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Waxing lyrical: decorative candles are having a moment

From playful twists to artsy curves, decorative, unscented candles in rainbow colours are taking the spotlight this spring, writes Nathalie Marquez Courtney

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Sculptured and twisted tapered candles, like these from US brand the Floral Society, are having a big moment. Around €23 for two, A New Tribe, see anewtribe.co.uk (products from the UK may be liable for extra charges)

Sculptured and twisted tapered candles, like these from US brand the Floral Society, are having a big moment. Around €23 for two, A New Tribe, see anewtribe.co.uk (products from the UK may be liable for extra charges)

Bendy decorative candles in honey hues, Broste Copenhagen. €33, Smallable, see smallable.com

Bendy decorative candles in honey hues, Broste Copenhagen. €33, Smallable, see smallable.com

The famous Hay Candle, €25 (for six), Finnish Design Shop, see finnishdesignshop.com

The famous Hay Candle, €25 (for six), Finnish Design Shop, see finnishdesignshop.com

Hay Flare Candleholder, €29, Arnotts

Hay Flare Candleholder, €29, Arnotts

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Sculptured and twisted tapered candles, like these from US brand the Floral Society, are having a big moment. Around €23 for two, A New Tribe, see anewtribe.co.uk (products from the UK may be liable for extra charges)

Last autumn, in lieu of being able to dress up, many of us turned to our dinner tables, and tablescaping - the art of setting your table - took off with gusto. Interiors influencers were quick to take to the trend and tall, tapered, classic dinner candles in modern hues featured in lots of pretty, colour-coordinated set-ups.

I'd never been into the idea that there's such a thing as a candle too good to burn - but now, the new batch of design-led, unusual pieces is tempting me to change my mind.

"The new quirkier tapered candles are very connected to the big trend for tablescaping," says Grace Campbell, art director and owner of styling and events company Grace and Saviour (graceandsaviour.com). Grace has been creating Insta-worthy tablescapes for shoots, brands and weddings for years. She prefers tapered pieces to the small tea lights and chunky pillar candles that have long dominated dinner tables.

"Tapered candles give a very delicate, romantic light," she says. "They have beautiful lines, and allow you to play with height."

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Bendy decorative candles in honey hues, Broste Copenhagen. €33, Smallable, see smallable.com

Bendy decorative candles in honey hues, Broste Copenhagen. €33, Smallable, see smallable.com

Bendy decorative candles in honey hues, Broste Copenhagen. €33, Smallable, see smallable.com

Quirky shapes offer a literal twist on the tapered-candle trend. According to Dayna Isom Johnson, trend expert for online hand-made marketplace Etsy, there has been an 186pc increase in searches on Etsy for abstract, modern and geometric candles in the last three months.

"Candles have been a long-standing staple for anyone wanting to add a touch of warmth to their home, but now they're receiving an upgrade with new shapes, twists, and curves," she says. Key to their success is their versatility: "They add a level of sophistication and style, no matter a home's aesthetic."

Favourites include beautiful spiral candles in a range of soft hues from Danish brand Hay (which sparked hundreds of DIY versions on TikTok); the sculptural 'twist candle' from Dutch designer Lex Pott - which combines both the candle base and two straight, dinner-style candles in one long, unbroken wax piece - and a host of candles in quirky shapes including bubbles, shells and scallops, and chunky curves.

"They're such a fun, affordable way to get more creative and inventive at home," says Campbell. "Candles can either add lightness to a room, or be used to add drama and mood."

They also offer an easy, low commitment opportunity to play with colour. "They now come in such a range of hues - you could pull colours that are already in your home; stick to the same colour, but in lots of different shades; or experiment with new colours to see how you like living with them."

Practically speaking, a big mistake to avoid is not testing your tapered candles before plopping them down on top of your beautifully set table.

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Hay Flare Candleholder, €29, Arnotts

Hay Flare Candleholder, €29, Arnotts

Hay Flare Candleholder, €29, Arnotts

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"Some candles burn brightly, quickly, and a little too hot - the last thing you want is candles that drip everywhere," says Campbell. Also, try to avoid keeping candles you intend to light where they'll get too warm - like a sunny window sill - as this will cause them to burn quicker.

Whether they're curved, twisted or spiral, candles bring something special. "They're such an inexpensive way of creating beauty, warmth and welcome in your home, which is what so many of us need," says Campbell.

"Candles have also long been connected to hope - no matter when you light a candle, there's a feeling of ceremony to it." l


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