The warmest welcome | Inspiration from Iceland

The warmest welcome | Inspiration from Iceland

One of the many wonderful things I bought back from our recent trip to Iceland was fresh inspiration for lighting. 

Being in darkness for up to 20 hours of the day during December means the Icelandic have perfected the art of lighting; nothing is cosier or more inviting than the internal glow of Icelandic cafes & homes. 

Peering through the darkness into the beautifully-lit homes in Reykjavik, was one of my guilty pleasures on our trip. I found these illuminated snapshots of interiors and insights into other people’s lives endlessly intriguing.

In the cafes, a freshly-brewed morning coffee sipped in the atmospheric pools of light created by a candelabra was much more of a sensory pleasure than a brew served under strip lighting!

Icelandic lighting is pitched perfectly to warm the coldest climes and lighten the darkest days. 

Each home gently glows, not with harsh overhead lights, but with a creative combination of light sources, from side lights to fairy lights to candlelight.

The key aspect of Icelandic lighting I will be borrowing for The Small Home is candlelight.

Lighting candles is the simplest way to add a touch of theatre to the domestic. When it comes to candles, be generous. Many of us add a single candle here or there; yet candles work best in groups.


Create pools of light with candles on a table set for supper; stagger candles of varying heights on a mantle in front of a mirror for maximum effect; cluster on side tables to create scenes of interest; intersperse between plants or vases of flowers to cast shapes and shadows. 

Lighting candles is part ritual and part performance. The satisfying sound of the strike; the smell of the burnt match; the sizzle of the wick; and the dance of the flickering flames adds to the sensory experience of real candles. 

My favourite candle is a pure beeswax candle. These are the candles I’d always choose to burn; they are sustainable and natural, with a clean earthy scent with a faint note of honey. 

Choose our pairs of Giant Stubby 100% Pure Beeswax Candles for hours of illumination; our large Bay & Rosemary Scented Candles for a fresh, invigorating fragrance; our Sea Salt candles and scented tealight candles to transport you to your favourite Cornish beach with their ozonic and citrus scent; our twisted candles (in Natural or Milk) for visual interest, but be warned, they are almost too pretty to burn.

Stock up too on candle holders; our speckled candle holders & white small candle holders are stylish and practical and will be useful for many years. Invest now in our boxed beeswax dinner candles or pairs of beeswax dinner candles and store them for suppers to come.

Our prettily wrapped pairs of dinner candles in Pink Blossom or Milk make a unique gift for a host, whilst our Wax Atelier set of 10 birthday candles celebrate any milestone birthday.

Make this the year you strike out and get lighting just right - soft, warm and welcoming and slightly on the side of quiet celebration.

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