While I was giving my talk at the bookstore the other night, a reader asked me about the posts that seem to generate the most controversy. And I could easily answer that question- colored candles and flowers. It seems that we have very strong opinions on the subjects. Now I know that this all seems rather trivial. After all, there are far greater and more pressing issues in our lives today. But this is a design blog and I figure if I can give my readers two minutes of escapism and design inspiration, then that's just fine.
So I've been feeling a bit mischievous lately and had been planning on writing another post on colored candles for a while. The first post I wrote that involved the candle issue was really inadvertent- I showed images of Aerin Lauder's dining room which featured blue candles. Some people thought it was quite chic, while others cried foul and found the whole thing to be the height of tackiness. I for one am a big fan of colored candles. I adore black candles on my dining table. I also have gray, turquoise, and coral candles that I use for various occasions. In order to pull off the look, you really should choose colors that work with the color scheme of your home. And I probably wouldn't fill a house with a variety of brightly colored candles- restraint is really best.
Now I know that there are many of you whose minds cannot be changed, and that's okay because ivory candles will always be the ne plus ultra of elegant table settings. But if you're willing to experiment, I think you'll find that by replacing your neutral candles with those in your favorite color, it's a great way to change things up without spending very much. Amazingly, while I was writing this post I opened my December issue of House Beautiful, and guess who is an advocate of colored candles? Robert Rufino! That man has pitch perfect taste so I suppose I feel even more confident in my argument for choosing color.
(A while back I lamented that Williamsburg Candles- my old stand-by- had been discontinued. I recently discovered Colonial Candle, although I'm sure many of you have known about them for years. I've been using the Colonial ones for a few months now and they have become my new favorite candles... and they come in a myriad of colors too!)
Blue pillar candles in these crystal hurricanes are a nice alternative to plain vanilla candles- and speaking of which, avoid placing those scented candles on your dining table. Your guests might lose their appetite. (Interior design by Kari Cusack; styling by Grant K. Gibson; Karyn R. Millet photographer. Image from House Beautiful, Jan '07)
I love the use of different colored candles in the Atlanta home of artists Carolyn Carr and Michael Gibson. It's something slightly unexpected in these very traditional and formal candelabras. (Image from Paper City, 2005)
Don't these red candles add some flair to this sleek, Art Deco town house in London?
These silver, corkscrew candles are perfect for this poudreuse cabinet in the ornate Gallery of Mirrors at the Palazzo Gangi in Palermo, Italy (click on the image to get a better view of the sconces). Ivory candles would be too jarring, and really, if you have a room like this in your home, why not gild the lily?
Miles Redd obviously approves of black candles too. (Image from Rooms to Inspire; Tim Street-Porter photographer)
Robert Rufino suggests trying a mix of festive colors for this holiday vignette. (Image from House Beautiful, Dec 08; Jose Picayo photographer)
Image at top: The photo that started the controversy- the dining room of Aerin Lauder.