Saturday, September 25, 2010

Create a Cozy Candlescape

We may not be quite there yet, but one day soon we're going to wake up and realize that Fall weather is upon us and is here to stay. When there's a nip in the air and the blustery winds start howling, there is no better respite than coming inside to defrost in a toasty warm house. One of the easiest ways to create an intimate, cozy atmosphere in your home is by candlelight. Ooh...ahh.... :)

What is it about a lit candle that makes us want to curl up with thick blanket, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and read a good book? (Or watch a movie, if you prefer!) The glow of candlelight causes us to dim the lights, to slow things down, and just relax. It's an unexplainable ambiance that warms us from the inside out.

But you don't just have to just light a jar candle and walk away! Sure, candles are gorgeously displayed at night time with very little effort, but what about that same candle during the day? Part of establishing a comfortable sanctuary is creating a beautiful space for your family to gather in. So this Fall season, consider building a candlescape or two around your home to add comfort and beauty for your family to enjoy.

Oh, how I wish I still had a mantle to decorate....

It's not hard to do at all! In fact, I put together three just this afternoon in about thirty minutes while Evelyn napped. Candlescaping can be accomplished in three simple steps:

1. Find an inspiration piece, which will be the focus of your display. An inspiration piece can be anything from a family heirloom, to a photograph, to some artwork that your child made. When something means a lot to you, bring it to the forefront and give it the attention it deserves!

2. Bring in accessories like candleholders, garlands, beads, etc. to accent your inspiration.

3. Add candles to illuminate your candlescape. 

Let's do some candlescaping, shall we? As always, I'll remind you that I'm not a professional decorator, and in most cases everything I do has to be done super fast! There are lots of things I would go back and change if I had more time, but I think you get the gist. 

So here is our first inspiration piece. 

Circa 1860. This lantern sat on the desk of Abraham Lincoln, and legend has it that it lit up his pages as the President penned his famous Gettysburg Address. Okay, that is a total fabrication. I bought this lantern at Wicks 'n Country in Red Bud a couple of years ago, because I thought it was cute. But pretend this is like, a really special antique, okay? :) 

Now I want to jazz this lantern up by adding in some accent pieces. When you're decorating, think in ODD NUMBERS. I almost always bring in two accent pieces in addition to the inspiration piece for visual balance. (I'm counting the Iced Crystal Trio as one accent...haha...but technically that would make five accessories, so I'm still good!) My third piece is the leaf tealight holder which I've placed in the front. Then I add in my "fluff." In this case, I set my candlescape on a golden cloth napkin and added in a fall leaf garland.  

Finally, it's time to choose the color of candles to add into the candlescape. I try to pull in colors that are less obvious at first. I am a self-admitted horrible photographer, my husband takes the pictures in this family, so I know the colors are hard to see. But trust me, there is a lot of gold and orange in this display. So, I skipped those colors and chose reds, browns, and creams. If you don't like the look of completely different colors, try using different shades of the same color. Here's a closer look at the two options:


Because I was super short on time, I didn't light up my candlescapes, but can you just imagine how cute this is at night??

Before and After:

Let's try another one! This time we'll make it a bit more whimsical.

Say a friend sent me a card that I LOVED and wanted to display. 

I add my accents. There's Stones the cat and my Twig and Leaf candle holder! I also propped up the card a bit to add some height and visual interest.

Last I throw in some candles with just a *little* fluff. It drives me crazy that I didn't add some kind of garland in the back. It would have looked much more finished. But alas, nobody's perfect! I have three pieces here, but if I wanted to add some more and keep the odd numbers going it might look something like this:

Do you see how simple this is? You really can't go wrong! It's all about you and your personal preferences. 

Here's one last picture story of a candlescape that I'll share with you. By now Evelyn was stirring in the bedroom and I was terrified I was going to get caught in the middle of a huge mess! I think you get the idea, so we'll speed things up a little.


Easy as pumpkin pie!

Playing with home decor is too much fun, and when you're able to highlight something that is super special to you, it's even better. Try creating a candlescape with something that you love, and who knows, maybe you'll end up loving it even more! Setting up displays like these throughout your home creates conversation pieces and it gives you an excuse to add lots of cozy candlelight to otherwise dark nooks and crannies. And that...could it be...a little nip in the air today? :)

I can't leave you without sharing exactly why I was shakin' in my boots when I heard Evelyn waking up. What. A. Mess! I cleaned this up lickety split and did the basement stairs about ten times, which may just end up putting me into early labor, haha. It was crazy...

...but super fun!

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