Lately, I've been building a list of classic pieces that--in almost any type of room and in the midst of any style--add something special and have proved to be timeless items worth the investment. These pieces never require too much finagling or effort to work in a space; they're just easy.
That's why all this week, I'm highlighting my favorite classic decorative items in a series I'm calling "Five Easy Pieces". Today it's all about the bell jar lantern.
Are you familiar with bell jar lanterns? You've probably seen them in some of your favorite Pinterest pins, in many of the most beautiful magazine spreads, and in various spaces designed by notable interior designers.
Bell jar lanterns, also called smoke bell lanterns, have their origins in 19th century England and America and were used most commonly in foyers of the period. In the pre-electrical age, the glass cap at the top of the lantern functioned to limit candle smoke from damaging walls and ceilings.
The blown glass body of the lantern is often etched (frequently with a star design) or opalescent. In Colonial India, this lighting style was known as the hundi lantern and was often created with colored glass, unlike similar English or American lantern designs.
Today, the bell jar lantern has shown its versatility, being used in foyers, bathrooms, hallways, dining rooms and kitchens. Modern interpretations of the style range in price, metallic finish and glass design, but antique pieces can also be found online or via knowledgeable dealers.
But don't take my word for it; see for yourself why the bell jar is one of my "Five Easy Pieces":
(via Bungalow Blue Interiors)
(via House Beautiful)
(via Martha Stewart)
(via Sacramento Street)
(via Cote de Texas)
(via Tobi Fairley)
(via The Newlywed Diaries)
(via House Beautiful)
Like this timeless, worldly style as much as I do? I've found a few options to recreate the look in your own home:
I recently found my own bell jar lantern while antiquing and I can't wait to hang it in our foyer once a few modifications are made to it! Looking forward to showing it off to you shortly.
What do you think of the bell jar/smoke jar lantern? Is it a look you'd welcome in your home?
Be sure to check back all week and see the rest of my "Five Easy Pieces" list! I'd love to hear your favorite five classic decor pieces, too, so be sure to share them in the comments.
See the rest of the "Five Easy Pieces" installments here: