Instagram Twitter Pinterest Facebook Bloglovin Snapchat

Living

The 10 Best & Safest Ways to Make Your Home Smell Good

Our Favorite Candles, Diffusers, & Incense With The Least Amount of Harmful Chemicals
Filed Under > Everyday

The best non toxic candles, diffusers & incense for your home.

Nothing beats walking into a good-smelling home.  Since memories and sentiments are so closely tied to the power of scent, it’s no wonder that we all enjoy noticing wonderful fragrances in a space. But fragrance has recently become one of the dirtiest words in beauty because of a loophole that allows brands to not have to list the ingredients actually included in a fragrance.  In fact, according to The Environmental Working Group, the average fragrance product contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label.  But thankfully, many are starting to take notice and there’s more natural, and safer fragrance options than ever.  Which means you can still light your beloved candles, diffusers or incense, to make your home smell good as long as you choose wisely.

A few things to keep in mind: candles are least “toxic” when poured with soy, coconut or beeswax, and when they have wicks that are made from cotton rather than toxic lead.  Double bonus if the candles are using organic, all natural essential oils (like the ones we swear by and diffuse all day long, learn more about those HERE) rather than perfumes.    

In searching out some more natural candle options, I found plenty, but I would be amiss if I didn’t point out that I was thrilled to find out my favorite Volcano candles were soy based with cotton wicks, and fragranced with essential oils.  I may have had a breakdown if that wasn’t the case.  I mean, any post about the best smelling home candles would be incomplete without mention of the Capri Blue Volcano.  There’s a reason why it’s a cult-classic!  

And just like Volcano candles, any post about what it takes to make a good-smelling home without all the toxins would be wrought without me including our favorite essential oils for diffusing, easy incense sticks and palo santo wood (spoiler alert: palo santo is not just for the hippies).  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the beautiful aromas created through these more all natural, eco-friendly options than your go-to candles (though we’re not going to lie, we’re never going to stop burning candles). 

While we know that you’ll be hard pressed to find any candles that are completely toxin free, we think we rounded up a great bunch of safer options which you can browse via our scrolling widget below.  Then be sure to read about our top ten picks, including why we love each one.  I’d love to know what your go-to method of home fragrance is!  Cheers, Kat 

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

  

Signature Blue Volcano Candle

Capri Blue, $34

Shop Now >

Ask anyone; this signature soy wax blend and crowd pleasing scent is one of the most popular candles around. It’s poured into recycled glass vessels, which can be reused long after burning.  Volcano is one of our go-to scents; think tropical fruits and sugared citrus. 

Why we love it:
This candle is a cult-favorite for a reason, and its fragrance is second-to-none.  We just learned that it’s actually all natural too, so we’re beyond excited about the fact that we don’t have to be worried about lighting our favorite candle. It also has a whopping 85-hour burn time, ensuring we can enjoy it for a lovely, long time! 

Bamboo & Ceramic Aroma Diffuser

PurSonic, $102.99

Shop Now >

Here’s a high quality diffuser for an affordable, all natural approach to home fragrance with essential oils. By diffusing essential oils, you’re able to create an environment you love; many blends offer mood-boosting effects, as well as increased productivity, purified air and more. 

Why we love it:
This diffuser is a beautiful way to diffuse our favorite oils (ylang ylang, lavender, orange, lemon, etc.); it’s made with sustainably sourced, hand cut bamboo and elegantly crafted ceramic. Bonus: it has BPA-free plastic inside the design. 

Learn all about joining us on our “oily” journey HERE!

Woodlot "Recharge" Coconut Wax Candle

Woodlot, $26-$36

Shop Now >

This scent is perfect for GSD’ing with aromas of rosemary, mint and peppermint essential oil.  It’s also petroleum free, GMO free, phthalate free in a recyclable class with a 60 hour burn time.

Why we love it:
Not only does this candle meet the ultra-chic criteria for our countertops, it smells absolutely divine. Double bonus for a solid burn time!

 

 

Wellspring Handmade Wood Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

Welledia, $106.99

Shop Now >

Not only can they make a room smell great, diffusers and essential oils can silently purify and humidify the air, creating relaxing, calming, uplifting and energizing effects in the room.  silently purifies and humidifies the air and has an optional night light, making it perfect for night time use and for traveling.

Why we love it:
This one is high quality and aesthetically pleasing; the dark wood blends in well with home decor.  It’s also light and convenient for travel. 

Learn all about joining us on our “oily” journey HERE!

Palo Santo Incense Stick Bundles

Woodlot, $12

Shop Now >

Palo santo is known as “Holy Wood”, and is an eco-friendly incense stick that is harvested from naturally fallen branches off the Palo Santo tree in Equador. To burn, you simply light the end of the stick, spreading the smoke to cleanse and energize the space. 

Why we love it:
Palo santo sticks are an affordable, all natural way to clear your room of negative energy and bad smells. It’s also a great, nontoxic way to ward off mosquitoes! 

Bed & Bath Aroma Diffusers

Enviroscent

Shop Now >

These solvent-free air fresheners use pure essential oils, paper and natural materials to give off a subtle, yet wonderful scent. The Wild Lavender includes “citrus notes carried on a warm breeze waft through lavender tufts, with hints of forest wood and amber.”

Why we love it:
These diffusers are an even easier, more affordable way to enjoy the smells of essential oils without batteries or electricity and sans oil or flame. They’re made with recyclable, compostable paper that’s infused with the oils. With one stick, the smell can be enjoyed for 30+ days in the room. 

Soy Wax Wine Bottle Candle in Rose

Rewined, $29

Shop Now >

These super popular soy wax candles are made from repurposed wine bottles and handcrafted in Charleston.  The rosé candle, in particular, includes notes of rose petal, white peach, pink peppercorn and crisp minerality.

Why we love it: 
It’s a clean, fresh scent that nobody can resist. And the light, feminine feel to the candle makes it a great and easy gift for a friend. 

Lavender Dreams Aroma Diffuser

EcoCandleCo, $32.99

Shop Now >

These easy reed diffusers can’t be beat. They look just as lovely as they smell; this one fittingly titled “Lavender Dreams.”

Why we love it:
The diffuser sticks give off a subtle, natural scent that is exactly what we love for a bathroom, laundry room and bedroom. The beautiful vessel is great to reuse, to. 

'Skylight' Fragrance Candle

Kai, $48

Shop Now >

kai brings us a light, fresh and airy scent that brings none of the toxins (#score). It has notes of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose and lily. This one is the largest of the collection, offering a slow burning, 60-hour wick. 

Why we love it:
This one’s crafted with an all-natural proprietary blend of soy, palm and coconut wax, so we feel good about burning it.  Its intoxicating yet light scent is just the subtle loveliness a room needs.

Jasmine Incense Jar

Waiting on Martha Home, $36

Shop Now >

This jar of 100 incense sticks is a great alternative to candles and diffusers. Each stick has a 30 minute burn time, allowing you to fill the room with intoxicating scent at the drop of a hat. 

Why we love it:
These are SUPER affordable and easy.  The engraved wood lid actually doubles as a burner/holder for the incense sticks too. 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha in Nightstand Essentials

How To Hang a Gallery Wall in 5 Easy Steps

Tips and Tricks for Laying Out and Nailing a Great Gallery Wall
Filed Under > Get The Look

How To Hang A Gallery Wallin 5 Easy Steps, Waiting On Martha

Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful.  And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually adding to your collection and making room as I’ve always been a believer that a spectacular gallery wall should feel truly collected, and evolve over time. 

I know the process of actually laying out and hanging a great gallery wall can be quite intimidating.  So if you’re feeling hesitant in the time it will take, and putting a bunch of holes in the wall, I’m here to tell you that there are several steps to consider even before that hammer is in your hand.

Below, I’ve broken down a few easy steps, tricks and tips to keep in mind as you’re beginning with your wall.  Yes, it involves some planning and the right tools (I’d recommend this easy, ready-to-use tool kit), and will take some time to get it just right.   But the beauty of an amazing gallery wall, is that it’s ever-changing alongside you.  So don’t be afraid to mix-and-match because there really aren’t any rules.  That’s the beauty of art; you like what you like, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, you’re the one that has to live with it.  So here’s to great gallery walls that reflect your personality, and to ones that never take themselves too seriously!  Good luck!  Truly, MKR

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

Start with a Hero Piece

Madalyn Print, Haley Mitchell

Shop Now >

Always start with a large hero, or anchor piece where your eye will go first.  While yes, you want your wall to house all different shaped and sized pieces of art if you have a ton of smaller pieces with no large “wow” piece your wall won’t make the impact you want a gallery wall to always make.

Visualize & Plan the Gallery Wall

Scotch Painter's Tape

Shop Now >

The best way to do this is by laying the pieces on the floor. This way, you’ll be able to visualize different setups, making easy adjustments and tweaks as you decide.  You can then reproduce the layout with blue painter’s tape on the wall; it will accurately reflect the sizes of your pieces and how they’ll look placed together.  Try not to hang everything too closely together, you want about 2-3 inches at least between pieces.  Mix up the levels at which you hang, you don’t want it too look like perfect rows, instead try to hang pieces just above or below the other pieces.  And one last tip, once you have everything on the floor the way you’d like take a picture of it with your phone in case you forget exactly what piece went where as you begin to dissect it.

Mix & Match

El Morocco 1955, Garry Winogrand

Shop Now >

You want the gallery wall to have a personality and feel that it’s been collected over time.  By mixing and matching frames, as well as incorporating illustrations, paintings, prints and 3-D objects (like a juju feather hat, skateboard or sconce), you create an eclectic, lived-in feel. 

Have the Right Tools Handy

Simply Framed

Shop Now >

Save yourself some sanity and gather all of the tools you’ll need to see the project from start to finish.  That includes: a hammer, nails, level, tape measurer, pencil & eraser, blue painter’s tape, a small notebook (which is helpful for writing down the measurements of the art) and a screwdriver.

Simply Framed is genius and sells a ready-to-use tool kit (only $39), which contains everything you’ll need to do the job right, all in a durable carryall that won’t take up too much room in, if you’re anything like me, is an already overstuffed garage or closet.  

Have Fun With It

Worry Beads, Fredericks and Mae

Shop Now >

Remember that there is no specific formula for laying out a beautiful gallery wall. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know that your gallery wall can always move, evolve and grow! 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Simply Framed, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

How To Keep Making Room For A Growing Art Collection

Easy Framing & Finding Space For New Art with help from Simply Framed
Filed Under > Ideas & Inspiration

3d Gallery wall ideas complete with our favorite Juju Hat, waitingonmartha.com How to arrange a gallery wall, including our favorite juju hat via @Waitingonmartha Colorful paintings & gallery wall ideas via @waitingonmartha Gallery wall art ideas via @waitingonmartha How to arrange a gallery wall complete with our favorite natural feathered juju hat, waitingonmartha.com

You may remember my colorful and quirky loft space from a 2015 One Room Challenge; it had a MAJOR mix of playful colors, patterns and textures galore with its centerpiece being my gallery wall of collected art.  With a whopping 24 pieces on the wall itself, I feel like I defined a whole new level of “gallery wall.” 

When I initially created the gallery, I purposely left some room on the wall for the collection to evolve and grow.  It wasn’t until recently, right before Christmas, when I walked into my guest room (rather storage room) and saw over a dozen pieces just leaning against the wall, unframed and collecting dust, did I realize that I better get them on the wall before it becomes too daunting to do so.  And if I’m being honest, a dozen plus pieces was already becoming to feel daunting.

I had used a few framers in the past, but with each frame ringing anywhere from $200 to upwards of a $1,000 for my largest piece, the idea of framing everything was even more daunting than getting them hung on the wall.  Fortunately, I had recently met the founder of Simply Framed at a conference here in the A.  I was beyond inspired by her story and bootstrap mentality of starting her business.   I knew next time I needed a framer,  Simply Framed would be where I turned.

And man, am I happy I did.  I cannot tell you how simple and seamless the entire process was.  Simply Framed‘s approach to all of this framing business is beyond refreshing.  I went online, picked out my mattes and frames then Simply Framed sent me the shipping tubes and pre-paid labels to send in all of my art safely.  Once everything arrived, I worked closely with their customer service team to make sure all of the art was perfectly matched up to it’s corresponding frame because I was nervous with so many pieces and different frames things would get mixed up.  In less than two weeks, I received my pieces back at home, along with an easy framing kit that, again, made it ridiculously simple to finish the project. 

When it came to actually laying out a gallery wall of this size and caliber, I can honestly say I was a tad on the uneasy side.  When buying each piece, I wasn’t thinking “…oh this piece of artwork will look great next to this piece, and that piece”.  I simply bought what I loved and had faith it would work itself out.  I mean, I have plenty of walls, so if it didn’t incorporate well in the gallery, I knew there would be another wall or shelf where it would work. In the end, I was thrilled to find that even though the majority of the pieces were bold and bright, the overall tone worked well; with a warm, peachy neutral emphasis and clean, modern frames. It’s funny how even though you often don’t intentionally think about a color scheme or pattern, one always seems to naturally work its way out. 

This time around that natural theme included a bold, colorful nude by Kate Waddell via Well + Wonder. Collective.  Have you heard of Well + Wonder?  It’s a beautiful website with a collection of southern-curated artists, and it’s quickly become my go-to when I’ve got the itch for a new addition at a price that doesn’t make me feel buyers remorse.  This industry has me fortunate in meeting so many talented creatives and collectives like Well + Wonder, I always enjoy finding new additions; each one carrying a special feeling, memory, or moment.     

Some other new finds include my floral girl by Clare Elsaesser, the 1955 Gerry Winogrand print, a perspective-invoking “Look Down” print by Gail Schechter, the upside-down palm trees, my Sally King Benedict tennis court, Gray Malin’s lamas, and of course my gorgeous ladies by Haley Mitchell that you may remember from the WOM offices at ADAC.  And my wall wouldn’t be complete without 3D accents such as a NEW natural/toffee colored Juju hat that’s a bit smaller than our original size and the oversized worry beads hanging from the hand hook.

Of course there’s more that goes into a gallery than tone and gorgeous art, so stay tuned tomorrow for more tips on nailing a strong gallery wall (pun included).  Truly, MKR

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Simply Framed, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

Design by Veda House. Development by Alchemy+Aim
Copyright © Waiting on Martha  /
Back to Top