So, hear me out. I've personally never subscribed to the idea that anything has to serve its original purpose. I mean, clearly you should use your toaster to make toast and toaster strudels and not to crimp your hair, etc. But I'd like to think we can have a little fun with things when it comes to design. You might think I'm just trying to be difficult, but it's just part of my charm. No comment.
I just wanted to share another one of my favorite ideas from my little design bungalow. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I'm not a big candle guy. I keep a case of tea lights around for parties, some tapered beeswax numbers for the table, and a few that don't seem to ever get lit on the piano. However, I don't buy a lot of candles, especially of the Yankee variety and scented nature. I just don't really like for my house to smell like snickerdoodles, if there aren't any, well, snickerdoodles. One of my favorite compliments I've received was when my friend Christy told me my house smelled like me. Well, I think that was a compliment. She likes my cologne, so I guess it's ok for your house to smell like Boy. Maybe Yankee Candle should come out with a candle that smells like me. It can be called something like "Bachelor Bungalow Breeze." It can smell like cologne, laundered dress shirts, pizza delivery, and the slowly rotting decay of youth and hope. Just kidding.
Anywho, while I'm not a candle guy, I love the resurgence of over sized lanterns that have popped up in a lot of both indoor/outdoor design stores and catalogs. I love the clean, simple lines, the glass, and the beachy feeling. Loving the lanterns, but not loving the idea of loading them up with candles that I most likely won't light, I wanted to use them in a different way. While it's purely a decorative concept (vs. functional, i.e. filling the lantern with your cheerios on the kitchen counter), I like to use lanterns as shadow boxes of sorts, or as mini-curio cabinets/cases.
I display a pair of my baby shoes in a great lantern I got at West Elm on clearance. (The best part was watching me carry this lantern around the streets of DC all afternoon, with the ultimate goal of not breaking any of the glass.) I purchased a second, over-sized lantern from Pottery Barn in the off-season, and I filled it with a Jefferson Cup atop a collection of old books that match the blue color scheme of the living room. I think it's a fun way to display some of your favorite items, and not only does it protect and showcase your items, but you can easily swap things out. You could fill one with glass ornaments at Christmas, use seashells, old jewelery, a few childhood keepsakes, or even candles if you're not feeling it. Either way, I love it, and maybe you will too. Keeping it simple, from my home to yours.