How to Use Color, Lighting & Fragrance to Beautify Your Home

Do you have the heart of a home builder? A heart that creates beauty at home?

In this post I’ll share a few tips on how you can use color, lighting and fragrance to create mood in your home. I’ll also give a pointer or two on merchandising and creating atmosphere in your home.
Creating a beautiful and inspiring home environment is a priority for the woman who is seeking to build her home wisely.

Proverbs 14:1 says: “The wise woman builds her home, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

And one of the ways the wise woman builds her home is by making it a beautiful dwelling for her family.

If you think decor and design are trivial matters for the woman who desires to build her home wisely, then think again! I’d ask you to consider the masterful example of God, who created the heavens and the earth using an abundant design palate.

God’s creation is nothing short of jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring!

aurora borealis

In the Biblical account of creation (Genesis 1) we see that God used vivid colors and a variety of textures to create the beautiful world that we see today. The breath taking textures of the grand canyon and the amazing display of the aurora borealis (aka northern lights, featured above) are just two examples of color and texture at work in creation.

God left no creative stone unturned; He even delights our sense of smell with fragrant flowers.

God truly delights in delighting our senses!

It is abundantly clear that God is masterful at using color, lighting and fragrance to delight us and to establish mood.

Setting the Mood

To create mood is to create an emotional state of mind or feeling. Personally, when it comes to home decor, I’m looking to establish a feeling of warmth, love, and acceptance. The colors and the fabrics I choose are intentional and they have to be visually appealing and pleasant to touch.

In my home I establish mood by using color, lighting and fragrance.

Choosing a Color

Green and brick red are my two favorite decorating colors. Green soothes my soul. My bedroom and living room are beautiful variations of a soft and calming green. The brick accent color is displayed in my furniture (bed spread, sofa and love seat) and various accent pieces throughout my home (throws and throw pillows).

Whenever I see these two colors together my visual senses are delighted, but I’m just borrowing from God’s wonderful and amazing color palate on display in His creation.

My kitchen, on the other hand, is a bright and cheery yellow. It says “Hello!” and gives energy. However, even though its color is enthusiastic, it’s not bright enough to scream at my guests. 🙂

The colors of my home compliment each other and create an atmosphere of warmth. People who visit my home usually comment on how warm and cozy the atmosphere is.

To each her own.

My oldest daughter, Ashley, on the other hand, is a design maven who prefers very different colors. Grey’s and blues are her colors of choice and it makes her home look classic and stylish, two adjectives that would not describe my home.

I remember when I visited her home for the first time and was awed by the fact that it was so beautiful, yet the color palate was so different. It’s like I didn’t even know such a thing could exist. Lol!

Maybe you prefer a clean, blank slate? Maybe neutrals or off-whites are your colors of choice? What’s key to remember here is that color matters, so choose wisely.

Be Creative with Lighting

Our Heavenly Father, the Ultimate Designer, gave us the sun to light up the sky by day and the stars to add illumination by night. I see the stars as little twinkly lights that add flair and pizzazz to the night sky!

The take home lesson here is that the “greater lights” govern the day, and “lesser lights” govern the night. Lesser lights, such as lamps, create warmth and set mood in your home. You can also use twinkly lights to add additional illumination and ambiance, as the stars do.

Nothing says, “Hello night!” better than well placed twinkly lights. They make my living room and kitchen window look dreamy. I need lesser lights in my life! (Sorry if this picture is too dark. It’s hard to capture night light.)

Here’s an inside out look at a string of white corded lights I strung on my bay window in front of my home. (They are intended to be enjoyed from the the front of my home, but you get the “behind the scenes” view.)

They are pictured here with my two pilgrims and the one lonely Indian who never got a wife because I lost my crafting mojo!

I use green corded lights to match the green leaf garland that hangs on top of the entertainment unit in my living room. They stay lit all year long to add a bit of sparkle and pazzazz.

Let’s Talk Fragrance

A candle is one of the few design elements that gives a trifecta effect. A well placed candle can add beauty, aroma, and light to your home, so it packs a lot of punch from a design perspective.

I love WoodWick candles because as they burn they simulate the crackling sound of a fire place. Very authentic and relaxing!

Merchandising a Display Area

Not sure how to merchandise or dress a ledge or book case in your home? This really depends upon your own tastes, but here a few items I use to dress any ledge or area of my home.

I use flowers, personal portraits, books, and coordinating decor to add character and personality. Think in terms of complimentary colors and textures, too.

I brought the wire rack below from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $20 and merchandised it to compliment the season.

I purchased a few furry friends from Pier 1, added a house plant with my favorite colors – brick red and green – and added my oldest daughter’s wedding picture, as well as two glass candle stands with Thanksgiving themed candles.

While most people might use a petite, decorative piece of furniture for this area or even some sort of shelving, the wire rack is perfect because I can dismantle it when needed. I can’t use stationary furniture on this wall because every Christmas I blow out this entire corner to accommodate our family’s full size Christmas tree.

Creating an Atmosphere

What does it matter how beautiful your home is if the atmosphere is ugly?

There are some intangibles you can’t buy in a store and they are more important to the life of your home than anything you could possibly purchase with money. Matter of fact, they have been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls them the fruit of the spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a

Peace is a godly woman’s designer tool. A home that filled with peace and laughter is a place where people want to be.

A woman who is joyful is spreading the fragrance of Christ in her home like no candle ever could. Joy is a fruit of the spirit and it bears witness to a life that has been changed by the Master Designer. It is one of the most powerful witnesses a believer in Christ has.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Within the Word of God we can find all the inspiration we need to create a beautiful and life giving home. Dig deep into His word and spend time in His presence for the creativity and wisdom you need to build your home wisely.

Do you decorate for the holidays? What are your tips and tricks for decorating you home? I’d love for you to share in the comments!

Come and check out where I party.

Let’s flourish in family life together!

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  1. What a fun post! I love decorating, too. My kids laugh because they know the sights and smells of Kirklands transforms me into a walking happy machine! lol

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. I agree, Tiffiney! Our homes should reflect God’s creativity and be sanctuaries for our families. I love the tips you gave here. You’ve inspired me in a couple of areas. Love the shelf from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Those finds that make my home comfortable and don’t hit the budget hard are my favorite. 😉

  3. I love this Tiffiney! I began blogging by writing for the TJX Co. Homegoods Design Blog. I LOVE decorating! I love what you said about your daughter, I would say the same about mine – her style and colors are so very different from mine … yet, her home is absolutely beautiful. It’s been fun to watch her develop her style. Happy decorating and thanks for reminding us that one of the ways we can honor the Lord is through a beautiful home. Blessings!

    • So both of our daughters have great taste, which is very different from ours. Well we have that in common. LOL! 🙂 They must have gotten their good taste from somewhere…hmm? 🙂

  4. Noticing things like color and lighting doesn’t come naturally to me, so I love these reminders. Thanks, Tiffiney. Maybe I’ll do something about it today in my own home. 🙂

    • You’re not alone, Lisa. Color and lighting doesn’t come easy to my second daughter either. But she has many other good qualities, and I’m sure you do, too. 🙂

  5. Thank you for the tips on how to make your home beautiful! I am not a great decorator, but my palette is earth tones. I love the line in your post “What does it matter how beautiful your home is if the atmosphere is ugly?” So true!

    • Earth tones? That sounds so beautiful. Good thing about decorating is that we can train ourselves in the areas we are weak in. Just have fun with it – we can always buy more paint. LOL! 🙂

  6. I love the ideas you shared and different colour combinations. It’s amazing that God created such variety and that he allows us to enjoy it and have fun with it.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful tips. Both you and your daughter’s homes look so inviting. Warm and cozy. This line, “What does it matter how beautiful your home is if the atmosphere is ugly?” is profound. We don’t need to purchase expensive furniture and decor. Frugality is necessary. The added touch of a beautiful atmosphere (peace and joy) covers those stains a rips nicely. Love you Sis!

    • Hi Calvonia, thank you so much for your compliment, however, the picture of the grey and blue home is not my daughters. Lol! Though my daughter’s home does look beautiful. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  8. I love how you decorate! And how in depth you get in your posts; many people just touch the surface of what they post about. I love the pictures that illustrate your words, as well. Last year after Christmas I was thinking it would be nice to do twinkly lights throughout the year but never found a place to do it. Maybe this year!

    • Hey Janine! Thank you so much for your kind words. I always get a bit apprehensive when I post photos of my home because it’s not a palatial home, but I think it helps me to prove my point. So glad you enjoyed the post. Have fun stringing your twinkly lights. You won’t regret it!

  9. Thanks for these tips, Tiffiney. And you’re right, the most important things we can build our homes with cannot be bought with money. Blessings to you!

  10. I love decorating for the holidays. I wish I could do a better job of keeping my house clean to really see all the touches that I add all of the time, but I’m doing the best I can. My kids actually get really excited at this time of the year because they know it will be pumpkins followed by ornaments, trees, and bows. I would like to incorporate some more lights. I have purchased them, but I have not gotten around to putting them up anywhere. Great ideas!

    • Hey Brittany, I know about those lights that get purchased but never get used. We do have to give ourselves a break; after all, we are busy moms. Thankfully, good intentions count, too. 🙂

  11. Thanks for all the great tips and ideas. I’m getting ready to paint my house so there are some great ideas in here. I think I’m similar to your daughter– greys and blues….

    • Hey Cathy, Greys and blues are so popular. I don’t think you can go wrong with those colors. Have fun and happy decorating!

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