Flameless Candles.
Not just for candleholders.


Orkney Rough Linen duvet cover


I love candles.  The only problem with them is that candles, even the cleanest burning ones, make a mess of your ceiling.  Plus of course, there are certain places burning a candle would be unsafe.  Like under the slanted ceiling over the mantle in my bedroom (as you can see in the photo above).  Plus anywhere children, cats or other things that cartwheel could knock a candle over.

So when flameless candles came out I was happy.  When flameless candles with timers came out I was ecstatic.  When flameless candles with  real looking flickering flames were introduced I spontaneously started tap dancing and my hair turned curly.


So along with real candles, my house is also filled with flameless candles that I know I can switch on without the worry of having to blow them out before I run to the store or out to chop wood.  I love them.

Until I don’t.  Every so often, randomly,  without warning,  I do not love them at all.

A few times a year I look at my flameless candles and think bleh.  BLEH.  That is NOT a real candle it’s a fake candle and the only thing worse than a fake candle is a fake cupcake.

If you too go through the same love hate relationship with flameless candles give this a try.

It’s not complicated.  It’s not genius.  But it does have a great effect.

Drop those candles into an opaque or almost opaque container and let them glow.





Look for things like bowls, vases, even wicker baskets work great.  Then place them up on something high where you don’t look straight down into them.  When looking head on, you want to see the glow, not the candle.  Because they just look weird inside.  They work especially well under a slanted ceiling like I have because the glow hits the ceiling, but it would also be a great effect on floating shelves, or inside a bookcase.



 For those of you wondering that’s a cheap electric fireplace that you can get on Amazon for around $150 with an antique brass fireplace insert.

These candles and the electric fireplace are all on timers to come on at 7 o’clock so when I wander up to my bedroom for whatever reason throughout the night it’s all warm and inviting with no chance of burning the house down unless I happen to wander into the bedroom drunk with a flamethrower.

I’m sure I’ll get to the point where I love the flameless candle again but for now this is what I’m going with.

These are the great flameless candles with flickering flames I talked about earlier in case you haven’t seen them before. They start at about $25 each for a pillar candle so about the same price as a ridiculously expensive candle, but it’ll last forever.












Ideas don’t have to be complicated to be good.  They just have to be good.


  1. Gail Dedrick says:

    You may have convinced me on the candles. I’ve avoided them like the plague up until now, but I found some tapers at Goodwill where the ‘flame’ is inset into the candle like it burned down and I’m surprised by how much I like them. If could find some battery powered ones with timers that would be a fantastic way to have renters who arrive at night come into my Catskills cottage. Again, thank you for the inspiration. In fact, you inspired my BFF, who turned me onto you, to get chickens – including buying the same plans for the coop – and I will reap the rewards of her spare eggs. Frankly, I think I may have the better end of the deal on that but maybe I will be seduced some day, as well. Thank you for everything!

  2. Gail Dedrick says:

    After seeing this post I decided that I need to find a fireplace surround and mantel for my backyard studio. I had a fake electric stove, but even though it sat on a piece of bluestone, it looked fake and somehow wrong – no stovepipe. Lo and behold, the very next barn sale I went to I found a fake fireplace with a metal firebox and … and hole in the back for whatever electric thing you wanted to plug-in. Some white and black paint and behold …

    Thank you for the inspiration! You are now the only ‘lifestyle’ blog I read. The. Best.

    • Karen says:

      That looks BEAUTIFUL. Not just the fireplace, the hole room, everything. NICE job. Love it. ~ karen!

  3. Susan says:

    I love the one in the shallow dish. Looks like ambers in a bowl.

  4. denise says:

    Thanks for the info! I live in northern Florida and would likely use it for heat in the winter as it snowed here last year and we had a blanket of icicles on everything!

  5. Sarah Homann says:

    I just bought 24 votive candles with timer! Needed 18 for a crazy candelabra from Wisteria..I’m feelin em. They look great no worries ! The clock is ticking…when it comes time to replace those pesky,not cheap button batteries….I may swear off the fakes..until then,,looks fabulous

  6. Jean says:

    I wish I had your eye for design. I wish I had anyone’s eye for design. It wasn’t easy, but one day a few years ago I finally admitted I don’t have one, and my house still looks like I just moved out and am living with hand-me-downs from my mom.

  7. denise says:

    Hi, brand new here..i read an article in Sunday’s paper about Karen, so here I am..my question is a little off topic..in general, does an electric firplace add much to your monthly bill If you run it daily for about 3 hours? I would love the ambiance along with the candles.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Denise. Welcome to The Art of Doing Stuff! So I’d say the fireplace adds next to nothing to your electric bill if you don’t run the heater portion of it. If you’re just looking for ambiance, the only thing that’s running are 2 lightbulbs. They’re what make the flickering flames. (at least that’s the case with a model like mine) It really is nice having it come on automatically. Plus you’ll probably only be doing it through the fall and winter months. Hope that helps. ~ karen!

  8. Liz says:

    without even thinking, my brain started singing “Let it glow! let it glowwww..let it glowww, let it gloww..! ” that Frozen song is actually an infection.

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