Ideas for Decorating with Lanterns

Lanterns are one of the most versatile home accessories. Simple and elegant, they can elevate the look of your space in many ways. They add beauty and coziness to any room, making it a fabulous way to add ambient light to any space. It makes a room feel homier, and it can be relaxing to see them after a long day at work. Plus, you can use them indoors or outdoors.

There is a wide range of lantern styles to choose from. You can surely find ones that work with your home’s interior design style, whether it’s classic, rustic, farmhouse, or modern.

Here are some ways to use them to decorate your home:

Fil lanterns with goodies

Fill your outdoor lanterns with seasonal goodies. During the holidays, you can place ball ornaments inside your lanterns. For fall and Halloween, you can fill it up with autumn-related elements like mini pumpkins, acorns, pine leaves, pinecones, and autumn leaves. Here are some goodies you can use to fill your lanterns:

  • Electric candle (a large one, or a few small ones)
  • String lights
  • Ornaments
  • Seashells and sand
  • Figurines
  • Faux moss and ferns
  • Small gourds
  • Faux flowers
  • Faux succulents
  • Sea glass
  • Vintage items
  • Fake snow
  • Easter eggs
  • Birds nest
  • Candy hearts
  • Birds
  • Christmas tree
  • Nativity scene
  • Glass or stone pebbles

Add embellishments

Besides filling your lanterns with stuff, you can decorate your lanterns with a few embellishments. While many lanterns can stand well on their own, a few decorations are sometimes called for. Lanterns often come in neutral colors, making them a perfect background for more colorful ornamentation. It also complements almost any kind of décor you want to adorn it with. Adding embellishments is great for seasonal decorating, so you don’t have to buy new stuff just to decorate in season.

You can either:

  • Add seasonally colored bows around the top or middle of the lantern.
  • Encircle the lantern with garlands, seasonal foliage, or flowers.

Line some lanterns up on your walkway and front door

Create a beautiful and inviting entry to your home by lining the stairs leading up to it with lanterns. If there are no stairs, line them up on the walkway or on either side of your front door. You don’t have to fill the lanterns – allowing them to stand alone will add to the architectural elements of the space. You can also do this for seasonal events or whenever you have parties in your home.

When decorating for seasonal occasions, you can use lanterns filled with goodies for decoration. For fall, you can insert candles, small pumpkins, and fall leaves on the lanterns to create an inviting pathway.

Display lanterns on a console table or coffee table

Display two to three lanterns with potted plants on a console table. For Christmas, these plants can be replaced with mini pine trees. If your console table is long, a pair of tall and skinny lanterns on each end is perfect for framing an artwork hung behind it, then add some smaller accessories in the middle. This idea is especially great for an entryway console table, and you can substitute a framed artwork with a mirror to make your space look bright and welcoming.

If your coffee table is bare, lanterns are the perfect thing to add to pretty it up. You can use a single lantern and surround it with other accessories. You can also display lanterns at staggering heights and elevate some of them using coffee table books displayed underneath.

Style your bookshelves with lanterns

Bookshelves full of books are heaven for bookworms, but it doesn’t feel homey if the interior decoration is essential for you. From a design perspective, bookshelves must display items other than books, like frames and other decorations like lanterns.

A set of lanterns look great on bookshelves. The key is to vary the height by staggering them on risers, pedestals, or some books. Lanterns act as an architectural piece that can add interest to your space.

Use lanterns to decorate your mantel

A white lantern on a fireplace mantel

The original purpose of lanterns is to add light, so it makes sense to place them around the fireplace in place of fire. You can add candles to create a warm glow or simply use seasonal items if you just want to decorate with them. It’s best to place them on opposite ends of your fireplace mantel and let other decorations take center stage.

Hang lanterns on the wall

You can create a uniquely eye-catching display using lanterns by hanging them from hooks on the wall. Place them on two sides of furniture or a painting for a symmetrical decoration, or you can hang them up at alternating heights for an asymmetrical yet visually appealing display.

But if you really want to make a statement, hang a series of identical lanterns in a grid pattern as wall art. This makes an eye-catching display that’s perfect for the living room.

Use lanterns as a centerpiece

If you have a large dining table and are looking to create a modern tablescape, you can try decorating with a couple of small vases filled with blooms and pair them with a small lantern. It looks visually appealing, but it won’t distract the people or the conversations.

In the same way, lanterns can also make a great coffee table centerpiece. Lanterns can look stunning when bunched along with other small decorative items like planters and books. The key is not to make it look crowded. For a beautiful centerpiece, you can fill a wooden crate or tray with lanterns, candles, and small planters.

Hang them up over a dining table

Hanging a group of lanterns over a dining table is another beautiful way to display them, whether it’s in a casual outdoor dining area or on your indoor dining room table.

Line your patio, porch, or pool with lanterns

A series of lit lanterns lined up along the edge of the porch, patio, or pool can be a great statement-maker.