Before the days of electricity, candle holders were primarily functional items; years later and designers have used their creative prowess and advancements in technology to turn them into beautiful creations that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are practical.
The new Unplugged range by Northern Lighting is a case in point. Made by various different young creatives, these holders meld the traditional with the contemporary and add a touch of style and innovation to an object that's been taken for granted for centuries. Of course they're still functional (and we're sure you'll be grateful for them when load shedding hits) but they're also statement pieces that you'd be proud to put on a table or shelf.
Here are a few of our absolute favourites from this beautiful Nordic range:
Designed by Gridy, this sleek holder boasts an elegant form inspired by the movement of a dancing flame. A black cast iron base supports the jewellery-like plated steel swirl, which comes tinted in shades of regal metallic rose and gold (a trend for 2016).
This series of candle holders by Domaas/Høgh is titled Brick, and for good reason - they look like LEGO bricks for lighting lovers. Available in off-white, mint and powder and in three different sizes (with space for one candle, two candles or four candles), they're meant to be playful and versatile and they look especially striking when displayed together as a set.
The Iris holder by Studio Dreimann takes its cue from the traditional candle holders of yesteryear, with their flat circular shape and small handle, but it imbues this profile with a decidedly contemporary twist. It's a smart piece of design in that the cast iron sphere is double sided, with space for a candle on one side and space for a tea light on the other, so you can flip it depending on your mood.
Another modern take on the classic, the Granny by Rudi Wulff features a base with curved edges designed to catch and hold melted wax and a sliding brass knob that assists with replacing the candle. You can get it in matt black or matt white and there are two different height options.
Locally, you can order all these designs through Illuminate Project Lighting in Constantia, which brings Northern Lighting products to South Africa. To see this brand other innovative lighting inventions, visit northernlighting.no.