kerosene lamp

Your Farmhouse by Candlelight: Tips for Decorating With Candles

In these winter months, candles are pretty and decorative and provide light when the power goes out (which happens rather often in our snowy mountain town!) We own an almost insane amount of candles in various shapes, sizes, and scents.

If you’re looking for unique and beautiful ways to display candles, then keep reading! I’ve got a plethora of ideas for you today!


Use caution when burning candles, especially if you have children at home – never leave a burning candle unattended.

Candles in the Kitchen

Scented candles for the kitchen

  • Citrus scents like lemon and orange
  • Cinnamon or other warm scented spices like nutmeg or cardamom
  • Scented candles for food like fresh cookies and cakes (keep these a little subtle as they can become very overwhelming very quickly!)

In a farmhouse kitchen, nothing looks better than an antique kerosene lantern. But if you can’t swing it, then some rustic-looking lanterns work great too on the kitchen table or island. You can even hang lanterns from hooks in the kitchen if you have the space! A few taper candles look pretty too! If you want to add scented candles, use smaller ones in a smaller kitchen so as not to overwhelm the house.

candles on dining table

Decorating With Candles In The Dining Room

Candles can make the table more attractive and complete, whether your farmhouse dining room is a tiny space off the kitchen or a full-fledged formal dining room. I suggest steering clear of scented candles in your dining area, which can compete with and ultimately destroy the scent and taste of the foods you serve there. I once mistakenly placed linen and lavender scented candle (meant possibly for the bathroom) on my dining room table and then served a plate of ravioli in red sauce – yuck! We had to whisk away the candle and open the windows quickly.

A pretty holiday-esque look is to lay down some greenery along the center of the table and place elegant tapers in taper holders atop the foliage (eucalyptus is perfect for this!) You can also use smaller cylindrical candles in a wooden holder. Another option I recently came across in an Instagram post in which someone had taken cut chunks of day-old bread (works best with loaves of authentic French or peasant-style loaves) and wedged taper candles into them! What a unique and lovely idea! She’d mixed these comestible candelabras on the table with lots of greenery along with plates of bread, cheese, breadsticks, and other appetizers.

Lighting Up the Living or Family Room With Candles

A couple of scented candles in the living room work nicely as long as the scents are subdued a little. I advise sticking to one signature scent. My favorite? P.F. Candle Company’s Amber and Moss (but, honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of their beautiful musky scented candles!). Other pleasant candle fragrances for the living room: sandalwood, cinnamon, and cedarwood.

You can always totally forego scented candles (I have in the past!) for unscented. Even natural beeswax candles in their pretty honey-colored hues can provide an ever so subtle sweetish fragrance. I’ve purchased mine from actual beekeepers and love that they are not only beautiful and naturally scented but come in an assortment of shapes and sizes (from taper candles to cylindrical, to those crafted into cute pine cone shapes, and even little votives!)

Place candles on a shiny decorative tray on the coffee table or atop a small stack of books. Scatter them on the fireplace mantle or in front of a mirror! Or use pretty shiny wall sconces! Dim the lights and enjoy the warm and cozy glow of a room lit by candlelight.

The Bedroom by Candlelight

While you should be careful with burning candles in your bedroom, it can be a cozy and relaxing way to end the day. My favorite scented candles for my bedroom are lavender (especially lighting a small one for a short window before bed), as well as eucalyptus. As with the living room, be careful not to mix different scents. Stick to one signature scent in the bedroom.

You can also place a few votives along the windowsill or two smaller tapers on a mirrored tray on your dresser. Candle wall sconces look lovely in the bedroom, too, and are a little safer if you’re at all concerned with curious cats and candle accidents (it happened to me once–thankfully, the candle blew out as it fell, so tragedy was averted!)

candle on mantle

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