String Lights Aren’t Just for Christmas: 13 Ideas to Decorate With Them Year-Round

You don’t need a holiday to decorate with string lights. Here are some ideas to light up your space throughout the year.
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Don’t pack those string lights away after the holidays. Instead, use them to bring light and a bit of character throughout your home. Whether you have small, colored strands of lights, white LEDs, bulb lights 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 get you inspired to decorate with those string lights throughout the year.

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1. String around a floor plant.


If a floor plant such as a monstera or palm sits in a corner of a room, consider using a strand of lightweight string lights or fairy lights to add a bit of brightness to that part of the room. These waterproof battery-operated LED fairy lights would be a great option because they are lightweight enough that they won’t weigh the plant down, plus they come in a variety of colors.

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2. Decorate a mirror or wall art.


When taking down those holiday lights at the end of the season, keep a strand out to wrap around a mirror or a piece of wall art you want to showcase. This is an easy way to add a nice glow to a living room, bedroom, or focal point. Any set of the best indoor string lights can add sparkle to a home.

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3. String lights along rafters or railings.


Bulb string lights aren’t just for outdoor decorating. That same fun effect that string lights create on an outdoor pergola is easy to recreate inside. If a room has exposed rafters or open railings, this is a great spot to mount string lights throughout the year to add some soft lighting to a room. These globe string lights are easy to hang, and each strand is 25 feet long—and easily added to—if you need more light or have a lot of space to cover.

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4. Light up a mantel.


Decorating the fireplace mantel with a strand of lights doesn’t have to be reserved just for holidays. Try weaving a strand or two of string lights around photos, small pieces of artwork and anything else displayed on the mantel throughout the year. Want to add a bit of greenery while you’re at it? Consider this lighted olive garland that features warm fairy lights.

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5. Use string lights as a lamp.


Need a little extra light? Short on space for a table or floor lamp? Drape those string lights from the ceiling to add a little extra light to a bedroom. This is a great option for a child’s room, as white or colored lights can create a fun glow that doubles as a nightlight. Wrap them around bed posts or create a dreamy canopy with those extra holiday string lights.

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6. Light up a vase.


Place a strand of string lights in a favorite vase and let the soft glow light up a room. Place the vase on an entry table or on a shelf as a simple decoration year round. Use lights that can change color to decorate for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and anytime throughout the year. These color-changing lights are a great option as they come with a remote and have 16 different color choices.

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7. Line a bedroom.


A great way to decorate a teen’s bedroom is with these brighly colored LED lights that can be synced to music and controlled with a remote. Plus, they’re easy to hang; all they require is to stick the LED strips on a clean and dry surface so there is no need to bring out nails or mount hooks. Hang them where the wall meets the ceiling to create a border or place them under shelves and the desk for a more subtle look.

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8. Use as a chandelier.


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 at Amazon), a way to hang it from the ceiling, and a string of lights that compliments your style. Try these star string lights that can be controlled with a remote. Or, for the less crafty types, try this cascading light strand chandelier at Anthropologie.

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9. Light up the fireplace.


It’s common to see string lights wrapped around outdoor trees, why not try something similar inside? Decorate an unused fireplace and create a hygge vibe by wrapping string lights around some logs and twigs and placing them at the base of the fireplace. Change up the color of the lights to coincide with holidays, or keep them a soft white for a warm glow throughout the year.

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10. Show off a workspace.


If you work from your house, you know it can often be difficult to separate work from home. Use string lights to section off your desk and work area. String them on the wall around the workspace, or line a desk with string lights. This is also a great option to section off different spaces in a small studio apartment or dorm room.

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11. Display photos.


Mix string lights with favorite photos. Show off all photos by clipping them directly to a light strand such as this photo string light strand, which has clips for 50 photos, eight modes, and a remote to change the look to go with your mood. This is a great option for a teen’s room or a simple way to decorate a home office.

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12. Spell it out.


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

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13. Decorate flower pots.


When placing fairy string lights outside, it can create the look of fireflies once the sun goes down. Try adding fairy lights to potted flowers on the porch or front step. Many fairy light strands have timers you can set and are battery operated so there’s no outlet needed.

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