Coffee Table Styling Tips and Ideas

A big confession here. I didn’t discover flameless candles until my dog Bonnie’s tail caught on fire. She was simply walking by me when she turned to check out a toy on the floor. Her big beautiful plume of a tail then swept a burning candle off my coffee table. The falling candle spilled hot wax on my carpet and sofa, and ouch — my foot! After putting out Bonnie’s tail fire and making sure she was okay, and that my burn was superficial, I broke down in tears.

I don’t know what upset me more — the near disaster of an apartment fire, wax splatters on everything, or my terrifying decision to get rid of all my candles. After I told my friend Sara what happened, she came over with a gift bag of flameless candles. I haven’t bought another flame-burning candle since, and that was a year ago.

Why Use Flameless Candles?

Flameless candles? I know. I used to think they just weren’t close enough to the real thing. But when Sara arranged half a dozen candles on my coffee table and turned them all on with the press of a remote’s button, I stopped protesting. Wow. She turned off my living room lights and stepped back — I couldn’t tell the candles were flameless.. The lights flickered like a real flame. There was no heat, no way these were going to catch Bonnie’s tail on fire, and there was no melting wax to spill. There were no plumes of sooty smoke when she switched them off. I could immediately put them in a drawer or leave them out.

Best of all, she explained, I didn’t have to keep buying more candles. These last forever because they don’t burn down. You know how the most beautiful (and expensive) candles can look when they’ve burned down? They get covered in soot. One side burns down more than the other and wax pours out and puddles on your table, or the candle holder. They collect dust you can’t wash off. They go from fabulous mood-setting pieces to ugly melted things you don’t want to leave out on your coffee table.

Flameless candles don’t look ugly. You can wipe them down or carefully rinse them off with water. You don’t have to keep replacing them. Flameless candles use LED lights, so all you have to do is replace batteries every few weeks or so. I could fall asleep without worrying about a fire starting from a candle I left burning. Okay. I was sold.

Huge Selection — Great Decorating Possibilities

After I got over my swooning over the little lights, I got picky. These were great, but they were too plain for my taste. I might put a couple in my bathroom, but I wanted something more “lit.” The whole idea of candles, after all, was to rock my coffee table.

I found this awesome, Matchless Eucalyptus Wreath Lantern on HSN.


I realized that with flameless candles, I could decorate more. I wouldn’t have to worry about hot wax setting pine cones or pine branches on fire. The decorating possibilities quadrupled. Sure, I use other things to decorate my coffee table, but flameless candles just made my must-have item list. I found candles I could decorate with my favorite quotes, or a message to give to friends. This not only made them more special but being flameless meant they’d last longer.

Other Great Options for Flameless Candles
I realized that I could use my Mercury glass candle holders without worrying about the heat and soot of the candles ruining them. So, I got serious about coming up with other candle holder options.


I realized I could use any holder, even paper or flammables, to create the mood and look I wanted. I could put more stuff on my coffee table. I could put bowls of popcorn, two full dinner plates, wine glasses, books, my laptop, or whatever. When the fear of starting a fire is gone, and the worst that can happen is you knock the candle off and pick it back up — your decorating possibilities are endless. You can live a normal life with these candles.

Crafty and Creative? Why Not?

I love being crafty and creative — who doesn’t? With flameless candles, I could decorate them, tie ribbons around them, and with a little hot glue and imagination, I could seasonalize them or make them unique for any occasion from football to romance. Nice.

In a world where Marie Kondo and minimizing your stuff matters, these flameless candles do more than dress up a coffee table. They keep clutter to a minimum. Flameless candles are great on coffee tables, but I figured out I could throw them in my purse and take them with me to the library to create a softer, more chill vibe in my cubicle. I put some in my car — for the times I had those long, heart-to-heart talks with friends and wanted something different than the glare of the interior car lights. I took them camping because I love how they light up the inside of a tent without being a fire hazard.

Flameless Candles are Safe for Pets

I thought the only danger wax or soy-based regular candles posed to my dog Bonnie was fire. Wrong. I learned that some scented candles, candles with essential oils, and other fragrances could make your pet deathly ill, or even kill them. Not just that, depending on the smell of your scented candle, your pet might try eating or chewing on them! That can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea, at least, and choking or death at worse.