Monday, November 12, 2012

No Candles Allowed? Add Ambiance & Aroma with 12 Alternatives

Who doesn't love the flickering light and fragrant scent of a burning candle?  Candles add instant romance, coziness, and aroma to a space.  However, candles are more than likely not allowed in your apartment space.  Besides the obvious threat of being a fire hazard, the soot from burning candles can also stain and damage the wall and ceiling surfaces.  So what's a renter to do when in need of a little ambiance and fragrance?  (Febreze only does so much...)

Although we don't allow burning candles in our Haverkamp Properties, we understand your desire to make your space to feel like home.  To help with that, we've rounded up twelve alternatives to candles.  These substitutions won't set your space aflame or leave sooty residue on your walls and ceiling.  Plus, staying out of trouble with the landlord and getting most of your security deposit back doesn't hurt either.

Alternatives that Add Ambiance

LED & Flameless Candles:  These battery-operated candles are long-lasting, flicker like the real deal, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes sure to fit into any candleholder.  Along with reed diffusers, these are the safest alternative to a candle.  

Reed Diffusers:  A bundle of reeds placed in a bottle of scented oil infuses a space with fragrance.  All you need to do is turn over the reeds occasionally to refresh the scent.  Along with flameless candles, reed diffusers are the safest alternative to a candle.  (The reeds and oil are flammable, so never heat a reed diffuser.)  

String Lights: Christmas lights (white or colored) can add sparkle to your space at any time of the year.    Battery-operated string lights are the safest option, plus you'll free up outlets and avoid forgetting to unplug them. 

Scent Plugs: It doesn't get any easier than simply plugging a fragrance into your outlet and letting electricity do the work.  For safety reasons, check on scent plug-ins often to make sure they don't overheat.  

Candle Warmers:  Candle warmers melt candles rather than burn them.  It releases the same fragrance into the room, but without danger of a flame.  These plug into electrical outlets, so don't forget to turn them off.  The other risk involved is spilling the hot, melted wax.  So keep candle warmers far from the edge and out-of-reach of children and pets.

Using These Alternatives in Your Decor

1. Setting the table for a romantic dinner?  Tall LED taper candles look just as elegant in burnished gold candlesticks as the real thing.  

2. A tiny flameless tea-light sits pretty in this cute bird candleholder, which will look adorable perched on your desk or the edge of a shelf.  

3. Many flameless candles are embellished with patterns and illustrations.  (And the art won't melt into a puddle of wax.)  This owl-printed pillar is a hoot!  

4. Place LED votive candles in holders with a lacy, cut-out design to let the flickering shine through.  

5. With scented oil, a package of reeds, and a pretty bottle (like this mercury glass beauty) you can create a personalized fragrance diffuser that fits in perfectly with your decor.

6. Fragrance diffusers are available in a range of aromas, sizes, colors, and bottles.  (You can even get your favorite Yankee Candle scents in reed diffuser form.)

7. Both LED candles and battery-operated string lights will glow beautifully in a brightly colored lantern.

8. Wad up battery-operated Christmas lights in a simple glass mason jar for easy and pretty sparkle.

9. Illuminate your coffee table or mantle with flameless candles that glisten in metallic gold votive cups

10. This solar-powered sun jar gathers sunlight by day and lights up with a soft glow at night.  

11. Fill your space with scent by plugging in your fragrance to a wall outlet.  (It doesn't get easier than that!)

12. Candle warmers (like this tree-printed one from Scentsy) melt candles, releasing fragrance into the air just like burning them... but without the soot.  

Where to Buy

LED and flameless candles, reed diffusers, string lights, and scent plugs can be purchased inexpensively from major retailing stores like WalMart and Target as well as dollar and craft stores.  You can also score them online at Amazon and other retailers.  Specialty reed diffusers or plug-ins in your favorite Yankee Candle or Bath & Body Works scents can be purchased in Yankee and Bath & Body Works stores or online.  Candle warmers can be found in gift shops, online, and from increasingly popular Scentsy.  

And there you have it!  There's no reason to despair over not being able to burn a pumpkin spice candle when you can infuse the room with pumpkin spice using a reed diffuser.  What's your favorite scent to smell when you walk in your apartment door?  Something seasonal like balsam pine in the winter?  Something mouthwatering like homemade apple pie?  Soft florals?  Perhaps a crisp, clean smell like just-washed laundry?  Or something fruity such as mango?  Leave a comment and let us know!


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