String lights aren’t just for Christmas: 13 ideas to decorate with all year round

String lights aren’t just for Christmas: 13 ideas to decorate with all year round

The hands are relaxing a string of star-shaped lights.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Don’t pack those string lights away after the holiday. Instead, use them to add light and a little personality throughout your home. Whether you have small colorful strings of lights, white LED lights, bulbs or fairy lights, there are plenty of ways to decorate with string lights. You can go big and bold or keep it simple and elegant. Here are some ideas to inspire you to decorate with these string lights year-round.

Related: 15 Ways to Light Up Your Home Decor with Candles

1. String around a ground plant.

A- Houseplants surrounded by twinkling lights.

Photo: istockphoto.com

If a floor plant like a monstera or palm is in the corner of the room, consider using a lightweight string of lights or fairy lights to add a little brightness to that part of the room. Waterproof, battery-operated LED fairy lights would be a great choice because they are lightweight enough not to weigh down the plant, plus they come in a variety of colors.

RELATED: 20 Huge Houseplants That Make a Statement

2. Decorate a mirror or wall art.

A-Father and son playing together on the sofa in front of two walls, pieces of art illuminated by string lights.

Photo: istockphoto.com

When removing holiday lights at the end of the season, keep a rope to wrap around a mirror or piece of wall art you want to display. This is an easy way to add a beautiful glow to your living room, bedroom or focal point. Any set of the best indoor string lights can add glamor to a home.

RELATED: 25 Wall Decorating Ideas for Every Style and Budget

3. String lights along rafters or railings.

Strings of globe lights adorn the rafters of the house's long roof.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Lamp string lights are not just for outdoor decoration. It’s easy to recreate the same fun effect that string lights create on an outdoor pergola indoors. If the room has exposed beams or open railings, this is a great place to install string lights year-round to add some soft lighting to the room. These ball string lights are easy to hang, and each strand is 25 feet long – and can be easily added to – if you need more light or have a large area to cover.

Related: 17 winter decor ideas for those who don’t celebrate Christmas

4. Light the stove.

A string of olive leaves decorates the white fireplace mantel.

Image: Amazon.com

Decorating your fireplace mantel with strings of lights doesn’t have to be just for the holidays. Try weaving a strand or two of string lights around pictures, small pieces of artwork, and anything else that’s on display on a shelf throughout the year. Want to add a little greenery while you’re at it? Consider a lighted olive wreath featuring warm fairy lights.

Related: 12 Beautiful DIY Fireplace Ideas

5. Use the string of lights as a lamp.

A-young-woman-stretches-string-of-silver-lights-across-the-ceiling-in-the-living-room-with-friends.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Need a little extra light? Do you have little space for a table or floor lamp? Hang these string lights from the ceiling to add a little extra light to the bedroom. This is a great option for a child’s room, as the white or colored lights can create a fun glow that can be used as a night light. Wrap them around bed posts or create a dreamy canopy with those extra holiday lights.

Related: 13 entryway lighting ideas that work even in windowless spaces

6. Light a vase.

Several glass containers hold fairy string lights inside and sit on a wooden table.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Place a string of lights in your favorite vase and let the soft glow illuminate the room. Place the vase on an entry table or on a shelf as simple year-round decor. Use lights that can change color to decorate for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and any time throughout the year. These color changing lights are a great option because they come with a remote control and have 16 different color options.

Related: The best places to buy home decor

7. Prepare the bedroom.

Blue and purple LED lights illuminate different places in the modern bedroom.

Photo: istockphoto.com

A great way to decorate a teenager’s bedroom is with brightly colored LED lights that can be synced to music and controlled with a remote control. Plus, they’re easy to hang; All they need to do is stick the LED strips onto a clean, dry surface, so there’s no need to take out screws or install hooks. Hang them where the wall meets the ceiling to create a border or place them under shelves and a desk for a more subtle look.

Related: 10 Unique Applications for Strip Lights in the Home

8. Used as a chandelier.

A- A cascading series of light chandeliers hung above a table with fruit sticks and candles.

Photo: anthropologie.com

Can’t decide on a chandelier for the dining room? Use some string lights to create a dramatic look. You’ll need a craft hoop (available in several sizes on Amazon), a way to hang it from the ceiling, and a string of lights that complement your style. Try these star string lights that can be controlled with a remote. Or, for less subtle types, try this light cascading chandelier at Anthropologie.

RELATED: 16 Awesome DIY Lighting Ideas for a Dime

9. Turn on the heater.

Birch logs in a white fireplace wrapped in fairy lights.

Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s common to see string lights wrapped around outdoor trees, so why not try something similar indoors? Decorate an unused fireplace and create a healthy ambiance by wrapping string lights around some logs and branches and placing them at the base of the fireplace. Change the color of the lights to coincide with the holidays, or keep them soft white for a warm glow all year round.

Related: The 11 Best Decor Products for a Cozy Home This Winter

10. Show the workspace.

A string of lights hangs on a brick wall behind a woman sitting at a desk and looking at her phone.

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you work from home, you know that it can often be difficult to separate work from home. Use string lights to divide your desk and work area. String them on the wall around your workspace, or cover the desk with string lights. This is also a great option for dividing different spaces in a small studio apartment or shared bedroom.

Related: 12 Home Office Lighting Ideas for a More Productive Workspace

11. View photos.

A string of picture lights hangs on the wall in a teen's bedroom with a bed, desk, and shelves.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Mix the string of lights with favorite photos. Display all your photos by cutting them directly onto a light string like this photo string, which has clips for 50 photos, eight modes, and a remote control to change the look to suit your mood. This is a great choice for a teen’s room or a simple way to decorate a home office.

Related: 7 Feng Shui Ideas for a Calm Bedroom

12. Spell it.

A string of red lights spelling out the word LOVE.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Use rope lights to illustrate reminders or create a certain ambiance for the room. Do you need to remember to relax or focus? Spell it out with rope lights hung on the wall above your work area or reading nook. Decorate the kitchen by writing “Eat” or “Enjoy” on the wall. The options are endless.

Related: 9 Lighting Techniques to Light Up Your Home and Landscape

13. Decorate flower pots.

Woman enjoying her coffee on balcony with string lights and flower pots.

Photo: istockphoto.com

When string lights are placed outside, they can create the appearance of fireflies once the sun goes down. Try adding fairy lights to potted flowers on your porch or front step. Many fairy light strings have timers you can set and are battery powered, so no outlet is needed.

Related: How to Decorate a Living Room: 22 Ideas for a Stunning Space

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