Holiday Decorating: Valentine's Day Romance

You don't have to go wild to spice things up for Valentine's Day — romantic decorating doesn't always come packaged in satin sheets and fire-red velvet pillows. No matter what your everyday decorating style may be, simple touches and a few additions to your normal décor can spark up the heat. Just check through all your cabinets for your prettiest or finest dishes and linens and use them to display the items in the ideas that follow:

  • Add to your room a few more candles, flowers, champagne, and sexy foods that you can eat with your hands such as strawberries and chocolates.
  • Fold crisp white napkins into heart shapes for a romantic dinner or picnic
  • Deck out bed trays with your finest linens and crystal and nice silver bowls of fruit and plates of cheese.

More splash for less cash

Valentine's decorating doesn't have to dip way into the budget. Just dip into your creative soul and let the romance flow.

Getting petals for pennies

Call florists and ask if they have boxes of scrap flower petals for sale. Often, florists break apart the heads of roses and other flowers that are half spent or that shipped broken, and they sell them for just a few dollars a box. Obviously, they may be low on these little gems around Valentine's Day, but it's worth checking.

Here are just a few ideas for what you do with these petals:

  • Scatter them along pathways, indoors or out, to lead your sweetheart to a special, romantic location.
  • Sprinkle some over your bed.
  • Run a bath and put a couple handfuls into the bath water.
  • Toss some petals on your dinner table in between place settings or along a table runner.

Just make sure that you don't scatter them in areas that may become stained when the petals are stepped on.

Having a picturesque picnic

One of the most wonderful yet effective romantic decorating ideas is quite simple to do. Toss a warm blanket on the floor — by a fireplace, if you have one — and make a picnic. Arrange a couple of pieces of fruit in baskets, add sparkling wineglasses from your cupboards, and crackers and cheeses from your pantry (or picked up at the deli). Coupled with a nice bottle of wine, your picnic makes a pretty vignette suitable for any fun or romantic occasion. Plus, you just picked up dinner!

Jazzing up smaller spaces

Often, a simple tablescape in your chosen theme will do quite nicely for small-space decorating. You can choose from many options, depending on the style or effect that you want to achieve. Check out the following ideas to find out what works best for your space:

  • For a touch of fun, place a door mirror down the center of your table to use as a table runner. Scatter little candy-shaped hearts with cute words on them down the middle. Nestle a few votive candles in jars filled at the bottom with red heart candies and place them on the mirror. For place cards, use your Valentine greeting cards instead. Prop them on water glasses or toss the envelope and stand them in the center of your place setting.
  • For an elegant look, set your table with simple white linens accompanied by your best crystal and china. A few silver candlesticks, some soft music, and a beautiful bouquet are all that you need for a stunning tablescape.
  • For an even more dramatic, elegant look, drape garlands of strung faux pearl beads or crystals to mirrors or chandeliers.
  • For a cozy, more intimate feel, spark up your spaces for romance by using just a little hot color to make a large impact. Infuse a few red pillows, with some plush faux fur throws, and light the candles, baby!
  • For a simple look, spruce up a small dining or occasional table with a nice bunch of fresh flowers. Purchase a ready-made bouquet from your florist, or make your own arrangement or wreath to hang on your door. Highlight a table arrangement by spotlighting it under a track light, or place a can light from below to make a dramatic up light.
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