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Candles are so commonplace this time of year that we can overlook their transformative power. Here, we take a fresh look at these smoldering beauties (with their endless variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and effects) and share new ways to incorporate them into your décor—for the holidays and all year long.
The beauty of pillar and votive candles is that they can stand securely in practically any type of heat-resistant vessel. Colored-glass vases, bowls, and cups—breathtaking on their own—are even more arresting when they’re grouped by color, in spectrum order (as we did here), and lit from within; the color of the glass lightens at the flame, creating a subtle ombré effect. Set a collection of them, in various heights and sizes, on a mantel or side table for a stunning nighttime and daytime display. Ours features multiple hues, but a monochromatic arrangement can be every bit as impactful.
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Our stylish copper-and-wood menorah is hand-constructed with materials easily found at most home-improvement centers: a block of oak and small metal couplings (ordinarily used for joining plumbing pipes) for the main part, and a piece of oak hobby board and metallic trim for the base. To accommodate the shamash candle (the middle one that lights the others), we drilled a shallower hole in the middle so that it stands highest. Tip: To avoid spraying melted wax, place your index finger between flame and lips before blowing out each candle.
Hanukkah candles, creativecandles.com.
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Unlike many old-fashioned wall sconces, our make-it-yourself version looks elegant and streamlined, despite its inexpensive components. Large white marble tiles act as wall plates (protecting the wall from the flame), while brass lamp parts, attached at the bottoms, hold the candles. Install a few of these sconces in your entry or in a line down a hall. Just be sure to use only dripless candles, and trim the wicks to a quarter-inch to encourage controlled small flames.
Tapers, 6", in Maize, creativecandles.com.
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To create a soft glow—especially desirable around the dining table—we put LED votives inside these “snow globes,” which are white pendant-light fixtures, in three sizes, that we covered with clear shard glitter. (Each rests on a biscuit cutter.) White ball candles echo the motif, while flocked branches of juniper and pine add height, texture, and color to the wintry display.
Festival tablecloth, in Sage, sferra.com
Feux d’Or charger plate, by Royal Limoges, jungleeny.com
Ruffle glass gold plate, by Vietri, gracioushome.com
Medium ball candles, in White, creativecandles.com
Ultra-bright realistic flickering LED votives, qcandles.com
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There’s no rule that says all your candles have to be the same size and color and rest in matching holders. In fact, when you mix things up, magic happens. Here, we placed tapers of varying heights, widths, and textures (check out the ribbed and spiral versions, left) in different candlesticks—some short, some tall. The eclectic display looks refined and pulled together despite the disparate styles because we limited the palette of the candles to blue and included only silver candleholders.
Gray spiral candle, bergdorfgoodman.com
Grecian Collenette, 7", in Abyss, rootcandles.com
Rope candle, 10", in Robin’s Egg Blue, greentreehomecandle.com
Thin taper, 12", in Aquamarine, creativecandles.com
Bougies Royales, by Cire Trudon, in Gray, monc13.com
Square tapers, 12", in Gray, greentreehomecandle.com
Tapers, 9", in Aquamarine, Turquoise, and Slate Gray, creativecandles.com