Brendon Cook has always enjoyed decorating for Halloween. Last year, he took things to a completely different level. Inspired by a 2019 trip to Disney World, he transformed his home into a Disney-esque haunted mansion.
“We always decorated for Halloween but not like that,” he says. “The Disney trip just sparked something in me.”
He says doing something fun for the community was especially rewarding during the year of COVID lockdowns. Neighbors flocked to his Plano home to see the lights, colors and projector images. One father nearly brought him to tears. His kids asked to walk by every night so they could wave to the projected floating head.
There was just one small issue. While Cook loves fun, eccentric Halloween decorations, his partner, Tim Wright, prefers more subdued fall-themed décor. Cook calls it the “live-laugh-love style” of Halloween decorating.
So how do they come to a compromise? By enlisting the help of a national talk show, of course.
In late September, a film crew from The Kelly Clarkson Show descended upon their home for a complete makeover. Social media influencer Jennifer Houghton arrived to redecorate the home in a fashion that would be agreeable to both.
It was a hectic day that started at 6 a.m. Cook and Wright spent half the day taping with the crew, then they left and let Houghton take over. When they returned a few hours later, everything had been completely transformed.
An interior decorator by trade, Cook admits it was hard to let someone else manage the decorating in his own home. Though the results may have skewed a little more toward fall than he would like, he loved many of the special touches, like the floating candles and checkered walkway.
“Overall, what she did was absolutely amazing,” Cook says. “I don’t know how she did it, but I was very happy with what she did overall.”
Two weeks later, Cook and Wright were jetting off to Los Angeles to appear on the show and share their experience with the nation.
While he may have been happy with the results, Cook didn’t stop going for even more. The day after the film crew left, he was already adding to the decor. The Disney-style haunted mansion returned with even more flourishes than before. There would be no stopping that.