There's a Reason This Old-School Lighting Style Complements Any Space

Three different takes on implementing paper lanterns.

white latterns

Thanks to the work of sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi, the paper lantern has become a mainstay in the modern home. Inspired by those of Japanese fishermen, Noguchi implemented the traditional Gifu technique of paper construction to create the lanterns, often rendered in a stark white or creamy hue, that still circulate profusely decades later. He has since spawned an entire sector of decor as creators reinterpret his initial ideas to apply to all types of design sensibilities.

The beauty of a white paper lantern is that it orbits outside specific taste profiles. They aren’t really modern but not traditional, per se, either. The white finish appears at home in a super-minimal space but can tone down the exuberance of louder homes, as well. We’ve tracked similar styles through the homes of three different designers, all of which are aesthetically unrelated, and in doing so, confirmed their unbridled versatility.

Jute Rug + Cowhide + Wooden Elements

In the New Orleans home of interior designer Sara Ruffin Costello, she has curated a neutral space that is anything but boring. Texture galore, there’s a jute rug with chrome accents paired with cowhide, white leather, and various shades of wood—all presided over by an oversize colorless lantern.

Akari 125F


Milo Sleeper Sofa

Rove Concepts
$3299 $2999



Sela Leather Accent Chair

Lulu & Georgia

Antiqued Mirror + Modern Glass Table + Blue Dining Chairs

lattern interiors

Photo: Courtesy of Nathan Schroder

Architect Eddie Maestri’s Dallas home effortlessly intermingles retro elements with traditional silhouettes and modern finishes. Beneath a statement lantern, his dining room houses a huge antiqued mirror reflecting a uniform set of blue suede dining chairs.

Reiner Dining Table

Orren Ellis

Neutral Color Palette + Cesca Chairs + Curvy Furniture

The fixed color palette of Thuy Nguyen’s Swedish home ranges from pale wood to creamy white. The hues are warm and the rounded silhouettes, including not one but two lanterns, add a dose of comfort to the overall feeling.

Cesca Dining Chair

SoHo Concept
$540 $500

Knit Blanket

Zara Home
$139 $70
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