May is here and with it the official beginning of outdoor entertaining season. Since ambience is almost as important as the food (ahem), we have rounded up our favorite outdoor lanterns so you can concentrate on the menu.
Lanterns are an easy, affordable way to dress up your space for the holidays — both inside and out. Whether you set them on your front steps or along the mantel, lanterns offer you the chance to get creative and show off your style. From earthy accents to seaside finds, here are six unique ways to spruce up your lanterns for the holiday season!
Have you ever heard of lampions? Well, it's the same as lanterns, only that I didn't really find anything when I searched on Google. In Germany we say lampion, and everywhere else in the world we say lantern I guess. This is a beautiful, inexpensive décor for any kind of party, even a wedding or just a simple garden party!
You will need:
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My first step in transforming it will be to add some lantern lights. Draped along fences or above-head from tree to tree, the small lights add a spark of sassy sophistication to any outdoor evening event. Sure I could settle for Christmas lights, but why would a gal do that when there are affordable and elegant strings of colorful balls, eyelet paper, and tin flowers that can brighten up the darkness and the mood?
Design*Sponge guest blogger Sweet Paul recently wrote a post about outdoor lighting in the Winter, with dreamy, snowy images of lanterns in the night. I nearly packed up my bags and hopped a plane to Vermont when I saw them — I miss snow! He offered a tutorial for creating these beautiful ice lanterns with frozen olive branches and other greenery that I absolutely love. They're so ethereal looking. His idea is to freeze them out in the snow, drop a votive in them, and then leave them there. But I think they'd also be beautiful as a centerpiece sitting on a shallow bowl or platter, perhaps wrapped with a cranberry candle wrap to complete the look. Perfect for a Winter dinner party!
If you're hosting guests or hanging out in your backyard late into the night, you're going to need some illumination. Whether you craft your backyard lighting or buy it, you want to keep your lighting pretty, as well as durable. I've found some lighting choices that provide great ways to add some illumination to your Summer outdoor dining or entertaining experience.
500 Days of Summer doesn't make its debut in theaters until July 17, but I've already got an eye on the sets. Here, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt stand on a rooftop in full Summer style. Of course, the pair look quite dapper in a beautifully patterned sundress and a sharp suit, but it's the paper lanterns that complete the scene. The concrete wall looks a little gritty but the lanterns instantly give the space early evening elegance. Paper lanterns are very inexpensive and easy to hang on a string of outdoor lights. Do any of you use these at home? If not, try replicating this look in your backyard or on your rooftop! To see where you can pick up some paper lanterns of your own, read more
Don't get me wrong: white paper lanterns will never lose their cool in my book. But that doesn't mean I don't crave a little color and pattern every now and then, too. Today I have a soft spot for the new India Rose Fabric Lanterns ($35-43), which are made of 100 percent cotton with a batik polka dot pattern in brown, green, and sky blue. I love this view of them hanging from the trees, but they'd also look très casual chic used indoors. Have you checked out India Rose before? It's my go-to place for feminine textiles, and actually where I got my shower curtain!
I think I'm developing a lantern problem, and it's only getting worse as I spend more time out of doors this month! As the nights get warmer, I want to dine and relax beneath the stars, with the twinkling light of hanging lanterns to keep me company. This Shanghai Small Etched Metal Lantern (on sale for $7.99, originally $12) is so charming. Pair a few of them with some DIYed recycled glass chandeliers, and you have the makings for a perfect Summer evening party. The painted metal lantern's intricate etching will cast pretty patterns all over your party, and the hooped handle will fit perfectly over tree branches or even on a length of clothesline.
You know how I love all things Moroccan. Most recently, my eye's been lingering over these gorgeous Recycled Metal Globes (on sale for $118). Their circular shapes and cutouts are sure to transform a room. Made from interlacing recycled metallic bands, the latticework will cast gorgeous, geometric shadows when they're lit up. I can see these looking fabulous in a moody bedroom or over a burled wood table. Where would you put them?
To see nine more Moroccan-inspired lamps, read more