ISSUE 102  |  Winter Lights

A Beautiful Mess: Effortless String Lights

December 11, 2013 11:00 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

There is no such thing as an ugly string of lights. Open the box, unfurl (or not), and let them drape themselves for once. Why should you do all the work?

Above:  A 20-foot length of Starry String Lights on copper wire meandered across the back of the sofa and then flung themselves on some tiny trees to nice effect; on sale, a string is $40 from Restoration Hardware. Photograph by Michelle Slatalla.

Above: You know how annoying it used to be when you laboriously wound a string of 300 Holiday Wonderland Christmas Mini Lights ($12.99 from True Value)  through a length of garland only to find, at the end of the evergreens, that you were left with a tangle? Solution: leave the leftovers where they fall. Photograph by John Merkl. 

Above: Did you open the holiday ornaments box recently to find a tangled clump of lights you forgot to put away neatly last year? Rejoice. Photograph via Curry’s Trumpet.

Above: Rope in some rope to hold a strand of lights in place. Pile the results in a corner, and you’re done. Photograph via A Merry Mishap.

Above: Practically weightless, Starry String Lights on copper wire will stay wherever you place them. Photograph by John Merkl.

Above: Every year my husband campaigns for colored lights. Captured in a cloche with the air plants, a strand of Martha Stewart LED String Lights (from $7.48 to $14.98) will hold his attention for hours. 

Want to get a glow? For inspiration, see our Photo Gallery of Holiday Lights.