Monday, May 9, 2011

Decorating: CANDLES

I personally have a love/hate relationship with candles. HGTV is notorious for making you think they need to be on every window sill and table centerpiece. I do agree they are an inexpensive way to accessorize a home but c'mon - how many candles does one house really need? I'll admit though, I fall victim to the candle craze. I've got a house-full of candles that have never even been lit. Mainly because I'm scared sh*tless of fire. Let me take you down memory lane...

Three years ago, I was back visiting my hometown. Staying at my parents and putting the final touches on the house as I waited for my girlfriends to arrive for a night of purse shopping. As I greeted the first guests at the door, I looked down the hallway and saw flames of fire shooting out of the bathroom threshold and a 2 ft. cloud of black smoke billowing throughout the upstairs. Without any hello, I run outside in a panic yelling "FIRE, FIRE!!!!!" My father, who at the time, was just pulling out of the driveway yanked his car in park, ran like a bat out of hell into the garage, grabbed a fire extinguisher and not knowing exactly what was on fire, stepped one foot in the house and started spraying water EVERYWHERE!!! He proceeded to the bathroom and within seconds, the fire was contained. Everything in the bathroom however - ruined. By this time, many more girls had shown up at the door greeted by a puddle of water at their feet and a host (me) that was a trainwreck. Luckily the purses were untouched and so the party went on.

As the girls shopped, I investigated how on earth this could have happened. Come to find out, I had lit two small votive candles on the vanity that sat on both sides of a synthetic flower arrangement. Although the greenery of the arrangement was a good 6-12 inches higher than the wick, the heat was enough to set the arrangement on fire. Once engulfed in flames, it fell over igniting the shower curtain up in flames which then spread to the towels and within seconds destroyed everything in site....

Hence my fear of fire. Just like water, fire will always win.

So back to candles. If you're looking for some creative ways to decorate with candles outside of the traditional hurricane holder and candlestick, I thought these were fun, inexpensive display ideas:

Create a candle centerpiece to light up your wedding (or your dinner table) by using cake stands as platforms for votive and pillar candles in assorted sizes.

If you find yourself with a mismatched collection―or without bubbly―flip thick-walled Champagne flutes upside down to create a beautiful grouping of candle stands for a shelf or a mantel. Use heavy wineglasses for table centerpieces, as the wider mouths will provide more stability to withstand bumping.

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