21 Taper Candles and Holders To Light Up Your Next Feast
Candles, especially taper candles, could have easily been things of the past (along with iron bed warmers and wooden washboards) as lighting evolved with the advent of gas lanterns and electric lights. Of course, these inventions significantly advanced daily life—and served as one reason that Paris earned its moniker as the City of Lights (the French capital was early to adopt gas street lamps).
But what would become of the pedestrian candle? Nothing, really. The warm glow of a burning wick from a wax form proved its enchanting effects to thrive alongside electricity. More so, candles went from daily necessities to daily pleasures as candles set the mood for festive, celebratory, relaxing, and romantic occasions. The taper candle holds its own as the star of any well-dressed, fine dining table. But this slender classic candlestick can’t stand alone. The taper candle requires a solid base to hold it to stay vertical when burning.
Nest Casa finds the best taper candles—and the best holders to put them in—for shedding a cozy light at your next dinner party.
How Taper Candles Are Made
Another reason the candle has endured must undoubtedly be the manner in which it is made. It rates high on the satisfaction scale, as melted wax forms into cylindrical shapes via molds. (Liquid wax can be poured into any type of mold and become wax renditions of any object imaginable; Nest Casa loves a bust statue, even in wax.) First, wax sheets or blocks are melted over low, steady heat. A wick, generally tied to a dowel that rests above the mold, is inserted. The wax is poured over, often in several stages. When the candle is fully hardened, it can be removed from the mold. In the 18th century, candle-making was a social activity that gathered communities—mainly, the females—to work as a group to make large batches at once, chatting while doing so.
Most commercial candles today use paraffin wax, which is a byproduct of petroleum. Recently, concerns over its toxicity are yielding other options. Beeswax has long been a staple as it burns pure sans additives—but, it is also more expensive. Soy wax has emerged as a popular choice due to its natural form—it’s made from 100 percent soybean oil, which leaves no toxins in the air.
Editor's Picks: Taper Candles
If there is one thing you always want to have on hand, it is dinner candles. Soho Home supplies their tapers in boxes of eight, which are available in either rose, pistachio, or jade to fit any need or color scheme.
The Floral Society has a soft, neutral palette in this set of two taper candles. This collection hits the mark, especially if you lean toward an almond color scheme.
Calling this set of six candles from Violante Guerrieri Gonzaga “pretty in pink” is just half the story. These graceful candlesticks come to a fine point and pair perfectly with pink peony flowers for a monochromatic table dressing.
Don't have the perfect holder on hand? No sweat. This Spindle taper candle contains the holder and candle all in one piece of wax.
Unless you have been asleep at the wheel concerning design trends, you are keenly aware that chartreuse is trending. If you aren't ready to go for a full-on, bright green, these candles are an easy way to add a pop of the color without a long-term commitment.
This Lex Pott Twist taper candle proves just how versatile candle design can be. This duo, in electric yellow, intrigues as it joins two sticks via a curvy, S-shaped base that eliminates the need for holders.
The northern view from the center of Place de la Concorde in Paris looks straight onto L'église de la Madeleine. With its imposing, column-decorated façade, the structure was originally a temple dedicated to the glory of Napoleon's army. Following the emperor's fall, Louis the XVIIIth decreed that the building become a church and it was named for Jesus Christ's companion Mary Magdalene. These pillar tapers from the French brand Trudon date back to 1719, when the candlemaker held the royal warrant to manufacture the wax sticks used to light the building.
Earth-tone lovers, rejoice! The perfect candle to match your color palette arrives in these elegant tapers from Lulu and Georgia. What's more, they come in ample supply: the box is stocked with eight sets of two.
This set of neutral, terra-inspired candles challenges the notion of what a taper candle should look like. It resists the smooth, slender shape by proposing a unique and organic bubble pattern, featuring various shapes and sizes of spheres that are stacked atop each other to create the candlestick.
A ridged edge separates these tapers from the typical silhouette. Offered by the Floral Society, the pair works well for mixing and matching various shapes, sizes, and colors (also available in the same collection) to create an ombré color table setting scheme.
If it's possible for a candle to be masculine, this pair of moss green sticks from the Floral Society fits the bill. Solid, sturdy, and elegantly diminutive in stature, this pair is also ideal for keeping the flames neatly out of the sightline on the table.
A natural beeswax pattern on this set of taper candles assures their provenance. For added confidence, look to manufacturer Northern Lights, who has been making all-natural, handcrafted, clean-burning, sustainable candles for over 40 years.
Long before the clean- or pure-burning trend, artist Jennifer Green was creating beeswax candles. For more than 20 years, Greentree Home studios, in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, has championed these natural candles, which exude a clean scent while burning up to 14 hours without chemical residue.
Editors Picks: Taper Candle Holders
Now that you've picked out your favorite tapers, putting them in something artful so they can be burned is next. The holder is more than an accent but can be the main attraction. The first instinct may be to keep these styles on the dining table, but Nest Casa suggests grabbing one of these holders for wherever you want to infuse innovative design with the warm glow of candlelight.
Artist Anissa Kermiche celebrates the female form by imagining it as a strong base to hold a pillar candle. Group this curvy silhouette (made from matte, glazed ceramic) with other non-traditional candle holders for a progressive tableau.
From the hospitality mavericks at Soho Home comes this pair of brass and iron candlesticks inspired by an antique style that can be found at White City Soho House. Flanked by two conical ends, the Bruyere-style pieces bring the Old World and New World charm to the table, literally.
Understated yet intriguing, this single candlestick holder stays discreetly out of sight while dining. However, placed on a sideboard or coffee table, the holder’s “levitating snake” design in a matte stoneware finish gives off the appearance of a candle floating in the air.
Explicitly designed for Shabbat dinners, the Rest candle holder boasts a monochromatic scheme. Whether or not you are celebrating the Jewish dinner marking the Jewish day of rest, the bright and bold colors in this holder will liven up any table.
Let tropical breezes flow with Les Ottoman's ceramic palm tree candle holders. Shown paired with pink for the ultimate Palm Beach look, these can be placed on any table in need of an island touch.
Restrained but not devoid of interest, the Salamat candle holder aims to please the minimalist. Coming in several iterations of the main theme, these are best incorporated into a mix-and-match set.
L.A.–based artists Simon and Nikolai Hass looked to a famous desert tree for this candlestick holder by L'Objet. The Joshua Tree is interpreted in this candlestick holder made from custom-glazed porcelain and shiny, laser-cut, brass palm fronds. The collection brings to life what the artists call a “family of characterful creatures.”
The intricate design shines through Formentello’s pair of round, Murano glass holders. The second-generation glassmakers from Venice specialize in the Murrine process, which dates back to the 16th century, when Murano glassmakers revived a craft that originated in antiquity. The pattern is found as the glass is sliced into thin cross-sections and, then,blown together to shape a new form—such as these captivating candle holders.