This Old-School, Colonial Era Item Is Suddenly Lit Again and I’m Absolutely Here For It

published Aug 25, 2022
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When I refreshed my bedroom last year, one dark corner by my wall art to hang, but what would I hang next to it? A plug-in sconce? I wasn’t feeling the look of a cord hanging down the wall. So I chose something a bit more old-school: the wall candle.

Wall candles, or candle sconces, have likely been around in some shape or form for thousands of years, but they peaked in popularity during the 17th and 18th centuries — think the ornate, gilded wall candles seen in Versailles to the simple wrought iron ones that lit up Colonial Williamsburg. While they’ve never officially gone out of style, they’re currently having a moment again. Prized for their ability to add ambiance and a subtle glow to shadowy corners, staircases, and other dimly lit areas, these pieces are often priced pretty economically because they require no wiring, making this trend a budget-friendly touch. For that same reason, you don’t need an electrician to install them, so you’re not bound to the placement of electrical for installation either. To “glow up” some blank wall spots and dark crannies in your own home, look to these seven shoppable picks, which are some of my favorites on the market right now. One last thing to note: Open flames can be dangerous, so be sure to keep an eye on your candle sconces when they’re lit.

Credit: Antropologie

Hammered Gold Sconce

If you’d like to take a page from Versailles, go opulent with your candle sconce style. Try flanking your bed with this decadent hammered gold style, which elegantly shows off tapered candles.

Buy: Hammered Gold Sconce, $38.00 from Anthropologie 

Credit: Pottery Barn

Rio Wall Mount Candleholder 

For a more historic accent that’ll fit right into traditional, farmhouse, or vintage-inspired spaces, look no further than this ageless beauty from Pottery Barn. It’s clean, linear, and looks even better in a grouping of several on the wall.

Buy: Rio Wall Mount Candleholder, $39.50 from Pottery Barn 

Credit: West Elm

Jacob Wall Sconce

To achieve a slightly more contemporary look with your candle sconces, you can’t go wrong with this pick from West Elm. Sporting a saturated black hue and geometric detailing, it’s the perfect design for a pillar candle.

Buy: Jacob Wall Sconce, $40.00 $32.00 from West Elm 

Credit: Wayfair

Wade Logan Glass Sconce

Perhaps you love the look of a candle glowing within a glass hurricane holder? To mix that classic visual with something that looks a little more current, opt for this brass meets glass sconce.

Buy: Wade Logan Glass Sconce, $119.99 from Wayfair 

Credit: Wayfair

Etta Avenue 13.1″ Stainless Steel Wall Sconces

Are you looking for candle sconces that double as pieces of wall art? Then you’re in luck with this set of two wall candle holders from Wayfair. Their interlocking rectangle shape gives them a modern edge, and they’d be a nice touch over a fireplace for an extra bit of soothing symmetry.

Buy: Etta Avenue 13.1″ Stainless Steel Wall Sconces, $41.50 $33.99 from Wayfair for a Set of 2 

Credit: CB2

Vela Stainless Steel Wall Sconce

To allow your candle sconce to fade ever so slightly — yet stylishly — into the backdrop of your walls, consider this smooth-looking, polished CB2 candle holder. You’ll have your pick of stainless steel or brass finishes, too. 

Buy: Vela Stainless Steel Wall Sconce, $49.95 from CB2 

Ariana Ost Twinkling Star Wall Taper Candle Holder

Want a little bit of your wall color to shine through, even when hanging a candle sconce or two? This luxe-looking, brass candle holder might be just what you’re looking for in that case. The star-shaped cutouts on the wall plate of this piece will add a bit of whimsy to your twinkling display.

Buy: Ariana Ost Twinkling Star Wall Taper Candle Holder, $60.00 from Urban Outfitters