ReDESIGNS by Ava Think…..Inside the Lantern

“When decorating with large lanterns try mixing things up – the trick is to use a variety of shapes and heights for interest….and not necessarily add a candle.” ~ Unknown

Do you like to add a few accessories to your home to celebrate the season? Some accessories you can use for every season just by changing them up a bit. Lanterns are this type of accessory and come in all shapes and sizes. Whether sleek and shiny, black, shabby chic, rustic, or Bohemian, there are many to choose from. I have a few lanterns in a variety of heights. They are easy and versatile to use in decorating for every season of the year. I call this type of accessory a chameleon because it can be changed to reflect each season and can be used in many different locations in the home. For example: on a mantel, a kitchen island or counter top, a console chest or sofa table, a bathroom counter, to line a stairway indoors or out, or on a tray placed on top of an ottoman with other objects to create a vignette, and if the lantern is large, it can be used with other accessories by the front door or on a porch.

Placing a candle inside the lantern is the obvious thing to do. Let’s think ‘inside’ the lantern and visualize what could be used instead of a candle to utilize the lantern’s versatility and decorate it for each season of the year.


  • a variety of seashells and starfish
  • small faux boxwood topiary
  • faux succulents
  • simple fern
  • red, white and blue stars


  • small pumpkins or gourds
  • bittersweet vine
  • large acorns
  • candy corn


  • pine cones
  • Christmas balls
  • antique Santa
  • small Christmas trees


  • decorative Easter eggs
  • bird’s nest with eggs
  • rabbit figurine
  • vase with flowers

I love to place a lantern or lanterns on a large tray to be used as a centerpiece on a dining table or a focal point on a large ottoman. Along with the lanterns, there is room to add other accessories or books. Having the vignette on a large tray will make it easy to move if the tray gets in the way.

You might want to add interest to the top of the lantern by using a burlap bow, berries, and a little greenery, etc.

Have fun thinking ‘inside’ the lantern.

And of course, you can always use a candle inside the lantern.

As an Interior Redesigner, I often have to be very creative with the accessories I have to work with on a job. There have been times I’ve had to “pull rabbits out of hats.” One of the greatest compliments a client gives me is when she says, “I never would have thought of that!” Need help with a decorating project? Call to schedule an appointment.