Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Depending upon your situation, you may greet this unsurprising piece of news with glee or dread. We’re of the opinion that romance shouldn’t be confined to just one day or just to those who happen to have a life partner. Whether you’re planning to celebrate the most romantic holiday of the year in a special way or you just want to get that romantic glow in your apartment home throughout the year, there are many things that you can do to achieve that.
First, let’s not forget that romance lives in the heart. Romance is often as simple as a welcome gesture, one that shows how thoughtful you are toward another human being. That can be achieved by cooking a romantic dinner, packing a sunset picnic, presenting someone with flowers or (even better!) chocolate, snuggling on a cold day or while watching a movie, leaving love notes, taking a moonlit walk along a beach, slow dancing to your favorite ballad (and choosing music that you can call “your song”), taking a bubble bath together, cuddling for a nap, tenderly grasping your partner’s hand when he or she least expects it and, most importantly, saying those magical three words: “I love you.”
When it comes to home décor, what does it mean to incorporate romance? It’s a fine balance, usually, between traditional furnishings and accents, but not a stuffy look. It takes into consideration all five senses through fabrics, patterns, colors and scents. It can be as simple as hanging sheer curtains in the bedroom to filter the light, getting soft bedding and placing floral arrangements in rooms.
Whichever style of decorating charms you—Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Cottage, French Country, Tuscan, Mediterranean, etc.—there are ways to bring a romantic vibe to your apartment. While most people think of romantic décor as feminine, it doesn’t have to exclude a masculine touch. Striped fabrics, overstuffed chairs and dark wood furniture appeals to both sexes.
The two most common elements to romantic rooms are muted or pastel color schemes and floral patterns on furniture, pillows, bedding, window treatments, rugs and walls. Just as romance appeals to all of the senses, a romantic décor should include soft, sensuous textures; luxurious and tempting fabrics; pleasing scents and let’s not forget about soothing sounds, too. With a bottle of wine or tray of snacks, you can also appeal to the sense of taste as well.
Just as romance brings a sparkle to the eye, romantic bedrooms should include some shiny accents such as mirrors, lamps, silver accessories, crystals or heirloom picture frames.
Choose your colors
Color palette is important to achieving a romantic look in a room. Sure, most people immediately think of red as the color of romance, but experts advise using it sparingly with an eye toward the purple end of the color spectrum or a pastel pink. You don’t want your bedroom looking like a bordello! With just the right amount of reds, your room will cast off a flattering romantic glow. Don’t be afraid to decorate in soft blues and greens, which have naturally soothing and calming effects, along with cottage white for balance.
If you’ve got an apartment with a sweeping view of Phoenix or Tucson, use it to its best effect by placing a comfy chair or loveseat in front of your window. If you don’t have a stunning view, create one by creating a mini garden on your balcony or outside your biggest window.
Furniture also creates romantic atmosphere. Four-poster beds create a natural center in the room and gorgeous bedding seals the deal. Arrange your furniture to create cozy conversation pits or great places to curl up with a good book or watch movies in candlelight. Classic furniture pieces such as a chaise or canopy bed paired with flowing fabrics are almost always instant romantic setters.
Lighting is also important when creating romance and we’re not talking bright lights here. Lamps instead of overhead lights and candles create understated light (remember to never leave candles unattended or, best yet, use battery-operated candles).
To achieve an old-world romantic charm, try gilding a mirror, old art frames, candlesticks or sconces. Choose classic artwork such as landscapes and still life paintings in various sizes, spread throughout the rooms—not only on the walls, but framed on dressers and tables and in niches.
Accents add flair
Accessories are important as well. Delicate vases or bowls along with small sculptures add interest and texture to rooms. Ruffles, tassels, tapestry and embroidery also add flair. Scour antique stores for poetry collections and vintage music sheets and place them on shabby chic furniture to create instant romance.
Romance should be comfortable. Look for upholstered furniture and a mattress that help you sink into a relaxed state. Speaking of beds, buy quality sheets and add shams, decorative pillows and a luxurious throw to make your bedroom inviting.
For that romantic dinner at home, dress up your dining area with a soft rug under the table, billowing draperies to soften the hard lines of door and window frames and choose slipcovers and tablecloths in subtle shades to set the mood.
In Arizona, we’re lucky to enjoy the outdoors most days of the year, so don’t forget when you’re getting a breath of fresh air to incorporate the air of romance. Wicker furniture, breezy fabrics, pillows, soft floor coverings and container plants add romance to a patio or deck. Add some romantic white lights, a glass of champagne and chocolates and see where the evening will take you.
Romantic ideas online
Of course, the internet is full of websites with ideas on how to achieve a romantic look in an apartment. Create a fairy light canopy using sheer drapery panels on wire rope, threaded through eye hooks accented with strings of cascading lights or a cloth chandelier by attaching strips of fabric to a cookie rack (nobody will know!) and illuminating it by putting white lights inside of it. Here’s a simple idea: wrap lace around glass jars and put tea lights inside to achieve a romantic glow around the apartment.
Other ways to add more romance to your apartment include placing fluffy pillows around a room, putting a faux sheepskin rug under the bed (which will please your tootsies waking up after a romantic night) and getting fresh flowers or small bouquets to appeal to the sense of smell.
What do you do to create a romantic aura in your Tucson or Phoenix apartment home?