Home styling can do a lot for your home, we like to describe it as setting the tone for your living space. Even the most barebones living space, when styled correctly, can add joy, texture, tone, to how you live. So, how to best use this feature of home decor to create a romantic space? Romance is such a personal thing, what one person may find romantic, another might find gauche or, as the kids might say, cringe. That being said, in decor, there’s a few sure-fire ways to make your living space seem warmer, sweeter, more romantic.
#10 - Lighting
Now, some of you may be thinking that we always tend to always emphasise the importance of lighting in our lists, and that may be true, but it’s for good reason! Lighting is absolutely foundational whether you’re trying to create a romantic getaway, professional workplace, or just a nice place to live! You want an environment that’s softly lit, but not dim. Consider lighting your room using several soft lights as opposed to one large light. This can be achieved using candles, lamps, fairy lights, any small light source that can be used in bulk!
#9 - Presentation
Okay, so when we say presentation we actually mean cleanliness and neatness. Clutter or any perceived hygiene deficiencies can hugely distract from a romantic evening. Fundamentally it leaves the viewer with the knowledge that after this lovely evening is over, they’re going to have to clean up, which, to most people, is the least romantic sentiment imaginable. So, a vital part of styling your room for romance is just making sure the place looks relaxing and inviting.
#8 - Colours
Another fundamental for long-time readers, and again, we have quite a good reason. A large portion of modern design is predicated on Colour Theory, which dictates that our moods are subtly, but genuinely influenced by the colours of our environments.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to break out the plastic sheeting and paintbrush (if anything, we beg you to not bring out plastic sheeting near your partner, especially not if they’ve seen CSI). You can drastically alter the colour of any location through decor quite easily, by changing your pillowcases to the colour of your choice.
We strongly recommend you take at least a couple minutes to demo the colour you’re utilising in the lighting of your choice. Nothing is worse than creating a colour scheme for a room, only for your choice of lighting to discolour your romantic getaway.
Red - Now, we’ve given Red its own small, mini-section because of its prevalence as the modern era’s romantic colour of choice. Now, we’re as much a fan of red as anyone, but this warm and vibrant colour of passion still needs a little bit of finesse to use properly.
Firstly, Red is quite a strong colour, and can easily overpower the other colours in a room and become overwhelming. So we recommend using it sparingly, in pops of colour such as an accent wall if possible, if not, then through contrasting red centrepieces and pillowcases.
If red doesn’t interest you as a colour at all, perhaps consider pink. Softer, sweeter, but every bit as romantic and powerful. Just as with red, pink is best used with restraint.
#7 - Contrasts
Now, this is just a basic design precept. Contrasts bring life and vibrancy to rooms, draw attention to show-stopping, specific centrepieces, and generally make rooms seem more full, not in the cluttered way, but in a design sense.
So, this can be used in romantic settings to, for lack of a better term, spice up the room. Whether you’re drawing attention to a specific romantic centrepiece, or if you’re just making the place look nicer. This ties in quite well with our prior point, a lot of colours contrast with Red quite well, with white, blue, and black standing out in particular. Fundamentally you want a colour that will effectively ‘cool’ what is quite a powerful, warm colour.
One thing we’ve always emphasised, and long-time readers of our blog were probably expecting, is that contrasts don’t necessarily have to be colour. That’s right, the materials and textures you utilise in a room can be used to create contrast. This is somewhat simpler, gloss against matte background, fabrics against mahogany, the combinations are largely endless! This is best used to help a certain item or centrepiece stand out in its room.
#6 - Warmth
This is a difficult one to describe, we’re not exclusively referring to the physical sensation of warmth (though, yes, it should go without saying you shouldn’t skimp out on the heating if you’re trying to sweep someone off their feet.)
What we’re referring to here is warmth in the interior design sense. Romantic rooms tend to utilise warm colours, warm lighting and emphasise comfort.
So, warm colours are typically brown, red, or orange shades, warm lighting is soft lighting with tints of warm colour to it, and comfort is emphasised typically through a lot of comfortable textiles and fabrics. Consider utilising wall blankets, fairy lights with an orange tint, or interior decor ornaments with warm colouration.
#5 - Sheets and Pillowcases
Sheets and pillowcases constitute a huge part of your living space. Sofas and beds are often the focal points of their respective rooms, and for good reason! You don’t need to change the entire design, or layout of your room to provide a romantic impression, but a touch even as simple as utilising new sheets and pillowcases, chosen for this romantic occasion, can make a world of difference! Surprising your partner with a decor item of their choice as practical, and potentially as aesthetically pleasing as a set of bedsheets can be a seriously positive thing, and go a long way towards creating a romantic atmosphere.
#4 - Sounds and Aroma
Now, this one is very self-explanatory, and we’ve covered it somewhat in our emails (which you should sign up for, if you haven’t already). A part of transforming a room will be engaging all the senses. So, while we’re typically more focussed on visual decor, and this falls under the vague, all-encompassing remit of “ambiance”, we still believe that it's worth including and noting!
Now, the scents and sounds you’re setting out here should be subtle, and preferably those your partner likes. There’s no need to blast your room with industrial amounts of vanilla extract, but lighting a few subtle candles should more than do the trick.
Candles - This leads us into a small tangent regarding candles. If you’ve read our prior article, you’ll know that we’ve mentioned warm lighting, general warmth, and lots of soft, small sources of light as opposed to one harsh light source.
So, naturally, candles are a wonderful means of providing much of what this list describes. However, we can’t mention this without some gentle safety reminders! House or apartment fires are among the least romantic things possible, and if you’re using a lot of textiles, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with fire safety before striking a match!
#3 - Flowers and Accessories
Now, this one is more or less to be expected. Flowers and accessories are a staple of romantic settings, from fragrant bouquets to sparkling crystal centrepieces. If you want to create an ensemble of romantic decor that’s fine, but not every display has to be a bed of roses! The romantic aesthetic is best left uncluttered.
#2 - Fabrics & Soft Spaces
So, we’ve been somewhat alluding to this all list, but one of the most important aspects of your archetypal romantic space is the appearance of softness. Romantic spaces are comfortable, as well as gorgeous to look at, so be sure to make use of soft textiles and fabrics! Now, it’s to your own personal taste how much fabric you utilise, but a good rule of thumb is something soft for each large hard surface, walls excluded. This will just help provide the appearance of softness, without meaning you have to go overboard and clutter your house with textiles.
Softness could be added through utilising rugs, wall blankets, pillows, or tablecloths. Tablecloths in particular are associated with romantic dinners because of how they blend convenience, but also add a touch of softness and fabric to an otherwise hard, utilitarian table surface. Make sure you invest in good material, however. Your fabrics don’t have to be egyptian cotton, but if they have a coarse, fraying, or tissue-like surface, you’re not likely to impress anyone.
#1 - Art and References
Now, this is a very niche recommendation, and much more involved than some of our prior tips. However, if you’re truly invested in creating a unique, romantic space for your partner, we’d sincerely recommend using art, posters, or items inspired by or directly from their favourite pieces of media. This, of course, can be a hit or miss thing. A tasteful mosaic from your partner’s favourite artist? Could sweep anyone off their feet. A bunch of star wars posters? Perhaps not. But regardless, it’s worth incorporating your partner’s interests into your decor. After all, what’s more romantic than knowing your partner supports and engages with your interests?