How to Choose Candles

There's perhaps no easier way to add to the ambiance of a room than with a flickering candle. Presenting a great method for setting the mood and providing a subtle fragrance for your living quarters, candles are affordable investments into beautiful interiors.

What types of candles are there?

Candles come in many differing shapes and sizes. The larger a candle is, the longer its burn time! However, certain candles are best used for certain purposes, including the following types:

Jar candles

This may be the most ubiquitous type of candle, featuring a wax insert held within a glass or ceramic basin. One major benefit of this type of candle is its relative safety, as well as the fact that you can clean out and keep the vessel once the candle has been completely used up!

Black Jar Candle
White Ceramic Jar Candle
Jasmine Clear Glass Jar Candle
Black Glass Jar Candle
Elegant Cream Jar Candle
Red and White Ceramic Jar Candle

Novelty candles

Because of the malleability of wax, candles can be shaped any number of ways! This offers you the opportunity to show off your personality with a candle that matches your interests. Think of the sports, hobbies, movies, and collections you have: there's likely a candle that has been sculpted to match!

Classic Gold Novelty Candle
Beehive Styled Novelty Candle
Industrial Designer Novelty Candle in Bronze
Rectangular Plum Novelty Candle
Green Pear Novelty Candle Set
Single Green Pear Novelty Candle

Pillar candles

Pillar candles are shaped the same as jar candles - tall, cylindrical - but instead of being encased in a container, they are freestanding. This makes them, often, the most cost-efficient candle to purchase.

Blue and White Pillar Candle
Simple Wax Flameless Pillar Candle
Classic White Pillar Candle Set
Pink Flower Pillar Candle
Red Mango Scented Pillar Candle
Red Long Pillar Candle

Votive candles

Votive candles are very small candles meant to burn for a very small, specific amount of time - generally, only a few hours. They can be floating, in small glasses, or freestanding; it is their tiny size that distinguishes them.

4 Piece Light Green Votive Candle Set
Classic White Small Votive Candle
Red Votive Soy Candle
Decor Black and Silver Votive Candle Set
Green Votive Candle in Glass
Red or White Votive Candle Set

Taper candles

Taper candles are taller and skinnier than pillar candles; they have a shorter burn time, and are often used for festive or ceremonial purposes, such as for religious gatherings, holidays, or placed in candlesticks and burned during dinner.

Electric Lamp Taper Candle
LED Light Taper Candle
Natural Silver Taper Candle
Flameless Taper Candle with LED Lights
Rustic Beige Taper Candle

The type of candle you choose will be predicated by what you plan to do with it! If you're planning on burning the candle often, a good choice would likely be a jar or pillar candle; if you're purchasing the candle for a specific purpose, such as a dinner or a service, a taper or votive candle may be better suited for your needs.

How to choose candles to match your decor?

Setting your candles out at home will add warmth and visual interest to your space. To achieve a varied look that isn't overwhelming, however, it's best to focus on diversifying your candles based on either color or size and shape, but not both.

With the exception of novelty candles, you'll likely prefer having pieces that match the aesthetic of your home. Survey the shapes and colors you've gathered in the room in which you plan to use the candles. Are they natural and neutral, or bright and bold? Because your candles will be a focal point of your home, choosing candles to match is key.

If your decor leans minimalistic and simple, choose white, cream, navy, or black candles; if your decor is louder and brighter, choose a primary colored candle to make a gorgeous statement with your new accessory!

Tapered candles are an excellent choice for dining rooms because they lend an air of romance to your table, whereas pillar candles are great for living room displays because they last so long.

Consider putting jar candles in the bathroom; the jar will help protect the wax from ambient humidity!

How to arrange different styles and sizes of candles?

  • An arrangement of pillar candles is a beautiful and simple display, but you'll want to vary the height and type of the candles in order to achieve maximum visual interest.

  • If your display of candles is one-sided (that is, with a back to a wall), then you'll want to place the tallest candles in the back of your display, but vary the heights slightly (even if you need to cut off the base of one of your candles).

  • If your display of candles is in the center of a room, place the tallest candles in the center, and move your shortest candles out around from them in a circle.

  • Purchasing candles in one color but with varying sizes, thicknesses, and even etched patterns is the best way to get a cohesive but interesting look. Aim for a ratio of 1:3 plain to patterned candles!

  • Lastly, it's best to arrange candles in groups of odd numbers. If you have three pillar candles, arrange them from tallest to shortest.

Romantic Pink Rose Candle Set
3 Pieces Candle Set in Cream
6 Piece Decorative Pillar Candles Set
Contemporary Bowl Novelty Candle
4 Pieces Pillar Candles on Wood

What are the best candle scents?

Candles can be made to smell like anything! What types of scents do you enjoy? No matter what you're looking for, there's likely an aromatic candle to match. Here are some of the most common types of candle scents for you to enjoy:

  • Floral: Jasmine, peony, roses and tulips and daisies - if you wish you could enjoy a garden year-round, choose a floral candle to bring delicate outdoorsy aromas indoors!

  • Baking: With the right candle, it's possible to make it smell like you've spent a long time working in the kitchen! With a cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom or chocolate-scented candle, your entire home will have the gentle aroma of a corner patisserie.

  • Clean: Opting for a citrus or 'clean sheets' candle will neutralize any food or pet odors you have in your home, giving the entire place an instant fresh feel.

  • Festive: If you're thinking about purchasing a candle around the holidays, you're in luck - there are hundreds of different scents that help conjure up joy at the most wonderful time of the year. Consider focusing on pine, peppermint, pumpkin and more to add another dimension to your holiday decor.

Because candles have an aromatic component, strategizing where to place them based on scent is key. Calming scents such as lavender are a good choice for you bedroom, while invigorating scents such as lemon or orange can have a stimulating effect in your study or office. Strong floral and food-based scented candles should likely not go in the dining room or kitchen area, as they may interfere with the natural aromas of any delicious foods you may have prepared!

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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