Candles are one of the most versatile forms of home accessories. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, colours and designs, and have practical and decorative purposes.
Whether used simply as a decorative element in an interior design scheme, lit to create a sense of atmosphere in a room or used to emit a delicate scented aroma, candles serve many purposes. Here are some ideas and inspiration for using candles in your home and garden.
Candles for Your Living Room
The living room is the place where you can sit and relax with family and friends, and there is an assortment of different styles of candle to suit every home.
Create a simple display by placing a row of tea lights along a mantle or windowsill, or try having two or three different sized pillar candles gathered together at one end of a mantelpiece. Don’t forget to use heat resistant candle stands – again, you can find some beautiful examples if you shop around.
You can find some stunning wall sconces out there, whether your taste is modern or traditional, and these can be single, holding just one candle, or have three or four branches.
Using Candles in the Bathroom
Allow yourself a little extra luxury by placing a pretty display of candles in corner of the bathroom. Why not pick up some of the many container candles available, or place a few tea lights in a decorative candle bowl?
For a romantic atmosphere, having a bath by candlelight can be a real treat – either on your own, or shared!
Ever wondered how you can help stop those horrible kitchen odours that cooking leaves behind?
Try burning a small scented candle (often sold as Chef’s Candles), which are designed to get rid of nasty smells. You can also get these for pet and tobacco smells, and they are available in tins, glass jars, or as tea lights.
Candles for the Bedroom
What better way to create a relaxing ambiance in your bedroom than with candles.
Your bedroom is probably the one room in your home that’s most personal to you, so choose colours that tie in with your décor, and try placing a scented candle or two on your bedside table. Even when they’re not lit, they’ll still release a pleasant scented aroma.
Relaxing scents include camomile, lavender and sandalwood. Sweet dreams!
Dining Room Candles
Make a centrepiece that will make any dining table proud, by using a candelabra. You can find some beautiful examples, but you don’t have to spend a fortune if you can get your hands on a no-frills stand, and jazz it up using strings of beads and hanging pretty crystals or baubles.
If you’re looking for a particular colour, why not try spray paint? Don’t be tempted to put scented candles in them though – this could overpower the smell of the food.
Candles for the Garden
Having candles in a garden can be a tricky affair, even on the warmest summer evening, you can find yourself battling with the breeze to keep your candles alight!
If you can find candles moulded into pots, preferably where the wick is shielded from the breeze, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you can get some nice tea light holders or lanterns which will do the job wonderfully, and look great to boot. Try coloured glass to give different effects.
You could also try a candle torch, which sticks in the ground, and makes a lovely display around your garden.
To help keep insects at bay whilst you’re enjoying an al fresco meal or barbecue, choose citronella candles for the garden.
Enjoy candles, but be safe…
Remember, candles can cause fire if not used sensibly. Please take care when using candles in your home or garden, and do not leave them burning unsupervised.
Always make sure they are placed on a heat resistant surface, away from flammable materials such as fabric and paper.
Keep out of reach of small children and animals, and snuff them out with a candle snuffer or a metal spoon rather than blowing them out, which may cause hot wax to damage surfaces (more candle safety tips are available from the London Fire Brigade).
Written by Tereasa Easton