Ambiance: Lighting & Candles


Lighting is very important to the ambiance in our homes. Whether it be lamp light or candlelight, it sets a certain mood. 

If you mainly depend on overhead lighting, don’t any longer! Bring in the lamps. When it’s dark outside, go into various rooms and turn on a few lamps, and you will immediately set a certain mood in your home.

In winter, lamps and candles are so pleasing when the wind is howling or snow is falling outside.

Just for fun, add a group of taper candles to a jar. It is a change of pace from single stand alone candle holders.

Arrange them so that one leans on the one before it for an interesting look and so that the candle wicks aren’t close to one another when lit.

You don’t need anything fancy to gather your candles in. Arrange a group of candles on a platter. Place a few candles in a terra cotta pot or a dough bowl or simply arranged on a favorite plate.

I like to surround candles with marbles or sea shells. In jars I surround candles with coffee beans, for the kitchen.

In the fall I sometimes add dry beans or peas to a vintage jar with a taper candle in the middle.

A candle by itself is pretty. But a grouping, I think, is much more impressive.

Add candles next to your bed on a night stand or in the middle of your dining table or coffee table. Use them to create a vignette. Add a pretty back drop to add an additional decorative touch.

For very little money, you can light up your home with candles and/or tiny lights in a jar. I think you’ll enjoy your rooms more if you have pay extra attention to the ambiance of lighting.


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  1. I rarely use our overhead lighting. I have night lights and small lamps throughout the house. In every room now that I think about it. And a sweet smelling candle only adds to the ambiance. Great post.

  2. Oh, I love the use of candles on a fall evening, and using lamps make a wonderful difference. I love beautiful homes and appreciate the decorating examples you give us. Your suggestions are attainable on any budget.
    Your post on having a bedroom you enjoy was made me admit I didn't like mine. You are so thoughtful to share the info on the bedspread. Just what I wanted at a good price. Mine has just been shipped. 😉 I am going to change some decorations around and have a "new to me" bedroom.
    Thanks, Brenda.

  3. Brenda, those taper candles all together in the glass jar are so pretty! You are indeed a resourceful gal. Now I want some taper candles.

    I've never liked overhead lighting, either. Except in my kitchen. It's the only way in that room that I can see what I'm doing. All other rooms have lamps. I don't light candles real often as I seem not to have many right now. I'll have to ask for some for Christmas. They'll be affordable gifts for the kids to buy me!

    This is a nice post on lighting, Brenda. And the photos are beautiful. Thanks for the eye-sweets!

  4. Since you were mentioning lamps here, Brenda, I have to add this – always purchase two identical lamps when you buy lamps. Perhaps you have decided to buy one lamp, but by purchasing two of a kind you will get more wear out of your purchase. You will find many more decorative uses over the years by having "twins"!

  5. Thank you for the reminder, Brenda, that it is time to start lighting the candles. I LOVE candlelight and in the Fall and around the holidays, I have little votives all over the house… love the flicker of them. The several candles in the jar.. great idea! And I remember seeing your votives in a muffin tin, and just wrote myself a note to do that. I have tons of "extra" muffin tins. My hubby has a "thing" for them I think, and keeps bringing more home from the thrift store! or does he want me to make muffins???? ha……. and love the idea from Leslie of remote battery operated candles… and your idea of the tiny lights in a colored jar. I've written down a bunch of these ideas… and now to implement them as we move into Fall. Still hotter than you know what here but expecting rain tomorrow hopefully. Probably the first time in 5 months! Marilyn

  6. Such a pretty post and I agree completely, love ambient light, not overhead light. If an overhead light is on in our house, except for the bathroom and even there I have a pretty lamp, then you know a woman didn't turn it on!

    I adore candles too, year round. My daughter-in-law, who is an expert on living healthily with essential oils, tells me that candles are bad for you, that burning one is like smoking a cigarette. I've taken all her advice on oils except for that one. I clean with natural products and essential oils and diffuse essential oils and use them in my cooking but I have to have my candles even if it means it's like one cigarette a day! Better than having a nervous breakdown from no candles!

  7. I love your tiny lights so much. I have candles in groupings everywhere as I've added over the years. I don't use real candles anymore since I almost had a serious fire with a candle catching a curtain sheer. I use the ones with timers which is fabulous. Costco sells them at a good price. Because of the timers, the batteries really last.

    1. Hi Brenda~

      I think candles just make everything prettier . . . especially in the fall and winter when you just need a little pick me up. I have to be careful about scented candles, some of them are just too overwhelming. I really like the little lights in the jar, they are very pretty!

      Again, you have given me some great ideas for fall decorating.


  8. This was a great post. I smiled to myself when I saw all those candles in a jar. Fantastic. We are always burning candles. And I agree with the one lady about the lamp rings you can buy and put essential oils in. It's all adds to a warm and comforting home.

  9. We actually don't have any overhead lighting in our house except for the kitchen, as we have a ceiling fan with lights. "Someday" though, I would like to have recessed lighting put in the ceiling in our kitchen and living room (connected). Otherwise, I definitely prefer lamps for reading and because it makes a room cozier.

  10. I could not agree more! I light candles all of the time, even during the day while I am working. But my favorite time for candles in is the Fall and Winter when the days are short. I light a huge tray of them at 4:30 to make the house cosy when it gets dark earlier.

    As for lamps, I have tons of lamps because thankful most of the rooms in the house do not have overhead lights, except the kitchen and the baths. I did add chandeliers to the keeping room and to the dining room but that is all there is.

    Thanks for the great idea of the taper candles in the jar! I love it.

    Have a great day!

  11. it's why I love rainy and stormy days.
    my mother always said… "time to light the corners."
    there was always lamplight. I grew up loving it and still do.
    candles however I have had to forego. there is something in the making of them that makes my eyes water and my nose stuffy. the scented ones give an even worse reaction. I hate that but have come to live with it. I can't even go into a candle store!
    the only ones I don't have a bad reaction to are beeswax candles! and they are very expensive.
    but I still have my wonderful lamplight!

  12. I agree, overhead lighting is too harsh. I prefer lamps, I have several beautiful stained glass ones that I especially enjoy using. They provide me with task lighting for reading a book or doing my needlework and while enjoying the glow of the many colors of the glass.
    Candles are so wonderful, I have them everywhere in my home.I use a number of the Luminara brand battery operated ones set on timers, so I never have to walk into a dark room.
    Others I operate with a remote, so I can adjust the level of light without getting out of my chair, or bed when I want to do so.
    You have shown us so many new ways to use candles, like the muffin tin early this week. Thank you for being so clever, creative and most of all for sharing with us.
    Snuggles to the pupsters
    Have a WONDERFUL day !


  13. Another great post. I so agree, turn off those ceiling bright lights! I like the idea of all the candles in a jar. I am going to do that. I love candle light, and soft lighting from lamps. Even in my kitchen I have a cute little lamp on the counter. So cozy at night. It is true lighting sets a mood. And I like cozy comfort mood. Thanks Brenda for sharing your ideas and beautiful thoughts.

  14. I liked this post. It was a good reminder to light my candles more often. You are right, it certainly adds ambience.

    Another great thing I do is burn essential oils. I love how it scents the house. I purchased my burners and tea light candles at WalMart years ago. I also purchase scented oil from them. I like the ones that smell exotic the best, but Jasmine is my second favorite. I have tried the plug ins, but the scented oil is much better in my opinion.

  15. I love your mini lights in your green glass container; I have one in a pink glass container on my kitchen counter – so soothing. I especially loved your very creative way to use long stick candles, twirling them in the jar to illuminate your sweet cow!

  16. Love the tapers in the jar. So much prettier than a single candlestick. I have tiny lights in a few different containers in my living room …. they are wonderful as night lights and add so much ambience. Enjoy your day.

  17. Love the idea of putting more than one candle in a pot, looks so much nicer, I would not have thought of doing that. I have seen the tiny strings of light in a store but they were so expensive, waiting for a sale! We do not have any overhead lights in the living area so are forced to use table lamps etc which I love, it really makes me relax rather than a bright ceiling light. Must mention the cow ornament next to your pot of candles, love it!

    1. I don't have an overhead light in the living room and that's just as well because I wouldn't use it. I find tiny strings of light at usually.

  18. I so agree with you about lamp light. I prefer it to overhead lights anytime! It definitely sets the mood in the evening when we're beginning to wind down from our day. Can't stand bright overhead lights, even though we have them in all the rooms of our house. Most are ceiling fans, too, so that's all I use them for! Love following your decorating ideas! Has inspired me to look around and make some simple, but pleasing changes!

    1. I have two ceiling fans with them, I just keep the light part turned off. I think dimmer lighting helps make you feel sleepy toward bedtime.

  19. Good morning Brenda, thank you for your daily posts and your homemaking tips. I am thoroughly enjoying this series on decorating. I have recently been adding candles to my décor and lighting them. They add so much ambience to a room.

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