Traditional tapers and pillars get a modern update with geometric silhouettes and twisted forms.

By Jessica Bennett
October 07, 2020
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Candlesticks are about as traditional as it gets, having illuminated our homes for centuries. But recently, they've had a contemporary makeover that's put them back in the spotlight. The wax pillars now come in unique decorative forms, including swirling spiral tapers and funky geometric forms, that put a modern twist on this classic home accent.

Courtesy of Amazon

Sculptural candles, often featuring bold colors to highlight their artful silhouettes, seem to be popping up at retailers everywhere lately. And according to Etsy's 2020 holiday trend report, the retailer has seen an 86% increase in searches for abstract, modern, and geometric candles over the past three months compared to the same time last year.

Whether you prefer to light them or preserve them as a decorative accent, these candles make a stylish statement on fireplace mantels, dining room tables, nightstands, and more. The twisted, curvy, or angular forms serve as three-dimensional art, making them elegant additions to your everyday decor or a holiday tablescape. And since many of them are unscented, you don't have to worry about fragrance competing with your homecooked meal.

This season, trade basic straight-lined tapers and cylindrical pillars for sculptural candles to introduce cozy contemporary style to your home. Here are some of our favorite picks for uniquely shaped candles.

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

This double-ended taper candle adds a playful touch to your coffee table or a mantel display. Made of bright orange, unscented paraffin wax, the freestanding candle features two wicks connected by a sculptural twisted base. It also comes in neon yellow, which is expected to be back in stock later this month.

Buy It: Lex Pott Twist Duo Standing Taper Candle ($40, Urban Outfitters)

Courtesy of Amazon

Line your table with geometric candles for an easy modern centerpiece. These candles are currently available in 6-inch and 9-inch heights, which both feature angular shapes and come in indigo, buff, and nude colors. If you plan to burn them, be sure to set the candles on a small tray or plate to protect your table.

Buy It: Illume Geometric Pillar Candle ($18-$19, Amazon)

Courtesy of Etsy

A spiral shape turns classic taper candles into a contemporary accent. Sold in sets of three, these candles come in white, blue, pink, and purple, and you can request a mix of colors within your set. The unscented soy wax candles burn for approximately 6 hours each.

Buy It: Spiral Taper Candles, Set of Three ($29, Etsy)

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Tuck these colorful candles between accessories on a shelf for a bright, modern accent. The blush, yellow, and blue geometric designs are sold separately and range in size from 3 to 6 inches tall. The unscented candles are made of paraffin wax with cotton wicks.

Buy It: Ziggy Pillar Candles ($3-$6, Crate & Barrel)

Courtesy of Etsy

This handmade candle beautifully replicates the look of marbled stone. The white soy wax and beeswax blend is swirled with bamboo charcoal powder and gives off fragrance notes of sage, orange, and grapefruit. The candle is available in an octagonal column shape, which will burn for about 60 hours, as well as two sizes of traditional pillars.

Buy It: Marble Candle ($29, Etsy)

Courtesy of Food52

Mix-and-match these boldly colored candles on a tray to create your own work of art. Sold separately by color, each candle set comes with three angular shapes in sizes ranging from 4 to 9 inches tall. Made from unscented paraffin wax, they're available in mossy green, burnt orange, inky blue, purple, and black.

Buy It: Totem Pillar Candles, Set of Three ($48, Food52)

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