January is a fortnight behind us and I could say that not everyone is in celebratory mood because right after the month of wallet blues was over, children started presenting shopping lists and fees slips.
God must have seen it all to connive with St. Valentine’s to drop a day where lovers can let their hair and shoulders down in the name of love. Tonight cosy corners in many hangouts will be occupied as lovers take it slow as they share some sweet words across dinner tables, holding hands and receiving and taking pecks or kisses.
Restaurants, coffee shops and hotels are inviting but for a change, you can put heads together, as lovebirds, and create a feeling that could make this Valentine’s Day memorable, or different, for a change.
Ever heard the saying that no bed is as good as your own? Well, your home, as a whole, might never get any less. David Kizito, an interior designer and consultant with El-Shaddhai Interiors, explains that this is the day when loved ones should enjoy a romantic ambiance.
And in creating it, colours, lighting, decoration and easy accessories should be factored in. “We can pick an inspiration from roses, and bunnies since these have always dominated Valentines. We can focus on two or three spaces; the living room, bedroom and corridor,” he advises.
The corridor as the main connector and the porch where memories and emotions are triggered can be given an extra eye or attention. And Bashir Masembe, an interior designer with Nomaro Wallpapers & Interiors, says these ideas should not stretch your imagination or financial reach.
“There are ideas that fall within the Do It Yourself (DIY) projects since they are concepts that one can put together by themselves, for example using scented candles of romantic colours to light up the spaces. This does not only make a room cosy but one can use them in a creative way,” he explains.
He says that you can choose to arrange the candles in a shape of a heart or alternatively arrange them to have the initials of your special person as one way of surprising them and setting the mood.
If you choose to use candles then Kizito advises that one needs to be keen when choosing lights too. “You would not want to have these brilliant LED lights beaming like sun rays because they trigger emotions of aggressiveness. Scented candles rested on flower sprinkled surfaces will be applied,” he explains.
In effect, as the scent fills the air, the dim light brings in restfulness, mystery and imagination and certainly an initial step to a lovey-dovey evening and night.
Kizito adds that the lights have to be arranged in a rhythmic pattern that allows movement throughout the room and also ensure that the movement leads you to exactly those objects that you want to attract your partners’ eye.
The candle could dot the way to an expensive wine bottle, gift hamper or to a bathtub, shower or Jacuzzi littered with red flower petals.
The exterior should be part of your plan and Alexandra-Natalia Irimia of Simple Design Home explains that you can still use part of your Christmas decoration in pimping up your gardens or veranda.
“For the garden, some simple Christmas lights are very nice. Also add a few paper bags filled halfway with sand and put a candle inside. These can be used on the table or hanged somewhere. It is a cheap idea that can work all around the garden or at the entrance door or patio/ terrace,” she explains.
Another affordable idea she points out is use of balloons in white and red colours.
With a marker, you can write your feelings on top and hang the balloons around the dining area or where you will have your dinner.
Irimia adds: “A nice red tablecloth, white plates, super cute and big glasses of wine, a bottle of red wine and leaves from red, white and pink rosses will also set the mood,”
So, it might not take much, in terms of resources but putting your creative juices to some good, or should I say, romantic use. Think of something that can change your homely ambience for once, at least for tonight as you rekindle or simply celebrate your love.
It may be just the two of you, but that’s no excuse not to pull all the stops when it comes to setting the scene. If you have got it, this is the perfect time to bring out that wedding china and crystal, even if the evening’s menu includes takeout:
• Flowers. Skip the big centerpiece, which can get in the way of holding hands across the table, and go for a single flower on each plate.
• Involve children. Set the table, strike up the slow jams, and enjoy a cozy meal together (children included) by candlelight. Little touches such as a ribbon napkin ring and a full suite of flatware and glassware will distinguish this dinner from your average weeknight meal. Place cards are also the perfect predinner project for the children.
• Paper flowers. For a fresh take on the traditional Valentine’s blooms, try paper flowers. Their saturated color and feathery texture create a vibrant ever-blooming garden on your table.