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How to
Display Lanterns

by Layering Color

Sometimes all you need to elevate a decoration to its full potential is a little bit of color. Incorporating elements that are within the same color palette makes a truly striking piece that is visually pleasing. The color blue is calming and relaxing, and there are plenty of shades to choose from, making it easy to select pieces that harmonize by building layers in a monochromatic scheme.

For this project, you can enhance a decorative lantern that works well indoors or outdoors. You can use it to dress up an outdoor space for a party or other get-together, or you can use it to set the mood in a room indoors all year round. It is beautiful and versatile enough to use anytime and anywhere.

The idea behind layering colors is to use pieces that are similar but not the exact same in color. In this instance, several different shades of turquoise are represented within the lantern. Doing this allows all of the pieces to stand out individually, but no single piece takes center stage more than another. Additionally, they all tie in together for an elegant look.

You'll need a large Malta Lantern in any finish that you choose; just make sure it is large enough to hold all of the decorative elements that you choose to fill it with. These large lanterns are ideal for lighting up a walkway or putting on a table as a statement piece.


To go inside the lantern, you need a large decorative vase, sea glass or other blue vase fillers, turquoise-painted antlers or small branches and two of our Seaside Pillar Candles. Choose candles of different heights to create an interesting and balanced look that doesn't rely on symmetry.

Flameless candles are a smart choice for this project because you don't have to worry about remembering to blow them out. Pottery Barn flameless pillar candles have artificial flames that flicker just like real fire so you can enjoy the soft, dancing light they emit. Traditional candles work just as well too, and you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing out the flames if you install this project outdoors because the lantern protects them.

If you want to create a focal point or add a touch of personality to your lantern, choose one small object painted in a contrasting color, such as red or orange. This bright, warm color stands out among the rest of the cool blue objects in the lantern. For just a hint of contrast, consider adding a yellow or green piece of decor. This object will still stand out, but it won't be as bold as one of the brighter colors.

Place the vase in the back of the lantern. Create an artful arrangement by placing the candles and antlers in front of the vase. Play around with their placement until you find one that visually appeals to you. Placing the candles toward the front of the lantern gives you easier access to them when lighting. If you're using a contrasting piece, add it last so that you can find where it fits with the other elements.



Spread the sea glass on the bottom of the lantern around your objects. This adds an extra touch of color to the base. Depending on the lantern you select for this project, it might have trim covering the bottom, so adding filler to the base may not be necessary; instead, add it inside the vase so the colors peek through.

Light the candles, or turn them on if you are using flameless candles. Close the door to the lantern and sit back to admire your handiwork. Whether you use the lantern indoors or outdoors, it is sure to turn a few heads.