With Valentine’s Day in February, thoughts turn to romance, and there is no better place for a love story than at home. We all know about romantic poetry, romantic novels, romantic movies and romantic music, but what makes a home feel romantic?
In recognition of Valentine’s Day in February, Hooker Furniture’s bloggers will be writing about romantic home décor throughout the month. Several masters of home furnishings design will be sharing exciting ideas about the kinds of decorative accessories, color schemes, fabric choices, textures and styles that come together to create a blend of comfort, meaning and beauty that exudes romance. As we will see, romantic homes rise far above the clichés of roses and candlelight or lace and frills.
“Living with what you love is the very essence of a romantic lifestyle,” says Nancy Lindemeyer, who as the founding editor of the iconic Victoria magazine, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on all things romantic. As I spoke with several of the product designers at Hooker Furniture, I began to understand that romantic décor is more of a feeling than a look. Romantic homes are nurturing, charming and graceful and filled with things that are meaningful to you and your family. “Romantic homes are lovingly edited and put together in a way that makes you feel good and that exudes your personal style,” said Tracey Gibson, the designer of Hooker Furniture’s very romantic Sanctuary Collection .
Without question, there are certain styles, shapes, colors and motifs that can help you create that lovin’ feeling at home. Our designer blogger Wanda Horton of Interior Concepts in Charlotte, N.C. (who was just selected as a regular contributor for Williams-Sonoma’s Designer Marketplace blog, by the way), will even be sharing online mood boards from Pinterest and Olioboard to illustrate the elements of a romantic bedroom and dining room.
Here are a few more ideas of the kinds of decorative elements that create romance in key categories of home furnishings:
Decorative Accessories and lighting.
- When it comes to decorative elements, nothing can replace flowers in romantic décor, especially fresh flowers that give the essence of life, fragrance and beauty. Flowers also bring the charm of an English Garden vibe, one of the most recognizable romantic themes in the world. While roses are the classic flower of romance, hydrangeas are the up and coming romantic floral choice.
- Lighting is also very important to create a romantic ambience. Lighting should never come from above you, but rather around you. This gives your rooms a more subtle and soft feeling and is easy on the eyes. Lighting should not be too bright, but rather a serene contrast to the glaring lights of the marketplace out in the cold, cruel world. Using lamps and candles will give you this soft and glowing feel.
- Accessories and wall art that tell a story or have some intrinsic family value, like beautiful sterling frames with lovely family photos or treasured antique items from your grandparents, create a nurturing home filled with love. Word art on walls, fabrics and furniture infuses meaning into your décor, which is the very essence of a romantic home.
The Inspiration script chest may be the ultimate in romantic furniture because it is covered in word art written in French –surely the most romantic of languages. The words are adjectives you might use to describe your personal style, descriptions such as “pretty,” “whimsical,” “bold” and “exuberant.”
- Design motifs. Motifs with history are your best bet here…particularly design motifs from classical Greek and Roman cultures such as serpentine scrolls, the timeless acanthus leaf or the intriguing fleur de lis motif.
- Scale and Shape Curves, curves and more curves in chairs, credenzas and chests give a sensuality and romance to any room, as well as a passionate attitude.
- Fabrics, textures and patterns. Layers of comfort and softness is the rule in fabrics, while intricacy and tactile interest is the romantic rule of thumb in textures and patterns. Use fabrics that are soft to the touch such as silks and velvets, and naturals such as linens and cottons. Rugs that are soft to walk on also make your home feel more comfortable and inviting. Intricate, lacy patterns are intriguing and delightful. Crusty and worn textures on lamps, pottery or accent tables hint of a story of long, long ago and far, far away.