The Best Way to Style This Cult-Favorite Lantern

Noguchi by numbers.

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Some things are best in multiples: Chips, home runs, Harry Potter books—and an iconic light fixture. Noguchi paper lanterns look great on their own, sure, but hang a whole fleet of them from the ceiling and you’ve got yourself a bonafide art installation.

It’s easy to see why it works. Noguchi lamps, originally designed in the 1950s, strike the rare balance between simple and bold. (We bet your eyes went straight toward them in this space above by Holly Wheatcroft.) When you style a bunch of them together, they only look more dramatic, but their uncomplicated silhouettes keep the display from feeling claustrophobic. 

You can achieve this look at home without shelling out a ton on a fancy light fixture—just nab a few $5 paper lanterns from IKEA, call up your friendly local electrician to help you rig them up, and take a look at these rooms for inspiration.

The Double Bubble

photo by Adrian Gaut for Freehand Hotels

In New York’s Freehand Hotel, two’s a party. These oversize Noguchi lanterns are the glue between the building’s ornate architecture and the room’s ever-so-slightly Southwestern furnishings. Consider this an easy way to accentuate high ceilings.

The Cloud Effect

photo by Aubrie Pick for redmond aldrich

For a single focal point, cluster together paper lanterns in various sizes, like Redmond Aldrich did in this space. Don’t stress about going all-out with your electrical wiring—not every lantern needs to light up to look cool.

The Pop-Ups

photo courtesy of citizenm

If you have low ceilings, take a cue from Boston’s CitizenM Hotel and install a bunch of smaller paper lanterns in varied shapes. Lots of space between each lets the room breathe. 

Now that’s what we call a light bulb moment. 

See more lighting ideas: Call Off the Search: We Found the Best Accent Lighting Under $100 The Only 7 Stores Where Domino Editors Shop for Lighting Buh-Bye, Billy Bookcase: Everyone Is Hacking IKEA Lights

Rebecca Deczynski


Rebecca is most often found digging through troves of vintage treasures, both in-person and online. Ask her to recommend a good book to read or an obscure Instagram account to follow, and you won’t be disappointed.