Everyone has different definitions of romance. According to Merriam Webster, romance is “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love,” or “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.” When it comes to your personal residence, this second definition seems the most apt. Like with any relationship, you can fall into a familiar rhythm at home — the rooms feel the same, the furniture is beginning to look drab, boring or maybe even a little outdated. That spark you felt when you first moved in has vanished. So, how might you go about infusing that spirit of excitement and mystery into your interiors again? As we prepare for yet another Valentine’s Day, let’s count all the ways you could bring the romance back to your house.
1. Clear away clutter.
Designer William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This is the time to throw out those stacks of bills, coupons and random newsletters that haven’t been read. Move out the dirty laundry. Toss out your dusty collection of DVDs you haven’t watched in years. Once you clear out the clutter, you may be reminded of why you fell in love with your home in the first place.
2. Reignite the fire.
No, not that fire. The fire in your fireplace. There is something relaxing, soothing and soft about fire light. If you don’t have a fireplace, invest in candles and burn them whenever you need to adjust your mood.
3. Frame a meaningful photo.
Dig out your wedding photos or those from your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding, and place them in nice matched frames. Or, maybe you take your favorite digital photo from a past family vacation — and convert it to black and white for an artsy, vintage look.
4. Place fresh flowers in unexpected places.
Ask any designer, and they’ll tell you that fresh flowers instantly make a space feel luxurious. Create a bunch of mini-bouquets and spread throughout your home — beside your bed, on the kitchen counter, in the bathroom, tucked into a bookshelf or on a windowsill.
5. Find your signature scent.
Spray linens and clothing with your favorite scent. Linen spray easily freshens up sheets, and can quickly calm a loved one.
6. Leave love notes.
Hang up a sign, like a petite chalkboard or zinc sign to write little encouraging notes to your significant other.
7. Create a spa bath.
Recreate the look of your favorite hotel’s bath at home — so you can relive the feeling of being on vacation everyday. Spruce up your bathroom with new hand towels, a posy of flowers and a scented candle.
8. Take your breakfast in bed.
Head to the store and pick up a nice tray. The night before, set up your new tray with your favorite coffee cup, napkin and bud vase. In the morning, bring the tray and a carafe of coffee and hurry back to bed with the paper or a novel.
9. Make your own personal art.
Pick up a prepared canvas and supplies at your local art store, and paint a simple repeated phrase, like “I love you” or meaningful sentence that you and your loved one share. (You can use stencil letters if your handwriting doesn’t pass muster.)
10. Set a table for two.
Tuck a tiny table and two chairs into an empty spot somewhere unexpected. Maybe it’s in an underused part of the garden, or by the window in your bedroom or tucked near the fireplace in the living room.
11. Rearrange your furniture.
Changing the layout of furniture in a room has been known to make people feel more creative and elevates their mood. Think Feng Shui — you are harmonizing your existence with your surrounding environment.
12. Play your favorite music.
Music can not only make or break the mood in a room, but it can instantly transport you back to a happy moment in the past. Whether you have a full stereo system with surround sound, or simple iPod speakers, find a way to play music that takes you, your spouse or your family back to a pleasant memory.