We are less than a week away from November first, the day when most of us realize that we have stockpiled too much Halloween candy. If you are the kind of person who likes to keep seasonal displays in your home beautiful and up to date, you may find yourself wondering what to do with all of that orange and black. I decided to consult a local expert on candy for advice. Lola Salazar, owner of Lola’s Sugar Rush in Littleton, CO, is just as sweet and magnetic in person as her childhood nickname of “Sugar” implies. She gave me the scoop on what to do with all of that Halloween decor and some other amazing tidbits on styling with candy year round.
Candy Isn’t Just for Holidays
One mistake that we often make is thinking of candy too narrowly. We put it in a candy dish, in an orange pumpkin, or in our tummies, and that’s it. Salazar is here to change our minds about that. “Candy is a universal decorating tool that everybody can use. You can make any display really pretty and fun with candy,” she claims. Looking around Lola’s Sugar Rush, it’s obvious that Salazar practices what she preaches. Every shelf features candies, which are often incorporated into whimsical displays. Salazar has traveled the U.S. and Europe looking at the aesthetics of candy displays, and her research often pays off for Denver-area design buffs. “We do not go into houses and decorate, but we always try to have the front display set up in a way that someone could use to decorate their house. A lot of people come in and say ‘I want to do it just like you have here.’ We try to make it so that the first display that you see is something you can replicate at home. In fact people want to come in and see our displays before they decorate for the holiday season.”
The Halloween display on the front table at Lola’s Sugar Rush is a lesson in candy styling. It features glass jars in a variety of heights and sizes. The seasonal touches on the display pieces are minimal, with only a few orange ribbons and a festive witch’s hat. This makes it easier to transition Halloween favors into fall decor and gives a classy, rather than kitschy, look to the holiday. Salazar advises readers to use pretty jars with lids instead of candy dishes to achieve this style. “The focal point isn’t just the candy–the candy is part of the entire design,” she explains.
Expand Your Color Palette
Before you toss out all of those orange candies or hide them away in the cupboard, Salazar has some great advice to make sure your Halloween decor stays current: “Bring in colors of yellow and green. Take orange and black, and add yellow and green and a little brown to it.” By adding greens, yellows, and browns to your Halloween candy you can easily transition to an autumn theme without wasting your treats. Add candies in these colors to glass jars, mix in some seasonal accessories, and you are on your way to a stylish and sweet Thanksgiving centerpiece. (Another great tip we can all learn from Salazar is to take photos of seasonal displays for inspiration next year.)
As an expert on all things candy, Salazar offers some parting wisdom for those who are purchasing candy for any event–Halloween parties, weddings, showers, and beyond. Her biggest tip: “If you are giving candy as a favor, try to estimate about a quarter of a pound per person. That’s how we do it here. Do it by weight if you are doing bulk candy. And have a variety. Not just sour candy. Not just hard candy. Mix it up a little bit.” For those who want to add the fun and whimsy of candy but don’t have space for elaborate displays, again, Salazar has great advice: “Candy bars and wrapped retro candies are always fun just loose on a table.”