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.”
Shimmer Shaggy Caramel Rug, from £49-£139 (www.carpetright.co.uk)
Empress Chaise Longue, currently reduced to £645 from £695 (www.dfs.co.uk)
Flamingo Cushion, £60 (www.nhmshop.co.uk)
Love Heart Cushion, £5 (Tesco, available in selected stores only)
Malini Applique Felt Cushion, £24.95 (www.rooi.com)
OH Winter Snow Rabbit Faux Fur Throw 140x200cm, £254.50 (www.houseology.com)
Tom Dixon Gem Vase in Gold, £85 (www.houseology.com)
Tiko Mini Vase in Deep Cherry, £24.90 (www.villeroy-boch.co.uk)
Grand gestures are all good and well, but true romantics know that it’s usually the littlest of things that count.
A love heart here, a rose there, and don’t be confined to the evening - scatter those love notes throughout the whole day. Nothing says ‘I adore you’ like breakfast in bed; quirky additions, like red love heart-themed crockery or a single rose in a vase, alongside their favourite grub of course, are sure to go down a treat and earn extra brownie points.
Expressing your amour with little touches is also a great way to play along without spending too much moolah. Don’t have the budget for diamonds? Splash out on thoughtfulness and imagination instead; so much more fun...
Felt Bunting, 79p (Home Bargains, available in stores only)
Natural Slate Heart Chalkboard, £6.95 (www.dotcomgiftshop.com)
RAMSTA Lighting chain 24 hearts, £15 (www.ikea.com)
Love Hearts Tea Lights, £5.99 (www.toxicfox.co.uk)
Just Slate Cheese Board Heart, £20.50 (www.houseology.com)
Wood Cube Heart Tealight Holder, £2.93 (www.homebase.co.uk)
Heart Toast Rack, £3 (Tesco, available in selected stores only)
B&Q Love Word Decoration, £7 (www.diy.com; available from February 8)