Published on December 28, 2018

by aaron bengochea Pin It
photograph by Aaron Bengochea

At once gothic, baroque, and sometimes a bit colonial, taper candles have flickered in and out of style. Their long, thin stature can make them a bit intimidating to style, and their traditional placement on the dining room table has given them an unfair reputation as stodgy and even overly conservative decor. But that’s all changing: With plenty of new, modern candlestick designs available and a push to place tapers anywhere but the dining room, these decorative items have officially been revived.

With such a long history behind them, taper candles can still, understandably, be tricky to style, but the right placement and the right candleholder can make a world of difference. Want to try out the old-meets-new trend for yourself? Follow this advice.

Make a Maximalist Mantle

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Paired with rich jewel tones and similarly tropical decor, these palm tree candlesticks deliver the perfect combination of contemporary boho and Hollywood Regency styles.

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photograph by Jessica Antola

When set against a gallery wall, this mantel requires minimal accessorization: A few white taper candles, set in matte black candlesticks, add some dimension to the space.

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photograph by Aaron Bengochea

A cluster of pale pink and yellow taper candles offer a bit of romance, especially when arranged in a mismatched collection of brass holders.


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Sure, it may not sit atop a mantel, but a collection of art and props makes for a dramatic vignette, especially when the focal piece by ceramicist Erica Prince is completed with two red tapers.

Elevate Your Coffee Table

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Skip the jar candle and opt for tapers to add height to a low coffee table. Paired with just a bit of arranged clutter (some pretty books, a mug), they’ll strike a balance between whimsical and elevated.

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photograph by meghan mcneer

In a room filled with rich pinks and purples, matching taper candles tie it all together. Sculptural candle holders bring a bit of extra detailing to the tabletop.

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photograph by melanie acevedo

This wide, low coffee table is styled to perfection with a collection of art books and a fresh floral arrangement, but three yellow taper candles placed opposite of the fireplace add an artful finishing touch.

Add a Simple Standout Piece


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Top a tiny kitchen table with a single, bold candle, and no other decor will be necessary.

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photograph by adrian gaut

Two brass-sheathed tapers transform a small end table into a serious statement.

Get the Look:

Bring in a tropical element with a palm tree base.

Toy with a bit of surrealism with a curved golden two-candle holder.

Bridge the gap between brutalism and boho with an unglazed terra-cotta candlestick.

A collection of multileveled candlesticks is easy to cluster on a coffee table or credenza.

With a mix of marble and brass accents, this geometric holder feels definitively contemporary.

Let your candles get all the glory with small top-like holders that bring in just a bit of grounding elegance.

Go avant-garde with a one-of-a-kind sculptural piece that can double as a vase or an accent piece on its own.

These candle holders (which can also hold incense) have an eclectic look, but thanks to their natural wood finish, they can easily translate between styles that range from modern farmhouse to boho.

An ultra-simple rounded candle holder is a must for any minimalist looking to get into this trend.

When paired with square bases, these dripless rectangular taper candles make a bold statement.

More decor trends:

This Dated Design Staple Is in the Midst of a Major Revival

The Only Lighting Trends You Need to Know According to Top Interior Designers

This “Dated” Sofa Trend Has Officially Made a Comeback