6 Tips That Will Immediately “Romanticize” Your Life at Home

Soft lighting makes the world itself seem softer. There are a number of ways to achieve this with lightbulbs—Philips Hue color-changing bulbs (and their cheaper knockoff substitutes) may be known as the scourge of Bushwick apartments, but they are also the best investment I’ve ever made. But there is another simpler way: filling your place with candles and using them as a lighting source whenever possible. “I have vintage candle sconces all over my apartment,” Newman. “Turning off the lights and lighting my tapers is my version of turning my phone off before bed. You just need to remember to blow them out.”

La Roche, who spoke to me while lounging in bed, waiting for her Italian boyfriend to bring her a croissant (from the nearest bakery that uses good butter), likes to wake up well before work and begin her day with bathing by candlelight. “If it is still dark, I light beeswax taper candles and skip electric lights in those hours before the sun is fully up,” she says. “It is such a gentle way to start. I do this in the evening, too, if I can.”

“You need a variety of candle holders, both portable and stationary, for this lifestyle,” she continues. “A candelabra on the dinner table, a few iron holders around the house, some antique wall sconces, a ‘chamberstick’ to walk around with while in a nightgown looking for your ghost lover, and a set of church altar candle holders about three-feet high are enough to skip bulbs entirely. A single taper stuck in a pretty vase filled with sand is an excellent gateway. Oh, and be safe, of course.”

Making scents

I have a perfume and home scent addiction, as do the experts listed here. Nothing screams “I am lying naked on a divan being fed grapes” quite like fragrance, whether it’s a costly candle from Le Feu de L’Eau or Cire Trudon or accessible essential oils and sandalwood.

“I light incense in all the rooms,” says Lina Sun Park, the playful Brooklyn-based artist behind the monograph A Mouse in Her House. “Lately my favorite has been Binu Binu Cypress Incense. It smells like the most luxurious bonfire and creates an instantly comforting, romantic feel, like it’s winter and you’re on a brisk walk in nature, with chimney smoke wafting into the air—except you’re warm and cozy at home.” She also sprays her pillow with lavender mist before bed, a natural sleep aid. Newman is “addicted to Officine Universelle Buly’s Sumi Hinoki scented matches.” She continues, “They make me feel something. Same goes for my Cire Trudon scented wax cameos that I adoringly line up on my bedside table.”

Soaps should smell nice, too. If you want to shell out a bit, the most romantic versions come from Oriza L. Legrand and Santa Maria Novella, which all come in beautiful boxes that I save to store ugly things like Bic lighters.

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