Do a DIY date night in

Cushions from HomesenseThe economic downturn means more of us are staying in more often, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have romantic evenings. Staying in is the new going out so put the spark back into your home on Valentine’s Day or on your anniversary with these DIY date night tips from HomeSense.

1. Give your living room the VIP treatment. Layer up the sofa with cushions and throws and create the perfect “snug” for a home screening of your favorite movie. Use table and floor lamps to create soft atmospheric lighting.

2. Dress your dining table to impress. Keep table centrepieces low so as not to obscure the view across the table. A collection of vases with single stems arranged on a tray makes an ideal table centrepiece. It can be easily removed before the meal is served, maximising table space.

3. Have fun with crockery and glassware and don’t be afraid to mix and match. The key to a successful table is to layer up your crockery. Look for unusual one-off pieces to accent your day-to-day white china. A patterned or colourful side plate and some show stopping glassware will add that extra special touch to the place setting.

4. Bring some romance to the table by filling champagne flutes with pretty foil wrapped chocolates. Write a little love note and wrap it around a napkin tying with ribbon.

5. Print out a copy of the menu and place in a decorative frame on the table for that five star dining experience in your own home.

6. Take inspiration from top restaurants and look for upholstered dining chairs that are comfortable and inviting for guests. Upholstered chairs instantly create a smart and sophisticated setting.

7. Don’t forget the lighting. A statement chandelier or a group of three pendant shades hung centrally over the table will “wow” your special guest upon arrival. Table lamps, lanterns and candles will provide additional mood lighting for added ambience.

8. Create a boutique hotel feel in your own home. Make the bed the focal point of the room by dressing it symmetrically. Choose smart white linen, layered with throws and pairs of cushions, look for luxurious textures such as silk and faux fur. If you have the space use two side tables with a pair of striking table laps arranged symmetrically either side of the bed for added hotel chic.

9. Spoil your loved one with Breakfast in bed. Lay a tray with a bud vase and fresh bloom a pot of tea and coffee and plate of pastries.

10. Create personalised gifts for your valentine. A framed photo; an album of happy memories or a lantern with a little tag attached saying “you light up my life”. If you’re opting for the more traditional approach of flowers think about a beautiful vase to display them in. That way you have a gift that will last long after the blooms have faded.

Interiors Stylist and Blogger Marie Nichols says, “With chilly weather and financial pressures, the modern home is fast becoming the focus of our social lives. An intimate dinner for two; a party with friends or a cosy movie night, and you don’t even need to step foot outside your own front door.”

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