Want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but don’t fancy sharing a restaurant with a roomful of other couples, or paying more than usual for that ‘special’ themed menu?
There’s a lot to be said for opting to stay in on February 14 instead. First and foremost, it’s more private and intimate - and what’s more romantic than that? You won’t be rushed or disturbed; you can take your time, do things on your terms, and setting the scene can be easily achieved with a few amorous additions.
Now, we all know that Valentine’s Day is unapologetically kitsch and cliched - just go with it! After all, you can’t embrace the festival of romance without letting your guard down and having a little fun.
Whether you want to keep it subtle and sophisticated or let your heart run wild, these love-themed finds will help you on your way to an at-home Valentine’s victory...
Romantic settings are all about mood and atmosphere - and the quickest way to conjure a Valentine’s vibe is through engaging the senses, with sumptuous scents, soft lighting and touch-me textures.
“Set the mood for a romantic evening with glowing candlelight, stunning champagne flutes and designer serveware. Or, create a classic Valentine’s inspired look with beautiful cushions and throws, perfect for snuggling up in front of the fire,” suggests Kate Mooney, founder and CEO of Houseology.com, which has a specially curated collection of home accessories for conjuring romantic rooms.
Candles, of course, are a natural choice for easy ambience, but real romance junkies might love an illuminated wall sign, and there’s an array of arty light-ups in the shops right now.
:: Culinary Concepts Hammered Champagne Goblets, Set Of 2, £64.95 (Houseology.com)
:: Culinary Concepts Amore Salad Servers, £34.95 (www.houseology.com)
:: Heart Shape Candle Holder with Set of 11 Tealight Votives, £27.99 (www.my-furniture.co.uk)
:: Yankee Candle True Rose, Large Jar, currently reduced to £16.49 from £21.99 (www.yankeecandle.co.uk)
:: Carnival Light Heart Wall Decor by GiggleBeaver, £56.99 (Wayfair.co.uk)
:: Love This Way Illuminated Canvas, £34.99 (www.ijustloveit.co.uk)
:: Pink Heart Marquee Light, £125 (www.bhs.co.uk)
Whipping up an impressive meal for your lover (good luck!) might be the main event, but you won’t want to spend the entire evening at the dining table, so pave the way for some relaxed romance too.
“Valentine’s Day is all about creating that romantic mood and this can be easily achieved by making a room feel a little more sensual - from atmospheric lighting and delicious scents, to the use of luxurious fabrics to create that decadent and sensual atmosphere,” says Diana Civil, interiors stylist for Carpetright.
“I recommend adding a soft and sumptuous rug, not only will this make a room feel warm and cosy, but the sinkable texture is a delightful treat against your other flooring. The best place to position the rug is in front of the fireplace or at the foot of the bed, transforming a simple space into a relaxing haven.”