Thursday, December 17, 2009

festival of lights

inspired by all the beautiful holiday decorations i love to see each year, i decided to decorate for channukah this year. i committed to blue, white, silver and purple so that it was clearly channukah, and not a more christmasy look. i was very happy to bring the festive feeling into our home, but i have to say, the greatest glow still comes from the menorahs' light. of course the mirrors and tinsel and ornaments (which i'll call "silver balls" for the purpose of channukah) didn't hurt, since they bounced the light around the room.

so in that spirit, and with channukah being the festival of lights, i looked through my candleholder picture files and wanted to share some i think are really special. you know how i feel about candles, so having beautiful vessels for candlelight year-round is very important to me. i also think looking through pictures of pretty candleholders can be a reminder of things you have had long packed away that could inherit new life used in a more modern way.

but i will insist you make one purchase... you simply must get the candle buttons from crate and barrel - ingenious solution for candles that don't stay put, cleaner than melting the bottoms to make them stick.

first, i have to say that neither mitchell nor i have ever loved a judaica item more than the gary rosenthal menorah we received for our wedding. a menorah can be such a special item, and we are both of the opinion that a home can and should have more than one. in fact, i kind of love the idea of there being one for each member of the family, as well as a group one. i know it's late for this channukah to share menorahs i love, but they do make a great gift, and really, since they're a perennial item, they are fine for buying year round.

from the jewish museum shop:

i also really value candlesticks being part of dinners and holidays, because they form traditions that are not soon forgotten. i grew up lighting candles set in my parents' brass candlesticks, that had come from my mother's childhood home. and every time i see a set of brass candlesticks, i feel the warmth of memory and familiarity.

as wedding gifts, we received both the calvin klein tula candlesticks, and the nambe sabbath candlesticks.

i love them both equally - to make me choose would be like sophie's choice set in bloomingdales, and really, it's not necessary. i love having more than one "special set." i've also, over the years, collected several pairs from antique stores, yard sales and flea markets, and i love using them in different combinations to create different tablescapes and looks, including using odd numbers, varying heights, etc, as i've blogged about before. i love to think about how many tables those candleholders have sat on -how many romantic dinners or festive holiday meals they've shed candlelight on. a sense of history and provenance, even when it's unknown, is a wonderful thing to bring into your home.

from crate and barrel, i love their entry into the nambe space with these stainless arden candleholders.

and i particularly love their sculptural kavali candlesticks. they remind me of the ones ina garten has on her kitchen's mantle from ted muehling, but they're much more affordable.

the loopy loop candlesticks are a fresh, modern take on the silver look which i think are very cool too.
i also really love the whole branch look, especially as wall sconces. my most favorite version is the west elm manzanita tree branch, which they have insanely discontinued for some reason. can you believe? it can either sit on a table or hang on a wall. WHY would they do away with this?

along similar, but not as awesome lines, is the crate and barrel twig wall sconce. if crate was smart, they'd rip off the manzanita and start producing it ASAP. in the meantime, i have half a mind to buy the cb twig set and spray paint them a non-flammable high gloss silver so they look more like the manzanita.

you know what's also really nice about having lots of "special" things like candlesticks in your home? that when you get home late and your husband has made a nice dinner, he also dresses the table with a cacophony of linens (which i sort of liked, actually) and beautiful candlelight.

that's special (no quotation marks).

all non-original photos from linked sites

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