A Starry Night.
The Christmas Cloche

Every year I do my house  a little bit differently for Christmas.


That’s not the plan of course. The plan is always to do it exactly the way it was the year before because that would be the fastest and easiest thing to do.  Plus every year when I do the house I think, Yup.  THAT’S IT!  THAT is the way I should decorate for Christmas EVERY year.

Then I decide to move stuff, or add things or decide that I no longer need a near life sized Santa Claus that tromps up and down a ladder while carrying lights and toys all to the sound of really bad Christmas carols.

Just moving an end table during the year can cause mayhem at Christmas.  WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT THE BOWL WITH BALLS NOW??!

The year I replaced all of my furniture and redid my whole house I had no idea where to put anything. Nothing was the same. Christmas was a real shitshow that year.

This year I’ve gone a little bit simpler for a couple of reasons. I’m in a mess because of the kitchen and dragging tons of Christmas decorations out just makes it feel like more of a mess. And I’m tired. I’m just plain tired. And I figure if I’m tired now, chances are I’ll be tired when it comes time to have to put away the mountain of Christmas decorations in January.

So really, my pared down Christmas isn’t about me being lazy right now.  It’s about KNOWING I’m going to be lazy in January.  I’m being proactive and problem solving.  I’m kind of great.

I’m still decorating for Christmas, it’s just a little more restful looking. As opposed to most years when it looks like hungover Santa barfed Christmas into my house.

When I saw this on the cover of the Restoration Hardware catalogue I knew I had to do it. I already had the cloche … all I needed was the set of lights.



Starry Lights Restoration Hardware


My first plan was to order them online but with shipping and duty it was going to be too much money. So then I planned to head to my nearest outlet mall with a Restoration Hardware in it.  They were sold out.

Back to my first plan of ordering them online.  Nope.  Still too much money.

So I searched around and found similar lights on Amazon for a lot cheaper.  $16 for 20 feet, as opposed to $40 for 20 feet from Restoration Hardware.

Both sets are plug in lights.  I have a very short string of these lights one of my sisters gave me years ago that work off of batteries.  I prefer the plug in, because nobody can hide an extension cord like I can, and you never have to worry about batteries running out.

Cloche Lit


I love them they look great but …


Cloche Unlit


… they are hilariously bright.



I actually laughed out loud when I first plugged them in.  I was counting on them to be subtle. They are not subtle.  They could be used in a number of emergency situations including but not limited to landing planes.


Drama Shot

Once I got used to their brightness I loved them.  They’re beautiful, which doesn’t quite come across in the photos.  It’s remarkably hard to capture the beauty of a fake tree standing in a fake starry night.

I can rest a little bit now, knowing no matter what,  my season will be merry and bright.


  1. Mel says:

    I love the look of those, but the reviews on amazon were scary! Apparently other buyers have gotten strands that overheat, have lots of dead bulbs, and they’re pretty sketchy. Did you luck into a good set? Don’t burn down!

  2. Reg says:

    Really beautiful. I like the brightness of the lights.
    Now I need to learn how to hide extension cords.

  3. Erika D says:

    This is so pretty, love it! But the Amazon link doesn’t work for me. :(

  4. Corinna says:

    I saw these lights at Jysk, too.. I think they were $8. They confused me, though.. Now i’m less confused..

  5. Thera says:

    Beautiful as always!
    And don’t feel bad about paring down, minimalism is good and refreshing.
    I just got rid of three good sized boxes full of ornaments, the cheap plastic “filler” balls, the old glass ones missing the tops that have no meaning, the silver tinsel garland I haven’t used in 5 years.
    We only put the prettiest most special things on our tree, some lights and a bit of beaded garland.
    The rest is all done with natural greenery, cranberries, twigs etc.

  6. Su says:

    lovely… nice idea! thanks for sharing….

  7. Kelly says:

    i’m looking for a christmas tree alternative. I went out to buy a tree on the weekend and stood there looking at them. couldn’t bring myself to do it. a bottle brush upside down strung with lights has major appeal, especially when i contemplate january. oy, i don’t want to contemplate january!

  8. Tigersmom says:

    Well, the song says, “May your days be merry and B – R – I – G – H – T….” Haha.

    I’m glad to know you’re not killing yourself on the decorations this year. My decision to scale back a bit this year is taking longer than the usual 3 days due to my stupid sprained ankle. And I change stuff so often in my house that Christmas is never the same twice.

    I’m awaiting the arrival of some slightly less cheap battery-powered lights for my small trees and garland and wreath outside as the super cheap ones I originally restrung them all with this year (2 hours I would like back, thank you) lasted just under 12 hours. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I, too, am anxiously and impatiently (as usual) awaiting the completion of your kitchen (Ha! Did you know that if you mistype kitchen by putting an s in between the t and c it becomes kitsch-en?). But I bet no one is more ready for it to be done than you. I remain in awe that you keep your normal entertaining schedule through out a kitchen reno.

  9. Karen too says:

    I did something like this in a vase with red and silver “festive things on stems.” How do I email you a photo?
    & I saw a version of your lit up snow jars somewhere and knew a sister “TADS blog reader” was the artist responsible.

  10. Amanda says:

    I’m in love.

  11. Sue says:

    Let us know if three wise men with camels show up at your doorstep. heehee It really is beautiful!!

  12. annie says:

    Dollarama let you down? i am going to check there today! that is beautiful… it’s so dark these days anything that adds a light is welcome!
    thank you Karen.

  13. Leigh says:

    I love it!!!

  14. karol says:

    Very, very beautiful.
    On a completely odd side note, I must tell you that I was watching a video on VH1 and I had an OMG moment. It was a P!nk video (love her) and I realized that she is who I picture in my head when I read your blog.

  15. Love it! Simply beautiful

  16. Claire says:

    I filled a lantern with white baubles and white lights for a similar effect, gorgeous!

  17. Amie Mason says:

    I love it Karen! That’s my favorite decorations yet! Your making me feel just a little less “Bah Humbug”.

    We’re moving house, so we won’t be putting up a tree this year… which I’m actually very happy about because I hate christmas trees, and tinsel is an abomination! There’s a very special place in hell for tinsel people; it’s right next door to the fake lawn people. Bah!

    • Sally says:

      I totally agree with the tinsel thing. Who invented that stuff? You haven’t lived until you have had a cat eat tinsel and then deal with it coming out the other end in one, long, unbroken strand.

  18. Laura says:

    Very pretty. Could you plug them into a dimmer?

  19. Cathy says:

    Oh, and I totally agree with making Christmas more restful. Not lazy at all. I will put a couple of treasured pieces out and call it done. Your home looks warm and inviting, festive and eclectic. No Santa vomit anywhere!
    Enjoy. ( anxiously waiting for the fab kitchen reveal)

  20. Cathy says:

    Karen, these are so delicate! Is there a link to purchase? And you must do a post on hiding ext. cords, I am so awful at it.

    • Karen says:

      Cathy. There’s a link to the Amazon lights in the post. And I can’t remember but if you click on the Restoration Hardware picture it might bring you to their lights on their site. ~ karen!

  21. Marti says:

    Yup, lovely…and helpful when the Martians invade. Not to us, of course, so for heavens sake, turn them off when that starts!

    Restoration Hardware….GIMME BACK MY MONEY!

  22. mia pratt says:

    Very cool, love it a lot. A. Lot. I’ll have to find some goldfish bowls or something to use…I’ll never get anything made of glass here like you have in time for Christmas. I do have lights, and an old rectangular goldfish bowl somewhere…and an old santa snow globe…? Oh, the projects you spawn that you never see (thank God)…I always feel like a combination of McGuyver and an Elvis impersonator when I try to pull off one of your glam displays! Can’t you EVER make anything out of palm leaves and coconuts?

  23. Kathy Hartzell says:

    I’d they are direct plug in, can you intercept the power with a dimmer? LEDs don’t quite give the amber glow of incandescent lighting when dimmed, but it is just, well dimmer.

  24. Feral Turtle says:

    What a great idea. I think I need to check out this Restoration Hardware place. I have never been! I always see such great knockoffs like yours on the blogs! And it would be kinda handy to be able to land a plane in the house!

  25. Ella says:

    Very cool! Where is the Restoration Hardware outlet?

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