Dim the lights, ramp up the romance

22. února 2013 v 4:38 |  street light
Valentine's Day has come and gone, but there are still ways that you can keep that wonderful feeling of romance in your home year-round.

First, a romantic setting isn't only for the bedroom and it's not only about Champagne and roses. No, a romantic look can be woven throughout your home and adapted for both men and women. For example, there have been many special occasions in my own home when my wife and I would turn our family room into a romantic space by pulling a small game table right up to the fireplace, covering it with a beautiful floor-length brocade cloth, adding flowers, candlelight, our best china and silverware along with soft music in the background and presto - we had more of a romantic setting than any restaurant could ever offer us.

Lighting is key in romantic decorating, and it's imperative to stay clear of harsh fluorescent lights, or for that matter, too many lights. The best lights are those with low wattage that give off a soft warm glow. Dimmers and lamps should be used as the main source of light in a room instead of turning on the overhead lights . Soft muted lighting will go far in creating a sensuous mood, an essential component and really the very essence of a romantic room.

It's been said by some the colors that work best for creating a romantic setting are toned-down pinks, blues and greens. Although that may be true, I think stronger, warmer colors work to great advantage and can help to make a space feel more serene and romantic.

Whether used for just an accent wall or as an overall color, a warm, spicy shade of red paint is great. (Burnt sienna works well with this color.) But, almost any color can be used if you choose the right shade. Dark colors tend to make a large room look smaller but they can still work for rooms with a lot of light. On the other hand, colors that are too light may create a boring look. Try adding a soft gold color to the paint, which will add glamour to your space.

There's little doubt that fabric plays a major role in romantic design. In fact, luxurious fabrics are really the hallmark of romantic décor. Silks, brocades, taffetas and plush fabrics are absolutely the way to go for your drapery and upholstery. Always remember that the goal is to excite the senses with soft textures, rich fabrics and high-pile carpet. The more plush the better with this kind of design.

And when it comes to choosing furniture, graceful elegant curves are certainly the best way to go, along with darkly stained woods such as mahogany. But, if you're concerned that the lines are just too soft and feminine, then you can always choose to use more masculine type fabrics and still achieve a romantic look. For example, a highly styled sofa or a sexy chaise with beautifully shaped legs can work to great advantage upholstered in a fabric that appears neither masculine nor feminine, such as a striped pattern.

Personalizing a space with family photos in beautiful frames and mixed in with other dazzling accessories is de rigueur and will go far in helping to create that special mood. Gold colored items work very well for bringing it all together in a romantic way.

Fresh flowers with their wonderful aromas are great for a romantic setting along with scented candles, which some consider even better than soft lighting. If fresh flowers are too expensive, then you can always turn to potpourri . Use good scents for a truly romantic aura; avoid anything too overpowering.

In fact, nothing over the top should ever be considered. Too much red or too many big pillows or plants could actually "kill the golden goose" and take your room from romantic to tacky. Less is more when striving to create a romantic feeling. It's much better to go for the subtle hint of sexy that makes a room romantic rather than brash and tawdry. Too much of anything usually makes for a space full of distractions and very little serenity, so it's always a good idea to remove as much clutter and unused items as possible.

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