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When to Use Lanterns Instead of Lamps

When it comes to providing some extra light to a room or space in a home, most people choose to use lamps. At Pottery Barn, while we love the look of a well-placed lamp, we also enjoy the softer glow and charming visual appeal of lanterns. Lanterns come in a variety of styles and materials, making it easy to find the perfect lantern for any occasion and any design. Aside from using lanterns simply because you like the look of them, here are a few other situations when you may want to use lanterns instead of lamps to supplement your lighting needs.

When You Want to Create a Certain Look and Ambiance

Lanterns lend a uniquely warm and inviting feeling to a space, a feeling that can't be as easily created with lamps. They provide a diffuse and romantic light that can contribute to a more intimate atmosphere, transforming your home into a sophisticated entertainment space where your friends and family can sit back and unwind. Your guests will feel more drawn into their surroundings, and the welcoming ambiance will encourage them to engage in conversation. The lanterns themselves can serve as conversation pieces, especially when paired with complementary decor.

There are a number of ways to incorporate lanterns into your decor scheme. Larger lanterns can be placed directly on the floor, while medium-sized and smaller lanterns will look radiant on side tables and countertops, or as a dining table centerpiece. Lanterns can also easily be mounted on the wall, letting you take advantage of free wall space. Place your lanterns near other pieces of wall decor or allow them to shine on their own as a beautiful standalone piece.

When Decorating an Outdoor Space

Why restrict the use of lanterns to your indoor entertainment areas? Typically crafted with glass and metal, lanterns are suited to both indoor and outdoor use. They can stand up well to the outdoors if properly cleaned from time to time and if they are properly stored during the colder months of the year. When set up on a porch, patio or deck, lanterns add a nice glow for your guests to gather around. You can also use lanterns to light any pathways that might become tricky to navigate once the sun sets. Best of all, they'll stop the wind from blowing your candles out!

When Decorating Entryways, Hallways and Stairways

You also don't have to limit your use of lanterns to entertainment areas such as the living room, dining room, backyard or porch. Why not use lanterns to greet your guest as soon as they enter your home? Whether wall-mounted or placed on top of side tables or accent shelves, a few well-positioned lanterns can add a bit of extra light to your entryway and guide guests down the hall. Adding a lantern or two to any stairwells can really help to complete the feel and ambiance of your home.

When You Want the Freedom to Create Different Styles

If you love to redecorate and refresh the look of your home on a regular basis, then you'll love how effortlessly versatile lanterns can be. For one thing, lanterns are easy to pick up and move to a new location. Additionally, because most lanterns are simple and elegant in design, the same lantern can work in many different styles. For example, a lantern with a silver finish will look at home in modern, classic, industrial and even rustic styles. Different styles of candles and different decorative items can also be placed in and around a lantern in order to change up the look of the lantern itself. If you're trying to create a summery design, then you can place some flowers inside of the lantern. For an autumn or winter theme, swap the flowers with a selection of decorative twigs and acorns.

When You Want to Enjoy Candles Without an Open Flame

Finally, lanterns are great to have when you love using candles but don't necessarily love the risks that come along with having an open flame. By providing a cover for the candle, lanterns reduce the likelihood of flammable objects coming into contact with the flame or of curious children and pets having an accident. You'll still need to supervise the candles inside of the lanterns and make sure that they are always properly extinguished, but you'll be able to rest much easier while entertaining guests or just relaxing at home in the candlelight.

Regardless of why you choose to use lanterns instead of lamps in any area of your home, you're sure to enjoy the warm radiance and cozy feel they provide. Lanterns are more than just a functional way to illuminate a room; we can also use them to enhance the look and feel of our homes.