Welcome to the lantern article of your dreams. Look around for a moment and imagine this: instead of harsh fluorescent bulbs or a dull overhead light, your room is illuminated by a melody of lanterns. Each lantern hums with a warm radiance. That radiance calms your heart, focuses your mind, and transforms your day.
Now take a deep breath. Ready to step back into reality now? You don’t have to! We think there’s something simply ethereal about a room lit up by candlelight, and lanterns even more so. While we don’t use lanterns to light up our daily lives anymore, there’s no reason we can’t use them to enhance our daily lives. Here’s why you might want to pick a lantern over a lamp in your bedroom, dining room, or backyard.
1. Lanterns add ambience—or should we say, romance—to any corner, big or small.
Whether you have lanterns framing the steps of your staircase or tiered on your dressing table, you’re sure to love their soft glow.
2. They can used to decorate indoors or out.
You can’t say that about many pieces of décor! Lanterns can be easily moved and cleaned, and because many lanterns are constructed of glass or metal, they can stand a bit of outdoor wear and tear. One of our blog readers, Karla, used lanterns to light the pathway of her daughter’s outdoor wedding, to keep the wind from blowing out the Unity candle during the ceremony, and then finally in her home!
To light the pathway to the wedding…
3. The same lantern can be used for literally any event…
As Karla showed us, the same lantern can be re-used for any event–wedding, BBQ, birthday, the list goes on! One of our online shoppers from Pittsburgh, PA, Paula12, turned a simple Clear Glass Lantern into a decorative centerpiece! She writes, “There are a ton of ways to make this into a centerpiece for any occasion very inexpensively,” and she couldn’t be more right. Janet from Texas took the exact same lantern and made a fall focal piece for her kitchen!
Below, Geneva, from Missouri, also paired a her Clear Glass Lantern with marbles, potpourri, and a candle to create this dining room table attraction! Jynne, from Delaware, styles her lantern for every holiday too. On the right, see how she dressed up her Antique Cream Lantern for Easter.
4. Lanterns make it easy to bring the outdoors, inside.
If you have a green thumb, your lantern can be used as a miniature terrarium. Succulents and mosses thrive in this safe, contained environment, but so do artificial flowers, stems, and even pumpkins! Gcmandy from Orlando, FL used her Antique Cream Lantern for her wedding, but also for her kitchen table. She had enough room to put a candle or a small flower pot inside, sprinkled some leaves on top of a pumpkin scented sachet, and her table was complete for a seasonal get-together! If your thumb’s not so green, use a lantern to bring natural elements like rocks, dried fruits, and leaves into your home like we did on the right.
5. Lanterns remind you of enchanted times.
Remember Tinker Bell getting trapped in a Captain Hook’s lantern? When you hold a lantern, you’re immediately transported to time when a lantern might have been the only light source on a long and dark path through eerie woods. Think Little Red Riding Hood or Chronicles of Narnia (the characters met at a lamp post that’s reminiscent of our black metal lanterns). Or, maybe lanterns remind you of camping with your family…or your grandmother’s gas lamplight! Whatever they remind you of, lanterns have the ability to transport you into memories and dreams of times past.
6. They save electricity.
More ambience, less electricity. A little bit more money in your pocket. That’s a winning equation.
7. Unlike an open flame, they’re not a fire hazard.
Most party and wedding venues do not allow open flames, which rules out decorating with pillar candle holders or candlesticks. A lantern is a safe alternative to an open flame (and a flameless, battery-operated candle even more so), especially if your event is outdoors or young party-goers will be present. A lantern will also prevent the flame from getting blown out by the wind!
8. They can be used to shed light on other important pieces and balance larger décor items.
Here, the Bronze and White Double Lantern perfectly balances the distressed ceramic vase and lavender arrangement.
9. There’s no “one way” to install a lantern.
You can hang it, group it, or set it on the ground. Can you say the same for your lamp?
10. Most importantly, lanterns are functional décor!
Unlike a statue, pennant banner, or metal wall art, a lantern serves a functional purpose—lighting! You’ll feel illuminated, inside and out when you decorate with lanterns.
We would love to include your own images in our next blog post about lanterns. Have you found a creative way to decorate with lanterns in your home? Did you use lanterns as decorations in your last party? Share your images, stories, and lantern tips with our community. I know Kirkland’s shoppers are full of great ideas!