What constitutes a romantic dinner? How can we create a swoony setting where we can indulge in a decadent meal and truly be present with our lover? These questions swirled in my mind last week as I began to think about Valentine’s Day. With the past year in mind, I am definitely craving something more intimate this year and a chance to celebrate my love.
It certainly doesn’t have to be fancy to be special but I wanted to see how I could elevate the experience at home. Devoid of inspiration, this swooner took to Pinterest. Upon entering “Valentine’s Day” in the search field, I was appalled by the cheesy images and ideas that flashed in front of me. I mean, I get the whole hearts and Cupid thing for starry-eyed teens, (and I might add that I saw plenty of that when my son had his first girlfriend), but for adults who have a more elevated aesthetic and palate, how exactly can we create an intimate spread at home?
As per usual, when I could not find precisely what I was looking for, I drew on disparate images and scribbled down concepts, then filtered them through my own vision. The end result is this dark and moody scene. I think the vibe evokes sensuality, just the tone I seek for a quiet Valentine’s Day dinner for two.
The design choices are simple, but with thoughtful execution. My overall objective was to evoke seduction. So rather than the typical candy colors, I began with deep, dark focal hues, expressed in the form of tonal grey table linens, black ceramics and flatware. Lighting is an important component as well, so I selected dim candlelight to play into the dusky ambiance.
Since the scape is for an intimate dinner, I erred on the side of understated. The setting is not too fussy with the florals—some winter branches counterbalance the moodier tones and a few saturated blooms are just enough to set the scene while offering the accent palette. And the setting all comes to life in the details. Rich wine toned velvet ribbon (just $9.95 for five yards) makes a sophisticated statement wrapped around each napkin, and completed with a wild sprig of greenery.