June 22, 2014

Image source

Today is the official first day of summer. Many folks start dreaming about the beach, or holiday fireworks. The heat makes me yearn to be outdoors. Finally, the warm weather is here and entertaining can move “al fresco.” Whether you are planning a picnic, a romantic dinner for two, a beach outing, a wedding or a memorial, lanterns will transform your event into something magical.

I don’t know what it is about moving something out of its normal context but it truly does transform something as simple as a meal into something extraordinary. A couple of beach chairs and a few paper lanterns at sunset and suddenly you have a setting worthy of a wedding proposal. 

Kouboo has some lanterns that would be perfect for this kind of event. Their terra cotta tangier and Rizal Pear lanterns are simply gorgeous indoors or out and their bent bamboo lantern, which I featured in a previous post, adds a pop of color that I think is irresistible.



Kouboo lanterns set on the ground outdoors, sand and sea in the background.

Images © kouboo LLC

Why don’t you take this idea and run with it? Move your dining room outside. Throw on a tablecloth, add lanterns hanging from every branch that you can reach and you will have one of the most romantic meals of your life.



Outdoor picnic with atmospheric lantern lighting.

Image source L-R © (Kings Camp) (Olakira Camp)

Wedding planners know all about the magic of lanterns. Elizabeth Johnston transformed a tent into something unforgettable for a backyard wedding in Caledon, Ontario. The trick is in the sheer numbers of lanterns: they make a statement when hung by the dozen.



Decorated wedding hall, has white round chandeliers.

Image © Rowell Photography

The light from a floating lantern can be deeply spiritual. Around the world there are rituals that launch paper lanterns as an offering or a remembrance.  Toro Nagashi, a Japanese tradition, translates as “lantern offerings on water.” The image on the left is from Hawaii where they celebrate the festival.



Lanterns floating in the water in the sunset.

Image source

For those of you who like to DIY, I came across this charming idea for creating lanterns from old tin cans. It beats putting them on the fence and shooting at them. I love that this idea takes trash—or recycling—and turns it into something very pretty.



Lanterns made out of tin cans.

Image © My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia



This summer take your life outdoors, add a little sparkle with some lanterns and let me know how it turns out. It doesn’t take much: a paper bag lantern or an elegant collectible, it’s the spirit of the thing that matters. As for myself, I plan to be down on the beach with a glass of wine watching the sun go down with friends. Santé!


Written by Catherine Holliss


Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC



Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  







Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 



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