On any calendar, St. Valentine's Day is the season of love. This holiday has lots of memory making potential, and setting the scene for romance with a few decorative touches will make the whole event more fun. You know the colors: red, white, pink and gold. You know the themes too: flowers, hearts, cherubs and candy -- lots of candy. Now, let's explore some quick and easy ways to make your interior spaces more Valentine's Day friendly and romantically charged.
When your very special guest or guests arrive, you have the perfect opportunity to wow them with your holiday enthusiasm by decorating your entry. If you thought garlands and twinkling lights were just for Christmas, guess again. Now's the time to show them off when folks are least expecting it. White Christmas lights decorating a staircase or wrapped in white or gold garland and draped along a banister make a wonderful focal point in your entry. Add a wreath made of roses interspersed with felt, velvet or silk hearts and you'll set the scene for all the festive holiday touches in your home. Want something a little more lighthearted?. Why not add a big bunch of red and white balloons to your entry? They are festive for visitors of all ages.
These two rooms often have a specific color palate and possibly a theme, too. One nice thing about Valentine's Day decorating is that it gives you the opportunity to add a splash of bright red and sparkle that will enliven those sensible neutrals and give your decor a wake up call. In some circles, decorators consider red the new neutral, so don't be afraid to use it as an accent. The same goes for white, too. Try adding these elements for holiday drama:
--Groupings of red and white candles (use odd numbered groups in varying heights)
--Heart embossed candles
--Potted mums in red, white and pink
--Small photo prints of your favorite Valentine in elaborate gilt frames
--Red and pink potpourri in heart shaped crystal dishes
--Lace (cloth or paper) doilies on tables
--Dishes filled with colorful candy
Make your bathroom holiday central this Valentine's Day with a few touches that will stimulate the senses:
If you have bright overhead or mirror mounted lighting in your bathroom, install a dimmer switch. It's a straightforward upgrade you'll appreciate the next time you take a relaxing bath.
Add a bouquet of fresh roses to your vanity, and to make them more captivating, set them on a mirrored tray. The aroma of fresh flowers, roses especially, will fill your guest bathroom with a wonderful scent you just can't get out of a bottle.
Add some heart shaped soap for a designer touch (or make your own).
Include a few plush red and white towels for an opulent look that invites a few fantasies.
Install a fluffy bath rug to encourage a little barefoot luxuriating, too.
Oh, and be sure to have some romantic mood music and fragrant bubble bath standing by. You'll need it.
Whether you rely on gourmet imported Valentine's goodies or plan on making your own, the kitchen should get special attention on Valentine's Day:
--Switch out your towels for something holiday festive in a red and white check, and do the same with your placemats and tablecloths. Need an idea for an informal table centerpiece? Fill a clear vase with colorful heart shaped candies or small gifts wrapped in red and white paper.
--Fashion a Valentine's fruit bowl made up of apples, pomegranates, bananas, figs and kiwi for your kitchen countertop. All are purported to be aphrodisiacs.
--Hang a decorative bulletin board filled with Valentine's Day cards on your kitchen wall.
--Bake a heart-shaped cake, and display it prominently -- with red and white decorations, of course.
--Post a recipe for a love potion on your refrigerator.
You probably already have some ideas about how to add a little Valentine's romance to the bedroom, but we'd like to include a few suggestions you may not have thought of:
--Strew red rose petals in a path from the door to the bed. Yes, this is a cliché -- but that's because it works every time. It's also one of the least expensive (buying one rose ought to do it), and most dramatic touches you can add to a Valentine's Day bedecked bedroom.
--Change out the bedding for something romantic, dramatic or wild. Yes, red satin is an option, but so is anything plush and indulgent. Your special valentine may be more impressed with a high thread count than he is with a cupid pattern. Don't rule out wild animal prints or something funny, either. Romance is different for every couple, and your holiday decor should reflect that.
--Cover the light fixtures with gauzy scarves in brilliant colors. We suggested a dimmer switch in the bathroom, but in the bedroom go with adding some shading too. Think of it as stained glass ambience without the stained glass price tag.
--Don't forget the candles. While you're thinking about lighting, invest in lots of candles. They make an evening special, and candlelight is great for the complexion.
If you're working within a tight budget or have decided to focus your decorating efforts on a room not mentioned here, remember that Valentine's Day is a holiday with very recognizable themes and colors. If you display lots of hearts and candy, use some red, white, pink and gold in your decorative touches and dress things up with a few red flowers, you'll get the point across. Some other inexpensive options are paper flowers, streamers, paper garlands made of hearts, balloons, paper doilies and lots of Valentine's Day cards.
Nothing beats a romantic, candlelit dinner for two on Valentine's Day. If you're doing the honors this year, the table can be your ambassador of love for the length of the meal. The gleam of silverware, glint of crystal and sparkle of china all help to make a Valentine's table look special. These additions will help too:
Use a tablecloth. Table dressing adds a special touch to any meal. Lace is an elegant choice, but it's not the only option here. You can also get a dramatic effect by layering your look with a tablecloth, runner and placemats. It's a great way to liven up a neutral china pattern and add a festive note to the meal.
Set the table ahead of time. Anticipation adds drama to a romantic meal, so lay out the linens, china, silverware and glasses beforehand. It will inspire oohs and aahs and add another dimension to the day's entertainment.
Choose an intimate centerpiece. For a romantic dinner, keep the centerpiece low and refined. You'll want to converse over it easily. A bouquet of short stemmed roses is a classic choice, but three white violets in identical pots set in a row is a striking and easy option too. Make sure the centerpiece doesn't overwhelm other elements on the table.
Keep the lighting soft. This is another instance where candlelight is the perfect lighting, with tall white tapers taking the romantic prize. They'll burn a long time and set the mood for a memorable meal. Just remember to opt for the dripless variety so you won't have to scrape candle wax off your linens later.
This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com
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