobwebs can grow to full-size. Keep all those left over bottles of used seasoning or skincare products — they make perfect vials for potions and spells. You’ll definitely want a cauldron for over the fireplace. And you can bring some cozy spookiness to any room just by lighting a candle. So, be sure to have lots of candlesticks and tea candles to light daily. Lastly, don’t forget to send the Addams family an invite to your housewarming party!