Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, yet many of us will be searching for ways to celebrate at home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. This sparked the creative juices of the team at Pamela Hope Designs so we’re sharing our tips for a Valentine’s Day celebration spent at home that’s worth remembering.
1). Plan an exciting, romantic meal of your favorite cuisine. If both of you enjoy playing chef, make the meal preparation part of the date. In advance, decide on your menu, order or pick up the needed ingredients and agree on the time. If any menu items require a lengthy preparation or cook time, determine which parts could be done earlier. Planning like this allows you to better enjoy the cook time together by not cramming too many steps into your allotted date night.
Don’t like cooking? Call your favorite restaurant to place an order to go or for delivery. (You can also check online menus in advance during a pre-holiday get-together.) This is a great way to support local businesses that may be struggling during COVID-19. Not only are you likely to enjoy your meal, but cleanup will also be a breeze.
2). Do the kitchen and dining areas need sprucing up? Put away all dishes not currently being used and definitely wash any needing to be washed. Get rid of the clutter that somehow ends up in the kitchen. File papers and receipts. Hang up jackets and store purses in a safe spot. Stow the digital devices for the night. Wipe down countertops and your kitchen or dining room table. Tidy cooking and eating spaces to make it easier to navigate and enjoy the time together.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I love fabric napkins. While they feel luxurious, they don’t have to be expensive. Perhaps you have red napkins from Christmas? Pull those back out to add color to your meal area. Alternatively, use a red tablecloth and use white or black napkins for accents.
Think of other red, pink or white items that could be assembled to make a festive centerpiece. Candles and flowers are easy accents. I often curate a “sweet” collection of crystal candlestick holders and vases and heart-shaped dishes piled with Valentine’s Day candy. You can also get imaginative by planning an appetizer that’s red or pink that can be cleverly displayed as part of your table décor. For instance, strawberries, red bell peppers with a dip or tomato and basil bruschetta make great eye candy for Valentine’s Day. Also see “Menu: A Red and Pink Valentine’s Fête” from Saveur, pictured at the top of this page.
3). Consider the drinks to feature for Valentine’s Day. Depending on your entrée, red wine and rosé are natural choices and look great in wine glasses. If you’re looking for something about more imaginative, check out these 15 concoctions from The Spruce Eats. Of course, some Valentines will prefer a non-alcoholic beverage. A sparkling water or warm cappuccino with a side of chocolate and raspberry is a fun offering. Do you have fancy glassware or red coffee mugs to serve the sips in? Think about how you can use what you already have at home to add the extra polish to your drinkware.
4). Set the mood with music you both enjoy. Whether that means playing your favorite artist on iTunes or creating a romantic playlist on Amazon Music, Pandora or Spotify, don’t forget that sounds also contribute to a room’s positive vibe. Upbeat dance music could be fun for meal preparation. Slow, soft tunes with a love theme during mealtime allow you to enjoy the conversation. The right music adds a great touch.
5). Delicious desserts are a good thing to remember on Valentine’s Day. Valentine chocolates that mix well with red wine are a popular choice. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and Red Velvet cake may be your special one’s favorite and can definitely add a punch of red to your dining area. As for me, I have my eye on this recipe for Prosecco Grapes, similar to what we serve for Independence Day weekend. Yes, please!
6). After your Valentine’s meal, spend time together with your mobile devices turned off or at least put aside. In our constantly connected world, it’s important to dedicate time to our loved one and not respond to every ring and bing of our phones. This unplugged time presents opportunities to connect with each other on a personal level. Share memories of favorite dates together or, especially good for newer couples, talk about ideas for future dates or trips together. This also builds excitement for upcoming together time, even during the pandemic.
Other ideas for spending Valentine’s Day at home with your loved one include:
- Cuddle up with soft blankets to watch a love-themed flick or re-watch videos from your wedding day.
- Write each other a note of gratitude, noting all the things you appreciate about each other. This not only makes your loved one feel good, but it’s also a reminder of the many reasons you’re lucky to have this person in your life.
- Game night redefined: Pull out an old game of Twister and test your flexibility with your Valentine. Don’t be surprised by the laughter that ensues. Not a Twister fan? Check out Good Housekeeping’s list of “17 Best Board Games for Adults Who Like to Party.”
7). Even an inexpensive gift that’s ordered online sends your Valentine the message that he/she is still #1 in your book. I love the love-themed gift ideas from Pottery Barn from the Faux Fur Ruched Throws ($79; I’d love one in champagne blush!) to the Alphabet Mango Wood Cheese & Charcuterie Board ($29.50), these heartfelt gifts are decorative and loving.
8). Remember: Valentine’s Day is about loving yourself, too. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, this is a great day to spoil yourself. The day before Valentine’s Day, clean the house and run your errands so that on the actual holiday, you can spend some time on you. There’s no reason to run yourself ragged when a little planning goes a long way. Then, splurge with a relaxing bubble bath and some extra tender loving care (TLC) for yourself.
If you found this blog post interesting, you may also enjoy reading “Set the Mood: How to Design a Romantic Bedroom”.