There’s nothing I love more during cold winter nights than curling up at home with a good book or movie and lighting a candle. Candles instantly calm me. Something about the flickering flame relaxes any tenseness I may have, and stress melts away (fireplaces also have the same effect, plus the added warmth – they do so much to remove stress to the point where I just fall asleep). In the last couple of years, I’ve grown more and more attached to fragrant candles. I’m not a huge fan of those cheap, drugstore type candle that smell waxy and linger for days, but a subtle, good-smelling candle can add a lot to brighten up a room. I love lighting pine-scented candles in December after I’ve put my mini-condo-Christmas tree up; I love lighting candles with fruit or brown sugar aromas when I’m baking; and if I’m taking a bath, you can bet I have a vanilla-scented candle or two lit in the bathroom (what can I say? some stereotypes just work).
Recently, I’ve discovered (via Pinterest, naturally) a new candle-votive idea that works wonders. Take a glass candle holder (mason jars or wide-mouthed, shallow vases work well), fill it part way with whole coffee beans, place a vanilla-scented candle in the centre, and light. The heat from the candle will warm up the coffee beans and create an amazing scent.
Candles act as fantastic decorating pieces on coffee tables, in dining rooms, on bookshelves and on dressers or bedside tables in bedrooms (lit or not). They work with any style of decor from the ultra-modern (big white pillar candles work best) to the rustic (like this birch candle or this spool-shaped candle). Plus, they’re super handy in case of a blackout (but, it’s nowhere near as romantic as you’d expect when you’re trying to shower or dress by candle-light…trust me). I’m honestly a bit addicted to them and cannot help myself from buying new ones even before I’ve finished those I already have at home (I do the same with perfume, but that’s another post for another day). I’ve burned through quite a few candles in the past few months, but have discovered a few favourites that I can’t wait to stock back up on:
Candles are great, versatile for year-round use and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy styles or holders to get that sophisticated/glowing effect (tea lights are cheap and cheerful, and you can get creative with just about anything in your house as a candle holder. All you really need to do is ensure you’re catching the drippings). For more tips on how to decorate with candles visit this handy cheat sheet from Apartment Therapy.