I use lanterns in decorating year-round, but during the fall and winter months they are a key component of my look. And why not? Lanterns are unbelievably cute, come in a zillion different styles, are available in just about every price range and can be styled a million different ways. Here are a few of my favorite ideas you can steal for your fall decorating.
Visit my home, shop at our stores or thumb through my decorating books, and it won't take you long to figure out that I'm crazy about lanterns.
I use lanterns in decorating year-round, but during the fall and winter months they are a key component of my look. And why not? Lanterns are unbelievably cute, come in a zillion different styles, are available in just about every price range and can be styled a million different ways.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas you can steal for your fall decorating.
Want visitors to feel warmly welcomed this holiday season? Place one or more beefy lanterns next to your front door and add battery-operated candles. Tie up the top with a seasonal bow holding a few sprigs of greens, and in minutes you've given your porch new energy.
Lanterns make ideal outdoor artwork to hang on any surface on your home's exterior, like a garden gate, a garden wall or the wall of a screened porch. Consider styling one with a bit of Halloween ribbon and fall greenery. Keep the lantern up all year and just change the adornment to reflect each new season. Tuck a battery-operated candle inside and you won't need to worry about messy wax ruining the lantern or turning it into a raging inferno.
Instead of a wreath this fall, consider hanging a wall lantern on your front door. One year for my fall open house I did just that, and it was a huge hit. With that in mind, I worked with one of our manufacturers to redesign one of our most popular lanterns, placing a mirror on the back. I am so excited about the finished product! They look great from the street, sparkling with battery-operated candles.
Lanterns belong in your artwork displays inside, too. Mix them into your art groupings just like you would any other piece of art. You won't believe how adding a three-dimensional piece like a lantern will invigorate a montage. Or if you're all about symmetry, hang a pair of lanterns on either side of a large mirror or piece of artwork. Or center one over a wall bracket or shelf.
I also like to hang lanterns from windowsill. And again, battery-operated candles are a must so you don't create a fire hazard.
When you entertain on cool, crisp, jet-black evenings this winter, wow your guests by placing mood lighting on the outside of your windows. It's so romantic to peer outside and see the twinkle of a candle in a bright lantern.
Looking for a quick but stunning centerpiece for your holiday table this year? Place a row of three or more lanterns down the center of the table. Stop there, or take it one step further by filling in the base of each lantern with a seasonal touch, like acorns for your Thanksgiving table or cranberries for the later holidays. Want the display to be more lush and full? Loosely twist seasonal garland around the lanterns, honeysuckle vine or faux berries for Thanksgiving, and prettier-than-real pine garland for later holidays.
When you're decorating your home for the fall and winter seasons, be sure to include a lantern or two in your displays. Lanterns are perfect on fireplace mantels, especially when they are holding a twinkling battery-operated candle. With all the shapes and sizes of lanterns available today, you're sure to find one to fit the width of your mantel, even if it's super-skinny.
One of the things I like most about lanterns is that they are like stages -- ready to be dressed up in many ways to reflect your mood or the season.
The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.