Paper lanterns and Chinese lanterns are among the cheapest, simplest DIY methods to improve the lighting and atmosphere of any space. Whether you’re adding subtle colour to a room or lighting up a party, wedding or special event, this guide will help you find the best placement and colour.
(To find a colour compatible with your living area, you will first need a colour wheel or equivalent colour compatibility tool. A simple Google search for “color wheel” will give you plenty of useful resources.)
Spicing up a Simple Room
If your room is neutral or bland, your best approach could be to accent it with an entirely different colour. Consider using one on the opposite end of the colour wheel to your current scheme. You’ll find this will add a strong ‘wow’ factor. For example, a creamy or yellow room is best countered with purple lanterns. For a green colour scheme, try red. Rather than clashing, an opposing colour can often transform your lanterns into a key feature.
Of course, this “wild” approach isn’t for everybody. Sometimes paper lanterns can be most effective as a subtle decoration. In this instance, aim for a colour already strongly featured in the room. A monochrome scheme, for instance, is best served with another variation of the same colour. Chances are you have several blue shades already in your room, making pale or sapphire blue lanterns a perfect match!
Mother Nature: The World’s Greatest Colour Consultant
If you’re struggling for inspiration, try turning to nature. Step outside, look around and soak in the colour and beauty of our surroundings. Think of the blues and yellows of water and sand; the blues and greens of the sky and grass; the vivid orange and black of a tiger; even the seven natural colours of the rainbow!
Bringing Colour to a Party
If you’re decorating a party or festive event, you’re in luck – every rule goes out the window! In this case, you have the complete creative freedom to choose your favourite colours and go wild! This is particularly effective at children’s birthday parties.
Additional Lantern Decoration Ideas
Once you’ve decided on a colour, it’s time to experiment!
- Try hanging a larger number of small lanterns in clusters (ideally in uneven numbers).
- A variety of sizes at different heights will create a more complex, sophisticated appearance.
- If you’re sticking to one colour, try mixing it up with a variety of sizes, textures and shapes.
- Combine printed lanterns and plain lanterns.
- Create a straight string of lanterns that’s either completely horizontal or vertical.
- Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Even a single large lantern in the middle of the room can work wonders!
And remember: paper lanterns are perfect for temporary colour makeovers! Whether you’re renting or need a one-night party theme, paper lanterns are easy to set up and completely recyclable. Simply fold them flat when you’re done for easy storage until you need them next.