Thursday, April 16, 2015


It is no secret that I like Chinese lanterns.  They always had a bit of the exotic mixed with some dime store chic.  And I've always loved things dangling from my ceiling, a fondness my husband does not share.
Hermes lanterns via 

I was so excited to go to Chicago in 11th grade in order to go to Chinatown and buy a paper lantern.  I came home with some accordian style lanterns (which were party decorations) and one big sphere.  I'd say within a few years they started popping up in most groovy gift shops and Urban Outfitters, but I still loved them.


And I still do.  I use paper lanterns in parties because they are awesome and more cost effective than balloons with the current price of helium (I typically buy off eBay).  For some reason, I've never had one actually hooked up to a light and in my house.


If they are good enough for Alexa Hampton and the Kips Bay Showhouse, than they are good enough for me.

Alexa Hampton, Architectural Digest
Katie Ridder uses custom silk lanterns in a lot of projects, including the 2010 Kips Bay showhouse.  (Her book is amazing, btw).

I've had the below image saved for ages (I used to get anthology magazine; it was pretty good), and recently pinned it in my kitchen reno file.

Anthology Magazine
Today I suddenly decided that I can't live with my kitchen lighting situation any longer, especially since I want to set up Char's bday party in there (birthday breakfast post sleepover).  So now I'm on the hunt.  Pearl River clearly had them, but they are listed as out of stock.

Pearl River Handpainted Guaze Lanterns
I have yet to find a source outside the UK.  But surfing around for lanterns I stumbled on these paper lanterns.

I bought the girls something similar on a much crappier scale from a random sojourn to Philly's Chinatown (yeah, who knew they had one) and it was pretty groovy.  Which reminded me of these crazy chinese restaraunt lanterns.

There is an giant, old, dusty version of these at Midlands but it is not for sale.  So annoying.  But the next best thing may be a new one.  Where to go?  Well has some, and they also have some modern versions.

I assume eBay has some.  But I decided to consult Aliexpress.

Most are in the 2 for $100-$150 range; they are about 40cm.  Except the last one is 2 for $300ish.  When I initially returned to Aliexpress to pull some pics, I searched the term "antique chinese lantern"....they were way more money (several hundred to several thousand), but they also had some pretty amazing examples.  And they also had more/better options for the goat skin (which...we'll see if it really is goat skin....I assume it is taut nylon).

So, anybody gonna talk me off the ledge?

1 comment:

  1. PS--I know the tassels will have to be upgraded, but I think that will be pretty easy.