Cook Sip Party Primp Interviews Raw Canvas Home

06.20.10 by  

Someone Dim the Lights

With the right ambient lighting, you won’t need beer goggles at the end of the night. Surround your digs with these mood makers for instant party vibe or to spark a little romance when duty calls.

We’re always looking for ways to lend a cocktail vibe to a summer patio party or a Tuesday night at home (anything to bust up the routine). Ambient lighting from candles, lamps and lanterns instantly creates a cool mood, plus it’s the at-home version of the film industry’s soft-focus effects — everyone looks a little hotter, younger and skinnier when life is dark and slightly blurred.

Here, our six picks for stylishly creating a little ambiance.

World-inspired metal lanterns. You provide the candles, they provide the ambient lighting. Tall hurricane shape, perfect for walkways, deck corners and side tables. notNeutral, $45.

Love the cool ethnic detailing that lets the candlelight slip through.

Hanging tea lights. Even wax can’t escape the chic vibe of Scandinavian design. Suspend these from stakes, umbrellas, trees, whatever for a “did I drink too much champagne or is that candle suspended in the air” look. Rakuten, $27

The cords are bendy so you can re-shape them to hang in a variety of ways.

Shabby-chic jars. We love these votive holders for sunset picnics and beach blanket ambiance. Insert bonfire, champagne and a cast of characters. Kerr, $30.

Instant Cape-Cod appeal. Bring on the clam dig.

Rechargeable glow. Fake like you’ve got candles with these instant mood makers. We love that they’re packable, mess-free and chic enough to double as a centerpiece. OXO, $69.

Lightsaber chic! Love the cool futuristic vibe and mobility — no fire hazard here.

Funky-shaped lamps. These definitely have an alien-like cone-head appeal. They’re inconspicuous but unexpected. Available in several styles from rocks to cubes to flat ovals. Smart Green Eggs, $89.

Comes with a remote so you create atmosphere without getting up.

Volcanic inspiration. Danish designer Pernille Vea created these to imitate lava on the dark-gray outside and hot orange and yellow magma on the inside. Pernille Vea, $79.

Mix and match minis with the large sizes to max the effects of dim lighting.