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Lanterns can completely transform your home and can add instant charm, warmth and personality to any room, making it a perfect retreat after a hard day's work.

Here are a few ideas as to how you can decorate your home using lanterns.

Paper lanterns

Liven up any corner of a room by simply hanging a lantern from above. Place a small table below the lantern, a plant behind, and you've got magic! Finish off the look by placing chicks on your windows. Traditional round paper lanterns are available almost anywhere, are very economical, and add a perfect designer touch to the simplest of homes.

Lanterns come in various shapes, sizes and fabrics. Although we've seen a lot of round paper lanterns, there's a lot more available than we realize. Tall, rectangular or cylindrical paper lanterns also look great when placed on the floor in any corner of the home. Such lanterns tend to complement minimalist dècor.

Silk Lanterns

You could consider silk lanterns instead of paper lanterns. Silk lanterns look richer, and the best part is that the colour of the fabric really shows through when turned on. Silk lanterns aren't the best source of lighting, but they do wonders for the ambience and help illuminate and put focus on areas of your home that would otherwise be in the background.

If you want to get even more creative, think of hanging a combination of lanterns of different shapes, from the center of the room. Hang them at various distances from the roof, so some are lower and some are higher. This looks especially good if you have a high ceiling or a large home. If your home is not large, too many lanterns hanging from the center may look crowded, and you could consider doing this in the corner of a room, or perhaps in your bedroom. (Guaranteed to turn up the romance quotient!)

Glass lanterns

Glass lanterns are possibly the most common of all in India, and although they look just as beautiful as paper or silk lanterns, they don't stand out as much and are not as effective in themselves. With silk lanterns, the lanterns themselves are a focal point of attention, but you would definitely need complementing dècor since these lanterns stand out so much. On the other hand, glass lanterns look great in most homes, and complement most decors. In addition, they could be used indoors or outdoors. They add atmosphere to a home and help it look warm and cozy as well. Larger brass lanterns look great when hung from the ceiling. Consider hanging one brass lantern in a corner, and complement it by using smaller, wall mounted lanterns on the other walls. You could also consider hanging a large wrought iron lantern above your dining table. A cafè in New Delhi has around a hundred colourful glass lanterns hanging from the ceiling and mounted on the walls, giving it an incredibly exotic atmosphere.

So the next time you shop for lighting, remember that few other lighting options can impart as much warmth and coziness as lanterns can, and consider opting for them.

Share your tips, ideas and thoughts here.

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