18 January, 2012

"Under Cover of Darkness . . . "


Winter sets in.  The sun sets early every afternoon.  And as we travel through the darkest days of the year, there is little more romantic and delightful than a gathering of friends around a dinner table - illuminated by candlelight.  The flickering light gives any gathering an instant intimacy.  Half-lit faces filled with laughter.  Eyes sparkling in the reflected glow.  An evening of memories about to begin.

I've always said - If you're worried about the success of any dinner party . . . just turn off a few more lights . . . and light a few more candles.  The magic will surely follow.

Pull up a chair . . .

SMW Design, Lake Tahoe Project

SMW Design, The Four Seasons - San Francisco

Ralph Lauren, "Modern Thoroughbred" Collection
I love the mixture of a more modern space with the classic glass hurricanes for illumination.  

image from Pinterest
And I think this is crazy magical.  Masses of votives gathered for a party.

From the set of "Downton Abbey"
Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Paris

Holiday at the House, 2009 

SMW Design, Marina Project - San Francisco

I also have a little suggestion if you're a regular votive user.  I've filled my votive holders with about an inch of water before placing the candles in.  That way, the melting wax just gathers in the water, the at the end of the evening - after throwing the candles and water away - your votives are clean and ready to be used again.  

Hever Castle, England

SMW Design, Garden Party 2008
And here's a serious evening of candles - with the table and the garden all aglow.



La Vie Quotidienne said...

I totally agree...candlelight makes everything look better and creates a most wonderful ambience.

Thanks for the tip about using votives.

Jalon Burton said...

Beautiful! What a great post.
Thanks for sharing... all warm and fuzzy. :)
Have a great day -

eas said...

such a beautiful post. thank you for lovely images!

An Urban Cottage said...

Beautiful images, Scot.

vignette design said...

Love this post! I love taking photos of a candle lit room or table. These photos are fantastic! May have to pin a few! ~Delores

Passionedeco...perchè le case hanno un'anima said...

Nothing, really nothing better than candlelight!

I love the warm, cosy, peaceful atmosphere candles create and I've plenty of them in every corner of my home!


Daniel James Shigo said...

Love the candles but REALLY have a thing for the plum colored carpet! Lightbulb moment! Thank you Scot!

Primrose Rebellion said...

I agree, everyone looks better in candle light. It transports one to a different mood.

Thank you for the votive and water tip. Very useful.

Love Your blog

If you wish to read one that i believe is like minded please go to, http://primroserebellion.wordpress.com/

Celeste said...

These rooms like magnificent and the candles add that extra something!

Splendid Sass said...

Stunning post, Scot. Love your rooms here and anything Downton Abbey! Am addicted to the show.
Have a nice evening.

YONKS said...

Great tip about adding the water. How do you clean the wax out of a very delicate glass hurricane lamp? Any tip for that. Lovely images - magical.

Karen said...

Beautiful! I believe we all look better in candlelight.

Merlin said...

I'm lovin that striped rug and pillow!!! franki

Karen T. said...

Thanks for the tip about the votives! Love this post!

tammy j said...

this blog is like a very special dessert. it is a tiny feast for the eyes! and no calories!
your room designs are simply exquisite. the thing i like most about them... they are not "done." they look as if real lives happen in them. they have a cosy sophistication that i love. you are gifted indeed.
thank you for sharing with us!
tammy j

The Single Nester said...

What really lovely images. So cozy and sexy.

Jennifer said...

a girl can dream...........
Jennifer aka Gigi

Kellie Collis said...

How lovely! The candle-lit effect is just gorgeous! Enjoy the beautiful weekend, Kellie xx

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