Candles have long been natural additions to household decor. The soothing effect that their scent stimulates comes hand-in-hand with the comforting atmosphere of home, so much so that they have become pieces of décor in their own right. As with all décor, however, candles should be utilised in moderation. That is to say, you do not want a household that is filled to the brim with flickering lights – not only is this a pretty big health hazard, but the fumes alone might be enough to put anyone in a coma for a few years.
On a serious note, candles are wonderful and necessary for a happy, welcoming home. This is simply about where – and when – you utilise them to get the ultimate effect you are striving for.
The Dining Room
One of the best – and most popular – spaces to place candles is in the dining room. Centuries ago, they were necessary in order to actually see the meals people were partaking in, but their presence has remained, perhaps due to their affiliation with religion. Candles are often used as symbols in Christianity and Judaism – there are even specific Shabbat candlesticks to celebrate the Sabbath. With meals themselves also being an important part of religious ceremonies, it has become customary for many religious families to utilise candles to signify their faith and their thanks for the food they are eating.
The Entrance Hall
Although candles have become part and parcel of dining spaces, they are rarely used in the entrance hall of the house. This is the perfect space for candles because it is the first room that anyone walks into when they enter the home. In this way, you want the space to feel welcoming, warm and inviting. Scented candles, specifically, are the best way to immediately instil that aroma and allow you to get a sense of family and comfort as soon as you step through the door.
Although candles are rarely used in the entrance hall, they are perhaps over-utilised in the bathroom, and this is where the question of when comes into play. Of course, candles are perfect for a relaxing bath in the evening, but that doesn’t mean they should be lit every night. It has been scientifically proven that relaxing baths can aid with mental health, and oftentimes scented candles are the icing on the cake. In this way, they should be an addition to a bath, not an accompaniment. Something to utilise when you have had a particularly stressful day so that they can add to the relaxing sensation whilst not becoming a routine. This way, you will appreciate them far more and provide a sense of magic to the evening.
The kitchen is another good space to utilise candles. Although the aroma of food will soon overpower any candle scents – as well as the light of a kitchen being electric to aid with food preparation – this is more about the aesthetics helping to give a luxurious and warm feel to what has become the hub of the house.
If you are adamant that you would like the scents to really power through, however, try to move the candles closer to the window. Window drapes can soak the aroma into the material and radiate it throughout the room, making it smell stronger and become more present. Of course, remember to move any open flames far enough away from any soft fabrics so that it doesn’t become a hazard.