Romantic Spaces: Rooms that Sizzle
The recent backlash to Valentine’s Day takes many forms: a refusal to cram into a crowded restaurant and instead cook at home; an overall rejection of the day in favor of quality time together; or even a concerted effort to make every OTHER day of the year more romantic in lieu of one day marketed as exclusively for lovers.
Even if you’re a big fan of the day, or if you spending cooking, snuggling or something else, there typically winds up being one common thread in these efforts to show your significant other that you love him or her: your home.
But what can make a home romantic besides the chemistry between two people? Lots of things, it turns out.
The Living Room
When it comes to romance in your living spaces, there are two watchwords: texture and lighting. Gentle fabrics in the form of upholstery, coverings and even carpeting can add a visual softness to a room in addition to a textural one. We’re big fans of draping soft throw blankets over the back of any chair in the room for easy snuggling during a movie or fireside session. Throws like this are often inexpensive, so don’t be afraid to let the kids snuggle up in them as well.
Lighting is best when it’s adjustable and focused AWAY from the parts of the room where you are (or recessed as can lights for a more even distribution). The setup of your room also matters, particularly if your living space is graced with a nice view of the city or your property, which are waaaay better than a TV when it’s time to get cozy.
Here are a few other suggestions from The Spruce, which gets a bit more into the nitty gritty of which styles (think Parisian or a French-ish shabby chic) are considered “romantic.”
Think of a romantic kitchen scene you’ve seen in the movies or read in a book? Picture it in your mind. What did the kitchen look like? Chances are it was NOT a shadowy, galley-style nook, cluttered with pots and pans and yesterday’s junk mail. It was probably sizeable, well lit (probably naturally), with clean surfaces and smooth textures. The smell and sound of food cooking is always a bonus.
When it comes to romance, we’ll eschew the stainless steel look in favor of marble countertops and perhaps a high-quality wooden island. Opening windows for fresh air and just a HINT of controlled clutter – in the form of vegetables or cooking utensils — are acceptable. Older kitchens with some flair to the design are the best for romance, but you can make a modern kitchen sizzle, too, by adding some color and fresh-cut flowers to the clean-line design.
Here’s one of our favorite old-style romantic kitchens, courtesy of HouseBeautiful.com.
Here are a few more modern romantic kitchens, from ehomedecor.com.
Outdoor spaces are entirely dependent on the season or where in the country you live, but in any scenario you can find a way to bring the outside in, and make it part of your Valentine’s Day.
When it comes to patios or fire-pit areas, it’s important to combine the feeling of being outdoors with the proper degree of privacy. No one wants to snuggle with the neighbors’ dog looking at you through the fence. Investing in softer seating, in the form of cushions or chaise lounges, is worth the money, as is purchasing an outdoor heater (the kind you see on restaurant patios) if you’re really invested on using such a space in cold weather. When it comes to lighting, again, keep it soft. A string of low-wattage Christmas lights or even some Tiki torches will do, if the light of your fire pit alone doesn’t do the trick.
If you’re in a harsher winter climate, a glassed-in patio or solarium is probably the best way to experience the “outdoors” in February, though a spa or hot tub on a screened-in porch will go far in the romance category, as well.
We’ll refer you to that veritable jungle of design ideas, Pinterest, for a hefty gallery of favorite romantic outdoor looks.
Uh… we’re going to leave this one to you experts.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. We can’t wait to unveil the new look for our zBuyer Connect newsletter next week!