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Tips for Choosing Candles for the Home

Candles are Among the ‘Must-Have’ Accessories for the Home

Few home accent and decor items have the impact that candles do on the atmosphere in your home, as well as on your mood. There is just something about the golden glow of candles – from a single burning wick to a collection of pillars – that can instantly warm a room and, sometimes, even inspire romance.

When selecting candles, first determine how they will be used. Will they serve as your primary source of light, or is their purpose to provide accent or mood lighting? Will they be the focal point of the room, or be carefully placed around the perimeter to complement your other home accents and decor? Is the candle itself intended to be seen, or will it be inserted into an opaque holder with the intent to provide the “glow.” If the latter is the case, cheap candles can be used to save you money.

Don’t forget to bring the romantic impact of candles outdoors and into your back yard, where you can use them generously as you entertain on your patio. The sparkle of lots of votives, carefully placed in your garden or hanging from tree branches, will create the same atmosphere as those candles you use inside as accessories for the home.

To create a focal point with your candles, gather a variety of sizes and shapes and place them on a special tray. A mirrored tray or an elegant polished silver platter will reflect the light of the flames, adding drama to the display.

Votive candle holders work best for providing accent lighting. Scatter them on shelves, end tables or even place one or two on a wide picture frame. Use tea lights or small votive candles inside the votive candle holders.

Tapered candles provide an elegant statement and typically are used on a dining room table or to dress a buffet table. Before lighting, trim the candle’s wick to about one-quarter of an inch in length to prevent the candle from “smoking.” This will also help reduce the amount of wax that drips as the candle burns. Play close attention to tapers when they are lit because they can be easily knocked over.

If your candles’ surface area dulls before it has burned completely, bring back the luster by carefully rubbing mineral spirits onto its surface with a soft cloth. And to extend the life of your tapers, wrap them tightly with aluminum foil and store them in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. This protects against the absorption of moisture.

When the evening is over, removing the remains of candles from candlesticks and votive candle holders doesn’t have to be a chore. Before placing your votive inside the votive candle holder, add about one teaspoon of water to the bottom. And when you’re ready to take out the last bit of votive, pop the votive candle holder into the freezer for a few minutes. The remaining candle wax can be easily removed with a knife or fork.

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