Gas lanterns

{Beacon Hill, Boston}

I became obsessed with interested in outdoor lighting this summer when we redid our front walkway. Although I wasn't in the market for one, I love gas lanterns. I see them all around -- in shelter mags, my neighborhood and on my travels this summer.

A bit of history. Before electricity became widespread and affordable for general use, gas was the most useful form of lighting. Early gas lights had to be lit and unlit manually before they became self igniting. While touring Beacon Hill in Boston, my guide told me that during the late 19th century lamplighters used tall bikes to light gas street lamps. Tedious job. The helpers look pretty somber.

Back to my summer hobby...

A front entrance doesn't get any more charming than this -- designer Sally Wheat's West University home in Houston. I saw this photo on Cote de Texas some years back. Love the oversized gas lanterns and the way the wisteria frames the arched front door. Also, the simple boxwood planters and door wreathes.

Too bad my house doesn't look like this or any of these that I saw at the beach. You see, I have a thing for vine-covered doorways flanked by lanterns.

 {Alys Beach -- love the peace wreath}
Or just one centered above ...

{Alys Beach}

 {Alys Beach -- graceful curved arms}

And, just a few of the lovely ones I saw in Rosemary...

Just in case you're wondering, tasteful path lights are hard to come by. After much searching, here's what I chose. Cute, right. They will look much better with some patina.

photo images: 1, 2

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