A dramatic array of glass votivesfor the tablescape by Glassybaby (courtesy Glassybaby website).
What are current ways to brighten the dining area for family
gatherings? The variety in table top candle holders, or pendant lamps, for example, is vast. Here’s a sampling to help you start your search.
If you want old
fashioned candle power — check out the intensely colorful glass
votives from GlassyBaby. They come in a great many nature-based hues. A recent GlassyBaby blog post
even matches a range of votives to a collection of fall leaves.
Candle holders are another way to go. The classic shoemaker’s candle stand from Shaker Workshops,
is ingeniously adjustable (up and down) thanks to the screw pole at the
center. The spare functional design gives it a contemporary look. Or
consider a modern candelabra such as a solid chrome example by Design Mango from Dutch by Design.
I like the contrast between the minimalist base and the slightly wavery
candles…it’s ultra-sleek and Shaker-simple at the same time.
The 7- by 11-inch “Aura” by Resolute from Surrounding Lighting,
with its amber-hued whirl shape made from printed polycarbonate
plastic, takes a compact fluorescent bulb and would suit a dining
alcove. The “Moare” mesh-covered drum-within-a-drum design from ylighting
comes in small, medium, and large sizes (up to 24.8 inch-diameter by 24
inch-high). It uses an incandescent bulb. The free form WillyDilly pendant by Ingo Maurer from Stardust Lighting
uses stiffened card and plastic, takes a halogen bulb, and is put
together by the purchaser. These more dramatic pendants would suit
A more eclectic though still contemporary approach would be to mix a
traditional fixture with modern furnishings, as illustrated
by two “Jamison” chandeliers from Rejuvenation. Some classic reproductions of early chandeliers, like one from Conant Metal & Light,
are contemporary in their simplicity.
A friend has an antique candle
chandelier on a rope and pulley so that it can be lowered and lit and
then raised to the appropriate height — this might be the perfect
solution for adding romance and a sense of history to your evening meal.
Another friend scoured junk stores for old electric chandeliers,
rewired several, and strung them up on pulleys in the trees around the
house for his daughter’s wedding reception. Now that was a magical
As you browse possibilities think about the kind of light you
want and balance that with projected energy use: fixtures designed for
compact fluorescent bulbs remain an important eco-friendly alternative
to typical incandescent lights, though even more efficient LED (light
emitting diode) fixtures are developing fast.