author:M J Plaster
Is your home d?cor lacking that extra something that spells the difference between comfortable and vibrant or between comfortable and tranquil? Candles might be just the polish your d?cor needs. Take advantage of the sparkling colors, rich textures, and fresh scents of candles without draining your decorating budget.
Some candles are best unadorned, but candleholders offer an additional opportunity to highlight their presence and beauty. You don’t have to burn the candles; you can use them as objects d’art, incorporating them into displays, floral arrangements and centerpieces?alone as an accent piece, or in a grouping as a focal point.
Typical candles no longer exist?they belong to a bygone era. Tapers gave way to thick and varied heights long ago. Today, you’ll find square candles, heart-shaped candles, fruit and vegetable candles, gingerbread candles, floral candles, Christmas tree and ornament candles, and candles with artistic free-flowing shapes. Within that variety of shapes, you’ll find an endless array of adornments, such as beads and glitter, straw, botanicals embedded in the wax, still life scenes, etc.
Color, Shape and Texture
Today’s candles come in a wide variety of hues and shades, and many add the dimension of shape and texture to their composition. Marbled, frosted, and sculptured candles are widely available in a selection of sizes, shapes and prices?ranging from votives to thick, oversized candles.
If your living areas are frozen in time with a monochromatic color scheme?you know the rooms we mean, they looked oh-so-good on paper until you lived in them for a month?use candles to rescue you from the monotony without the expense of redecorating. Marbled candles are a quick and easy way to work complementary or harmonizing color into the room.
If your home utilizes color well, but lacks excitement, accessorize with textured candles to add pizzazz to the room. Position the candles to create a focal point or to add just the right accent. Marbled candles incorporate several hues and shades of the same color, and variegated candles can tie all of the colors in your d?cor together.
Sculptured candles provide a warm substitute for expensive knickknacks and require a minimum of space. Add smaller sculptured candles to guest bathrooms along with guest hand towels and guest soaps. It’s the attention to detail that rolls out the welcome mat for guests and creates the ambiance of a memorable stay.
If you’ve never used anything but wax candles, try one of the new gel candles. Gel candles are translucent and their shimmering glow is irresistible to the eye. You’ll find gel candles ready to display in their own attractive glass containers.
Candles and Fragrance
Scented and aromatherapy candles make an excellent choice for the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. Consider odor-neutralizing scented candles a necessity for the kitchen when you entertain. They serve triple duty by quickly neutralizing cooking odors, adding a pleasant scent and a touch or warmth. Larger scented candles often include interesting texture, shape and color variation.
Candleholders and Display Options
If you use your patio as a three-season outdoor room, float citronella votives in water on the patio for a lily-pads-in-the-pond effect. You’ll scare away the mosquitoes and other flying irritants at the same time. Place all citronella candles a few feet from the table so that you don’t run off the guests along with the insects.
Votive holders have blossomed into every imaginable shape, including butterflies, bejeweled beveled glass holders, and seascape holders. Many of the votive designs are ideally suited for an outdoor environment.
Hurricane lamps add light and atmosphere to the outdoor table in the evening. Eve lights can produce harsh lighting, and hurricane lamps provide enough light to see without detracting from the atmosphere. When selecting a candleholder for outdoor use, it’s important to select one that shields the flame from the wind, and hurricane lamps provide ample protection from the wind.
If you haven’t seen the newer tea lamp candleholders, you’re not going to believe your eyes. These candleholders are every bit as elaborate and intricate as their electrical counterparts. If you prefer the formal look of a chandelier, consider a chandelier candleholder for a soft, diffused light. The next time a storm or tornado blows through your area, leaving you without electricity, tea lamp, hurricane and chandelier candleholders will be ready and waiting.
Whatever your d?cor, imaginative use of candles and candleholders allows you to change your d?cor as often as you change your mood.