Interior Design Using Candles

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Talk about your interior design accessory with a history! The candle has been a primary means of lighting for thousands of years, used in homes, public buildings, and of course in churches.

The Ancient Egyptians used candles in an early form. Leo Tolstoy wrote War & Peace by candlelight, and even wrote a story called The Candle. But, candles are not just a practical or even purely aesthetic edition to a space.  

The candle has been a symbol of enlightenment and wisdom, too. Maybe this is why candles are such an important part of wedding ceremonies, and receptions.

But beyond those specific uses, how do you use candles as interior design elements in the 21st century? Writer and candle decor expert Sashka May is here to illuminate us.


A gracious and livable home invites one into its rooms and has certain components of style. Each room is an extension of the next and the overall decor flows harmoniously for its owners and their guests to enjoy. The components of style include: the wall colors and textures, the flooring, the furniture and its arrangement, window coverings and lights, both natural light from windows and the artificial lighting from fixtures.

If the components work together well, the charm of the home makes one want to linger to enjoy. Smaller decorations, however, can make or break the intended effect so one should consider the elements needed to balance the large-scale components with the room’s smaller items.

Candles to enhance a design theme

Candles can be used to enhance the theme of any room as well as to focus a transitional moment between rooms. One of the most versatile decorative uses for candles is to incorporate candles with each room’s theme. For example, if the bathroom has an ocean or sea theme, consider using a glass bowl filled with white sand and bits of multi-colored sea glass and shells with a trio of white candles in varying heights.

Add a few drops of a sea-inspired scent to the sand and tie raffia ribbon around the bowl. Then place the arrangement in a highly visible area near the bath or sink with soft fluffy hand-towels beside it.

Candles provide transitional focus

To provide a transitional focus when moving from an exterior room, such as a garden that leads into the dining room or family area, consider bringing the outside inside with a candle arrangement. Select five pillar candles of different sizes and shapes. Bring in fibrous or woody material pieces from your yard or garden, such as bamboo or twigs. (Note: if using twigs, place in a low temperature oven for ten minutes to kill any hidden insects before starting the project.)

Cut the material to the length of each candle. Use a speck of hot glue to adhere the cut material completely around each candle. Wrap colored twine around each candle for a ribbon. Place the arrangement near the door leading outside and add large and interesting rocks, pinecones, moss or similar items to the arrangement in a long and shallow pan.

Candles and placement options

Nature, iron and candles work well together outside. Consider hanging a wrought iron chandelier for votive candles in the garden area from a tree limb. Underneath the chandelier, place a table and chairs and add a bowl of water in the center of the table for floating candles. Go wild outside using candles, but remember to do so responsibly and with caution paying particular attention to drought and wind conditions before burning any candles outside.

On a mantle over the fireplace in the living room consider using a large hurricane glass lamp turned on its side and supported by a stand that is filled with a large colored pillar candle surrounded in greenery. Surround the hurricane lamp with family pictures in textured frames. It is an eye-catching and very easy arrangement to make. Best of all, it can quickly pull together the room and make it friendly and warm.

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Thanks, Sashka!

Sashka May is a writer from Australia. She writes about decorating, home improvement, lifestyle and she loves everything about interior design. Currently, she is interested in eco-friendly decorating and this post gives a few ideas on how to decorate with candles (for more ideas visit Natural Candle Supply).



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