An old proverb states that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. While many choose to read this as a lesson on taking positive action in the world, it also applies in the home: where you can use candles to literally and metaphorically brighten up a space. Whether introduced as a seasonal centrepiece, soothing background scent or mood lighting essential, these candle decoration ideas can be used to create the perfect ambiance.
The candelabra has featured in inspirational design ideas for hundreds of years. Gothic and neo-Gothic floor standing candelabra create a bold impression in entry halls. A pair of neo-classical candlesticks adds class to every dining table. Simple mid-century designs complement a clean, modern fireplace. Unlike many interior design items, they are also easily repositioned if you redecorate and simple to store.
We’ve all seen candles integrated into festive centrepieces like the pine or holly wreaths of Christmas, but it’s not the only time we can bring the outdoors in. Fresh green sprigs from spring saplings create a light, vibrant feel for an Easter brunch; bright summer flowers from vines like roses, clematis or sweet pea add a bold splash of colour to an outdoor barbecue; and autumnal berries and pine cones add a soft, warm feel to a table or sideboard.
Of all the candle decoration ideas out there, the luminaria is perhaps the most versatile and yet underappreciated of them all. Like Chinese lanterns, these simple receptacles can easily be home made from common materials like colourful glass, tin or layered paper. They lend a warm, gentle light to any room and add a hand-crafted, artisanal air to your décor. Alternatively, many glass vases hold light as beautifully as flowers. So you could give an old, empty heirloom or under-used gift a new lease of life with a fresh candle.
Decoration isn’t purely a visual concept, it should attract all the senses: and it’s the sense of smell where the most luxurious candle decoration truly excels. Popular music icon Beyoncé loves her vanilla-scented candles so much that she has someone light them in her absence, just so her pillow retains the smell for her. You can match your scents to different rooms, seasons, guests or events; the options are endless.
For more consistent light levels from your candle decoration there’s an increasingly large choice of LED candles available to fit a range of interior design niches. From stick-sized candles for the candelabra to small tea lights and even long strings, these can provide steady mood lighting you can safely leave on overnight and are an excellent choice for those with allergies to strong scents.
Ultimately, however, the beauty of candle decoration is that it represents a special occasion. An ephemeral item brought out to create a unique sense of occasion. If you’re creative in how you use them, you might be surprised how often these simple items can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.