February triggers an expectation of romance, but the focus is often on temporary romance - roses, candles, bubble baths and champagne. While those things are lovely, why not set up a home that encourages long-term romance, the kind that can last a lifetime? What are the key ingredients in a romantic home, and how can you bring them into your space and relationship?
1. Create adult-focused areas
We all hear about kid-friendly rooms, but these days it seems the whole home is not only kid-friendly, but kid dominated. How romantic is it to cuddle when surrounded by Barney dinosaurs and stepping on stale cheerios? While it is important to have an inclusive, loving family, it is also important not only to have spaces where you can be grown ups and individuals, but also to teach the kids that there are times and places for different things, and that it is not, in fact, all about them. They will grow up to be better balanced, more empathetic adults.
2. Balance masculine and feminine energy
"Romantic" often brings to mind classically feminine associations - pink, ruffled, layered, soft, light, etc - but masculine energy is every bit as important as feminine in creating romance 365 days a year. For long-lasting romance, try to keep a balance in each room. Pair soft curves in a crystal lamp with strong lines on a deep wood end table. Pair a fluffy white duvet on the bed with a rich, clean-lined frame and headboard. Install rustic, reclaimed hardwood floors and top with an inviting white velvet armchair. A full life honors both sides of our male-female energies, and a balance, romantic home does the same.
3. Control the lighting
Always give thought to the lighting in your home, especially in the bedroom, but also in the living room, dining room, and bathroom. Have layers of light (ceiling light for overall light, table and floor lamps for mood and task lighting) and put as many of them on dimmers as you can. Dim lighting can mask clutter, create a flattering glow, invite a desire to linger, and set a mood for slowing down and spending much-needed time together.
Bedroom Before & After: A Romantic Makeover
Romance can be part of your life 365 days a year. That feeling of being present, being aware, lingering, can be created whether you are enjoying a cup of coffee on your own by a fire, or snuggling with a partner on a lazy morning in bed. Take time this month to eliminate things in your home that hinder romance (clutter, sheets leftover from an old relationship) and bring in what you need to feel at home (soft lighting, fresh bedding, a kid-free zone). Then lower the lights, pour a glass of wine, and love being home.