Do you own a lantern that you couldn’t resist buying, but now you’re trying to find the perfect home for it? Well, today I’m sharing beautiful neutral lantern decorating ideas for your patio as part of our monthly blogger Pinterest Challenge!
The Pinterest Challenge
The vignette you’ll see below is part of a Pinterest Challenge hosted by the lovely Cindy from County Road 407. On the fourth Tuesday of each month, Cindy challenges a group of us bloggers to create our own interpretations of a single photo. It’s like a music remix, but for pins!
The whole purpose is to give you some motivation to bring your pins to life. Each blogger has her own unique style, just like I’m sure you do.
If you came here by way of Christy at Our Southern Home, welcome! Don’t you love the Southern charm and elegance of her home? Her home tour is simply stunning!
Don’t forget to check out all the other amazing ideas from my fellow bloggers at the end of this post.
This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. For more information, please see my disclosures.
The Inspiration: Neutral Lantern Decor Ideas
Our inspiration this month came from Kelley Nan in her Shades of Summer Home Tour.
Kelley’s neutral home decor has such a breezy and beautiful style. You really should visit the whole post to see how her lantern fits into the broader picture.
Below, you’ll see how I used Kelley’s photo as a starting point and took some liberties with the setting and accessories.
The Big Three Elements
Since every home has a different layout and aesthetic, I always use a little creativity when working from an inspiration photo.
In this case, I borrowed three main elements from Kelley’s lantern decor:
- The Candle — These days, you can decorate a lantern with any number of objects, including shells, ornaments and florals. However, I stayed true to the definition of a lantern as “a portable protective case for a light” (Merriam-Webster).
- The Hearth — I love the flagstone hearth in Kelley’s vignette, so I chose to use our outdoor stone fireplace to mimic the effect.
- The Moss — Even when decorating with neutrals, I find a little pop of color, especially an organic element like greenery, makes the scene complete.
Is it just me, or does “The Candle, the Hearth and the Moss” sound like a movie title?
Lantern Decorating Ideas for an Outdoor Patio
The biggest difference between my lantern decorating ideas and the Pinterest photo is the outdoor setting. Let’s take each of the elements and talk about some of the details, shall we?
In this vignette, the lantern gets a private room with its name on it and a special hair and makeup crew. It’s the star of the show.
There are umpteen choices you have when it comes to lantern styles. Just take a stroll through the aisles of Hobby Lobby or Pier 1, and you’ll wonder how any home exists without lanterns.
When choosing a lantern, you’ll want to decide whether you want a vintage look, Moroccan style, or mid-century modern feel, just to name a few.
I recently sewed a few pillows with Moorish patterns for our patio set, so I wanted a slightly Moroccan lantern to complement my decor.
Below, you’ll get a sense of just how many different styles you’ll find these days when shopping for a lantern (scroll right).
When you have pre-school aged kids, you grow to love flameless candles.
I once thought Pottery Barn had the market cornered on flameless pillar candles with the dancing flicker movement. Not so, my friends…
When I hosted a bridal shower with DIY decor for my niece, I discovered a very affordable battery-operated candle set with the same flickering phenomenon.
I did say this was a neutral lantern decorating post, so I stuck with a simple ivory candle for my lantern. However, you can find a wide variety of neutral textures and designs in flameless candles these days.
For seasonal decor, especially in the fall or winter months, you could easily incorporate color for your light source. However, my preference is always to add my color with a filler around the candle or florals on top of the lantern.
Remember how I mentioned that a little burst of color can make a neutral scene more interesting?
Since I have light colored stone around our outdoor fireplace, the neutral lantern could easily get a bit lost. To combat the sea of white, I used one of my newly-sewn pillows and a trio of plants near the hearth.
It’s worth mentioning that this particular lantern is quite tall. Anything shorter would’ve ended up looking squatty by my fireplace. By the same token, this lantern would look gargantuan on a mantle.
My Goldilocks lantern looks juuuust right in her spot on this hearth. In the sweltering Houston summer, she’ll replace the fireplace as mood lighting for our outdoor soirees. (And by “soirees,” I mean eating burgers on the patio with the boys.)
Time to fess up. I didn’t actually use moss in my lantern. However, I did incorporate a small candle wreath with faux greenery. It’s the green that matters.
You’ll notice a different feel with the fern in the background (above) versus the blue pillow (below).
More Thoughts on Decorating with Lanterns
The wonderful thing about lanterns is that they carry you through to every season!
Try decorating your lantern with some of these variations, and follow my Lantern Decor Pinterest Board for more inspiration. You can even make a DIY lantern if you feel so moved!
- Candle Cluster: For extra wide lanterns, consider using a trio of candles instead of one large pillar candle. Add greenery, pebbles or other filler for contrast.
- Flower Crown: Give the top of your lantern some “big hair” with a crown of flowers or an asymmetrical cascade of flowers down one side. You can add ribbon, berries and/or ornaments to the tops of the lanterns, depending on the season.
- Green Belt: A favorite of weddings, this technique turns the lantern into a table centerpiece surrounded by a wreath of greenery and floral stems.
- Sparkly Beacon: Replace the candle with string lights and greenery or pine cones. Watch your lantern sparkle.
- Stair Climber: For a special event like a wedding reception, line lanterns up along the edges of a staircase to illuminate a path.
- Twins: Tall, skinny lanterns often find strength in numbers. Try pairing tall and short twin lanterns together on one side of a fireplace, mantel or front porch.
- Hanging Out: Remember, sometimes lanterns can hang instead of sit. Lantern sconces make great accents for both indoor settings or outdoor decorations.
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I hope you enjoyed these lantern ideas. Your next stop is Paula at Virginia Sweet Pea. You won’t want to miss Paula’s exceptional collection of vintage items!
Thanks for stopping by!