While walking through Moulin Bleu, I came across the Versailles candelabra, an antique-looking whitewashed wood holder with a pedestal base and giant crystals dripping from the top. My dining room table is in dire need of some sprucing up, but this baby was too over-the-top. It’d be sorely out of place in my modern apartment. It would, however, have been perfect atop Liberace’s piano. 176 Franklin St., nr. Hudson St.; 212-334-1130.
MoMA Design Store
The Loop Candelabra at MoMA Design Store was made from a bent piece of chromed steel tubing, creating two intertwined holders, which looked really phallic. But if I grouped a few of these together, the effect would be less perverted and more artistic. Unfortunately, the base wasn’t very sturdy and this was likely to be even more of a fire-hazard than my typical fall-asleep-with-candles-still-burning behavior. 81 Spring St., nr. Crosby; 646-613-1367.
Moss was absolutely freezing, thanks to the overactive A/C. Shivering, I was about to leave when I saw a decadent five-arm candelabra. Made from a nickel-plated brass frame with Swarovski and hand-cut crystals, it was inspired by Hans Harald Rath’s designs for the Metropolitan Opera House’s chandeliers. This would certainly look beautiful when lit up, but it was so fancy that I couldn’t imagine it anywhere other than the opera. 146 Greene St., nr. Houston St.; 212-204-7104.
I popped into one of my favorite gift shops in the Village, Mxyplyzyk. The acrylic candelabra in red was the best tabletop item in the store. At just over a foot tall and a foot wide, the design was modeled after curving, Rococo candleholders. Updated in transparent acrylic, it took on a fun new look. While it might not be perfect for all occasions, it would definitely add some funky color to my dinner parties. Plus, it was easy to move around and possibly bright enough to distract from my cooking. 125 Greenwich Ave., nr. Horatio St.; 212-989-4300.
The Conran Shop
After deciding that I absolutely needed a magnetic spice rack, I spied the most bizarre candelabra yet at the Conran Shop—a cross between a futuristic menorah and a block of ice. The Pure Magic Crystal Candelabra was made from laser-etched crystal and held three candles in a big, stumpy base. The whole thing was heavy and clunky—not something I’d use to perk up my apartment. 407 E. 59th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-755-9079.
The Future Perfect
At the Future Perfect, I was inspecting cool Pyrex decanters when my friend picked up the Biscuit candelabra. The white tower, shaped like a wedding cake, had three layers of candleholders. Each layer was decorated by rows of bows, skulls, or flags. The solid, heavy piece was unquestionably comical and would probably look pretty amazing lit up, but I realized that it might make my rickety wooden dining table collapse under its porcelain weight. And having it around would always make me want to eat cake. 115 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-6278.
Lite Brite Neon Studio
At Lite Brite Neon, I immediately fell for a neon candelabra. Its curvy six-arm base was molded out of yellow tubing and each arm was topped with a clear bluish-white light bulb. The freestanding sculpture was the ultimate in cool home accessories, but at over two grand, it was a big commitment. The neon added much needed humor to home décor, and it glowed brightly enough to light up a dark room—or set the mood. Bonus: Lite Brite customizes. 232 3rd St., nr. Third Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-885-6082.
Finally, I was dragged against my will to Ikea, a place that consistently makes me anxious. In the tabletop section, I found the PS Jularp candelabra. The black, plastic five-arm structure not only looked cheap, but also appeared as though a slight gust of wind would blow it over. It should have felt Goth, but it looked like an ugly Lego creation. Plus, the actual candleholders did not seem secure enough to hold a candle tightly. Style aside, I wasn’t in the mood for a fire hazard. 100 Ikea Drive, nr. Sweden Way, Elizabeth, NJ; 908-289-4488.