Five Ways to Style the Railroad Lantern

Decor trends come and go, so investing in pieces that are versatile, timeless, and functional is the key to creating aesthetic spaces and experiences. An example of this is a vintage lantern, like the Barebones Railroad lantern, that is visually antique, but operates with all the perks of modern electronics. We’ve assembled five ideas for styling a vintage lantern, whether at home or on the road.

A table scene decorated with the Barebones Railroad Lantern centered surrounded by books, plants, seed packets and a draped wall art behind

Style A Mantel With
A Vintage Lantern

Whether your home’s interior decor leans rustic, eclectic, or less-is-more, the way you style your mantel can set the tone for the rest of your home. There’s no more versatile decor piece than a glass seeded lantern; it accompanies larger artwork, or can act as a main focal point for the space. Plus, a vintage lantern provides the perfect ambient light for a cozy evening.

Add Ambiance To Your
Glamping Tent or Trailer


Ideal for a reading light or guiding your nighttime exploring, a battery-powered lantern provides trustworthy light while maintaining a stylish appearance. Plus, the Railroad lantern is lightweight compared to it's antique cousin and easy to pack, keeping your load light. Hang it from your tent or RV trailer where you need an extra glow.

If you’re more of the glamping type, a lantern with a vintage aesthetic adds a lovely detail to a decorated outdoor dinner table or acts as a perfect nightlight, thanks to the adjustable brightness. If you’re celebrating a special event (or just curating the ideal outdoors experience), consider hanging vintage lanterns from trees or lighting a path to your outdoor seating area.

Create A Centerpiece At A Picnic

Whether your picnic is spur-of-the-moment or carefully designed, the Railroad Lantern is the perfect accompaniment to set the mood (and comes in handy if your outdoor lunch progresses into evening star-gazing). 

When styling a picnic, start with an option for seating, such as a blanket or cushions, and add a few extra pillows for additional comfort. Make sure to pack lightweight cups and plates, such as enamelware. Incorporate other natural elements such as wildflowers or local greenery, and center the effect with intentional additions like the Railroad lantern, perfect for both functionality and aesthetics.

Decorate An Entryway or Foyer


Your entryway is the first thing guests see when arriving at your home. Evoking feelings of warmth and comfort, a vintage lantern adds the perfect touch, whether out on the front porch or within a larger entryway. Add dimension to an entryway table or bench by pairing a lantern with greenery, fresh flowers, or another classic decor element. Or, simply hang a lantern beside the front door to welcome guests in style.

Plus, a vintage lantern is versatile enough to last through every season; whether winter or summer, a lantern adds the perfect feeling of home.

Add A Finishing Touch
To A Wedding or Event


The key to a simple but stunning wedding is to focus on the details - and a vintage lantern provides just enough versatility to fit with any wedding theme. Whether you’re aiming for a wedding nestled deep in the woods or a backyard garden party, consider adding vintage lanterns or other stylish centerpieces to head or guest tables - or hang them from trees or a backyard fence to delineate the space and provide the ideal level of mood lighting.

Customize Your Lighting To Match Your Aesthetic


Barebones offers three replacement glass options for your vintage lantern, making it easy to simply replace the Railroad Lantern’s cracked or chipped glass instead of throwing away the whole lantern. This is an excellent way to reduce waste, as well as cut down on the expense of a new purchase! Alternatively, swap out your Railroad Lantern’s default glass for a different aesthetic altogether.

Each lens style offers its own ambiance to enhance your space: the original Clear seeded glass provides bright, clear light, making it an excellent choice for prepping food or lighting a path outdoors. The Smoke glass lens has a dreamy wave-like pattern and, true to its name, is colored a soft smokey neutral, making it an excellent choice for a romantic date night or illuminating late-night conversation. Finally, the Amber glass lens is smooth and clear, and offers a warm orange-tinted glow that is wonderful for mood lighting or a book before bedtime. Whether used as replacement glass for the Railroad Lantern or swapped out when desired, these lens options enhance the Railroad Lantern and allow you to customize it to your taste.

Ready to add some timeless charm to your next indoor or outdoor space? View our favorite Railroad Lantern, now available in three different lens options!

← Older Post Newer Post →