pure + lovely’s simple spruce-ups in the suburbs :: make your house glow

It’s one of the easiest things in your home to change.

It requires hardly any funds at all…

And it pertains to the overall ambience of your home…

It relates to another sense…the one beyond sight, and includes what a guest might perceive when walking through your door, whether it be the first, second, or twentieth time…

It’s the scent of your home.

image via apt therapy

Everyone knows a home can be decorated to the hilt. But if it smells like dirty diapers, socks, rotten milk, garbage…or death…that feeling of hospitality is instantly ruined for the guest. OR, in the opposite case, your home can be a modest collection of a few sticks and a pillow…and with the right feeling of warmth cast with a welcoming scent… can make it the best place in the whole entire world.

My friends make fun of me. Apparently I have the uncanny scent tracking ability of a hound dog. And I think I agree…my nose is a little unusually perceptive, and I tend to freak out over the way things smell. Probably to a fault. You should have seen me prego.

The scent of a home is probably an afterthought when it pertains to design, and hospitality. But it’s the first thing people notice.

It can be a bad day for me. The kids can be running amuck, Malone can be eating out of the trash can, and I can be covered in feces. The offspring can be screaming in a howling chorus of murderous banshees. But if I can clear the countertops, wipe them down with a clorox wipe, pick up the house, and light some candles…I’m in heaven. All is well and right in my world.

Here’s my point: Don’t do it for your guests. Do it for you : Make your home smell fabulous on a regular basis. Make this your thing. Make your house glow.

Sometimes, its the little things that bring peace.


SO, what’s the obvious way to enhance your home? Everyone knows candles add instant ambiance. We all know the visual effects they provide. They’re a staple for warmth and personality.

image via apt therapy

I love the idea that something as simple as repeated candles in jars = multifaceted, sparkle fest of a dinner party.

via privileged lifestyle

Or that you can take a pretty simple room from meh to romantic awesomeness in seconds with the flicker of a few well placed candles.

But it only takes a little…to make a huge statement.

image via apt therapy

via decorology

And while the notion of candles is usually reserved for romantic evenings and dinner parties…

Candles should be a staple for every day life. Can you really go wrong with a good candle in a hurricane lamp? Not at all. IF you actually burn it. Even if it’s just you.

So how do you know what your house smells like?

Give yourself a test: Pay attention every time you arrive back at your home, after being away for a weekend. I am by no means a scent expert, nor do I think my home is rainbows and unicorns and always smells nice. We have dirty diapers. And I regularly burn things on the stove. But after living in the same spot for a while, your nose becomes accustomed to the scent, and you no longer really notice it. SO, just to know what you’re dealing with, pay attention. We recently left for five days on a trip to Miami. While we were gone, Jamin’s mom played the roll of house/baby sitter. When we came home, I really got a wiff of our home, and it was the best smell in the whole entire world… to me. Laundry. And baby lotion. and the subtle hint of cake and candles. Heaven.

Keep it subtle No offense if you like lysol. A clean home is nice…but a little lysol goes a long way…be conscious of your home smelling like a hospital floor covered in pine needles. Likewise,┬áIt doesn’t take a montage of pillars to overwhelm the guests or start a fire. Do small things towards a better smelling home, on a regular basis, and your home will smell nice on a regular basis.

Let in the fresh air: I’m not sure we realize how stagnant things can get and a little fresh air is good for the soul.

Be aware of your home’s needs: Do you have an old home with a musty scent that tends to dominate? open the windows more. Do you have a cat or multiple pets that can stink it up a little? change out those litter boxes! Don’t let things build up…there’s a fine psychology behind it all. If you feel gross, look around and see what can be changed. You’ll feel better…I promise…

Try a combination of things. As noted above, the way you live your life, will usually keep it fresh. Stay conscious of what you’re doing…how often you take out the garbage (I remove mine around twice a day to keep it from building up) try wallflowers (plugins) from bath and body works, mixed with a few candles that are your favorite scents…then try combining, subtracting, and remixing…in different areas. You’ll thank me later.

And remember…less is more.

And now that I feel like I’m getting a little passionate/bossy pants on the subject matter of nice smells, I interrupt this program to share a nice little project for some of you out there, who love a good dremel session.

These are perfect for fall, right now. But they’re a bit costly in your average store, unless you can find them on sale. WHY, I ask, would you pay money for a perfectly good branch you can grab from the side of the road? A reader-turned-friend of mine, did just that, with these little beauts. And she was gracious enough to share with all of us…


She simply cut them into the right lengths, and with a dremel tool, hollowed out just enough room for a simple tea light. And by her, I mean her dad.

Don’t you just love these? If you can’t find me this weekend, check the woods across the street from my house. I’ll be digging for the perfect branch, so I can cut my own. And by me, I mean Jamin.

So, here are some personal tricks that work for me…

You’ll probably never catch me with a genuine Jo Malone in my house. For that price, the candle had better light itself, and come in multiple options that hover around your head as you go from room to room. But you will find me with these:

The new Febreeze Candles can be found at any of your local, everyday stores. You can’t beat 4 bucks a pop. Not to mention there are no bad montages of art that scream genericism from photoshop-happy amateurs for you to proudly display in your home. Maybe they look small in this photo, but do not be fooled. They’re larger than my fist, and they pack a nice scent punch. I have to feed my family. Therefore I will not be dropping hundreds of dollars on candles.

mixed with a few of my random candles around the house…


and mixed with my FAVORITE, which you will almost ALWAYS find going…

My current fave = black amethyst. Bath and Body works. Paired with a tea light in…

This. yes, it’s ugly. Are you shocked? you were all, scrolling through, expecting something purdy, weren’t you? This was the best they could do at the time. That’s why I tuck it away behind frames when people come over, and then people walk around with their nose in the air looking for the source. Bath and Body works. It doesn’t have to be expensive to smell wonderful.

I may not always fold my laundry, but washing on a daily basis totally smells up the house. Sometimes in a bad way if I don’t change my water filter…(ew) but changing sheets regularly (at least weekly) totally freshens a room…

And LAST but NOT LEAST (this is my favorite part.)



the most wonderful scents in the world…my children! {if I DO say so myself..} (sans graham cracker crusty face)

Thanks for reading…hope you feel inspired to go mix it up a little in your own homes. And I would love to hear, what works for you? The practical and the splurges…lay it on me, peeps!

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