By Jen Dennis
It’s not just on Valentine’s Day that you think about decorating a room for romance. You want that cuddle-up-and-stay-awhile vibe every day of the year. But how do you achieve that without defaulting to red roses and heart-shaped adornments (although we love those, too)? The idea is to think bigger. “Your goal is to create a warm, welcoming space — one that doesn’t distract you from connecting,” says Seattle-based design expert, Alexandra Collins, Founder and Creative Director of www.thealexandrastudios.com. We asked Collins for easy tips to turn any room into a more romantic setting. Get ready to feel the love.
Choose lighting wisely
Candlelight is an obvious go-to, but it’s not your only option. For a romantic vibe, turn overhead lights off, and opt for lamps with open-topped shades — these cast light upward, allowing it to diffuse off the ceiling for a softer glow. Another easy option: dimmers. “That way, you’re in control of adjusting the light level to the mood,” Collins says. Try smart lighting bulbs from Philips Hue, which you can control from an app.
Add touchable textures
The sense of touch is powerful, and you can’t go wrong by bringing in lush fabrics and textures that make you feel cozy, Collins says. Select seating covered in soft yet durable textiles, like microfiber or a velvet polyester blend. Even if your furniture isn’t plush, you can add accessories that give the room a warmer feel, such as shag area rugs and fluffy pillows and throws in cozy materials like faux fur or cashmere.
Bring in nature
The easy way to amp up the love in any room in an instant? And foliage. “Plants and botanicals bring life and energy into any space,” Collins says. You don’t need to go for the expected red or white roses to get that lively pop. Collins suggests choosing non-traditional blooms like a eucalyptus plant, or opt for an indoor plant that’s easy to care for, like peace lilies or African violets (read about the benefits of having plants in your bedroom here).
Focus on neutral colors
People often assume that filling a room with rich, saturated color sparks a romantic vibe. Not always, Collins says. “Too much color can make a space feel visually cluttered,” she explains. And we all know clutter doesn’t spark joy or romance (thanks, Marie Kondo). Instead, go for neutrals, like white or cream, as a base and add small pops of color with accessories, like flowers or pillows. “These colors create a sense of relaxation and comfort that feels welcoming,” Collins says. Sounds like a recipe for romance.