Tips for Making the Most of Candles

There's no doubt about it: candles are cozy. The following are some guidelines for making decorating with candles as aesthetic as possible. These suggestions are just a starting point; decorating with candles really is versatile, as you'll see.

Vary height and size for an engaging cluster. To make an eye-pleasing arrangement with multiple candles, stick to one color for unity but play with many heights and sizes for interest.

Use stands. Stands like these from Restoration Hardware add not only drama, but height, lending even more decor possibilities to candles.

Use odd numbers. You can't go wrong with an odd number of candles, which keeps your display from looking stiff.

OR...Use symmetry. The symmetry and pattern over the mantel in the first picture show how candles can contribute to the balance and peace of a room. The pair of unassuming candlesticks in the second picture add a classic and glamorous touch.

If you've been avoiding candles for safety, consider the new generation of realistic "fakes". If fear of fire or the safety of children or pets prevents you from using candles in your home decor, consider using fake candles. Some are definitely more realistic than others. I thought these candles I encountered at a friend's house were real until my son knocked one of them over! Yikes. When I learned they were fake, I couldn't stop staring and I'm still in awe.

(Image credits: Kim Lucian; Pottery Barn; Restoration Hardware; Decoist; Houzz; Prairie Perch; Battery Operated Candles)