I Keep My Holiday Lights Up All Year Long—Here’s Why You Should, Too

published Dec 30, 2018
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

I wish I could tell you about the first time I realized that holiday lights look great as year-round interior decor, but I don’t remember a specific incident that acted as a catalyst here. Perhaps—in fact, most likely—it was when I was still in high school, living with my parents in the woods of Appalachia. Without much to do as a byproduct of living in a remote place and being a teenager, my bedroom became my sanctuary, just as it is for other teenagers across the world. It’s a tale as old as time. So I expressed myself hard in that space. I drew on the walls, collected band posters with pride, and draped twinkle lights about that I kept there all year long.

I did this again in my apartments in New York City as a young adult and yet again in the first standalone house I ever lived in as an older young adult in Austin, Texas. Once I became a parent, I went a little extra overboard on the holiday lights for my daughter’s first Christmas, stringing them every which way across my living room ceiling. I didn’t take those lights down for two years, and they only came down because I was moving out of that house, transporting my life one last time, from Michigan to Oregon. When I spent my first Christmas in my new home last year, I joked as I framed my fireplace in small white lights. “These aren’t ever coming down,” I said.

And why should they? String lights effectively contribute a good deal to that “holiday magic” vibe we all love, so why not keep that magic going all the time? It makes sense to me, anyway. If you’re looking to spruce up your interior decor with an element that will bring some whimsy into your design scheme, look no further than the string lights you can almost certainly find on mega sale right about now. Here’s why:

They’re generally inexpensive

If you need to replace string lights, you won’t have any trouble finding more and it won’t break the bank to do it.

They add ambiance to a space that you just can’t get from other lighting

Although there are countless types of interior lighting options, string lights do bring a unique ambiance of their own that you can’t achieve through other types of lighting.

You can find a version that suits your style

Thanks to the effortless shopping options of Ye Olde Internet, you can swiftly find a version of string lights that works for your style these days. Whether you want delicate copper-strung fairy lights, chunky Edison bulbs, nostalgic Charlie Brown colors, or something else entirely, you can focus your search on an aesthetic that will fit right in with your existing decor.

They make highlighting an isolated spot easy-peasy

Sure, you can mess around with spotlights and other lighting options that help to illuminate a specific area, but string lights just make the process so much easier. Hang them around your beautiful headboard to up the romance in your bedroom. Spotlight your fireplace—as I have—by running them along the perimeter of the brick. Draw attention to a gorgeous painting by creating an additional frame of string lights around it. The possibilities are kind of limitless here.

You’ll like the dose of youthful energy

I can’t back it up with science, but using string lights for interior decor will usher a youthful energy into your home that can work when paired with complementary design components. No matter your age, these fun lights will make you feel a little more playful and that’s never a bad thing.

So who else is #teamkeepyourlightsup?