Monday, August 24, 2009

Candles Light Up Your Home and Lift Your Spirits

Your house may be your castle...but it doesn't have to remind you of a dungeon!

Get out of the dark ages...

Decorate with candle light in those dim corners!
Add a touch of warmth and ambiance to your cold rooms!
Replace that stuffy smell with a subtle, refreshing fragrance!

By using different candles and accessories to decorate your home, you can create, or in this case re-create, vision, interest and style. All that, even before you light the candles! Now dim those lights and light those candles to add instant warmth, ambiance and a touch of aromatherapy!

There are about as many candles and candle combinations as there are reasons and places to put them. With that in mind, we have decided to simply give you some guidelines to implement as you encounter each individual area you would like to enhance with candles (candlescaping):

So don't punish yourself any longer, read on...

1. Technically, there is no wrong way to design an area using long as you follow safety guidelines and love the results when you are finished. One other thing to keep in mind when placing your candlescape, remember not to place it in direct sunlight, as the colors may fade and a slight melting of your candles could occur.

2. Make sure to choose quality candles from a reputable company. They may cost a little bit more, but a 'cheap' candle will not perform for you in the areas of safety and scent throw. A quality candle will have superior, lead-free wicks made in the USA under strict code. Safety wicks that self extinguish at a certain level and cool wax are two more safety issues to be regarded when purchasing a candle. Another concern would be the scent throw. The fragrance must be poured throughout the entire candle in order to maintain the same aroma from start to finish, not just poured on top.

3. Experiment with different shapes, sizes and texture. It is best to keep a candlescape at an odd number of candles as it has proven to be more interesting while an even number creates too much of a balance to the piece. It is also recommended to use candles with varying heights as this allows the eye to travel from one place to another and not get stuck on one level. You can achieve this with different size candles or simply by using candlestands, or both. I love mixing types of candles such as displaying pillars with accents of tealights around the base. The pillars can be atop candlestands or on a platter.

4. There are no hard and fast rules for using colored candles. You can follow the same color scheme that the room already has, or use complimenting or neutral colors. Try picking varying shades of the same color or alternate between the two prominent colors.

5. Try combining candles with a different fragrance to your arrangement or between the different candlescapes within the room. A mix of two or more complimenting fragrances can add another dimension to the overall effect. For instance: An evergreen scent would go nicely together with a citrus fragrance. A careful blending of fragrances will create it's own aromatherapy to renew your body, mind and soul!

6. The use of candleholders can be especially fun to incorporate into a candlescape. Try using a holder with just one of the candles to bring extra attention to it or incorporate the use of candlestands to vary the height of your arrangement. Keep in mind that tealights, votives and tapers must be used with a holder. Remember all candles must be set on a flat non-flammable, heat resistant surface and is considered to be a holder in itself.

7. Accents and embellishments can be anything you can think of. Keep in mind, we are looking for a hint of that special something to enhance the arrangement not overpower it. For example; glass gems, beads, and marbles or natural or polished stones, seashells, gravel and sand. Try silk flowers and leaves; loose, as a swag or made into candle rings. Mirrors add an elegant touch and reflect not only the dimensions of your arrangement but also the mystery of the flame when the candle is lit. In addition, you may also consider using copper, pewter or silver platters as a backdrop to your candlescape or simply place underneath to contain a grouping. Glass and tile work nicely too. You can also incorporate framed photographs of family and friends. You can add accents to blend, compliment or be the focus of any area. Note: Do not use flammable material near the flame.

8. Pick a theme, something about you that would make it special and personalized. It could be your favorite color, hobby, pastime, indulgence, or be in celebration of your favorite holiday; or simply just a matter of bringing the great outdoors - in. You can create a candlescape around any theme.

9. Experiment with grouping your candles on a platter, place them in a short row or run them down the length of your table. Then place your accents in or around your candles holders. As a rule of thumb, if the table were oblong your candlescape would be oblong as well. In addition, place your candles at least three inches apart from each another. This is so they can't melt one another or collectively create their own drafts that cause improper burning.

10. Floating candles are unique in their own special way as only fire and water could be. Candles can be floated in a variety of decorative items to create a striking display. Use the punch bowl and cut glass vases and anything in-between. Spruce these up with adding your pick of the accents mentioned in item 6 above or add fruit (unpeeled, slices, etc), cranberries seashells, rose petals or holiday ornaments, then slowly add the water. Use of bottle water is preferred as tap water may leave rings of mineral deposits on the holder. Get crazy and color the water if you want to (food coloring). Keep in mind to use specialty candles that are made for floating or use tea lights with a floating candleholder. This type of display is especially nice at the dinner table.

11. When using candles at the dinner table, whether entertaining or simply jazzing up the evening meal, be aware that people might reach for or pass plates and bowls of food. As they do this, their hand, cuff or sleeve may come too close to the flame. Consider keeping the tallest candles in the center and low ones in the surrounding area. Use the same theory for a two sided buffet table. At a buffet table that is to be against a wall however, you might want to place the candles along the back of the table and closer to the wall. Preferably, unscented candles are burned at the dinner table so there is no other conflict with the aroma of the meal.

Decorating with candles and creating your own candlescapes isn't as torturous as you might have thought. Go ahead, light up your home and lift your spirits with your candlescapes! You will thank me for it with every compliment you get.

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