Last year for Valentine’s Day (our first Valentine’s as home owners) I put together a sweet, romantic dinner for two here at home. I LOVE creating themed tablescapes so today I’m sharing 8 ways to create a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner for two! I had to create last year’s Valentine’s Day tablescape with things we already had on hand because we are just starting out and I haven’t yet collected all the things seasoned home owners have. I’m enjoying this phase though- the putting a life together piece by piece (on a budget) and making due with what we have. I thought it would be fun to show you what I put together from my little treasure hunt through the house. This is one of my first tablescapes and the photos are not that crisp because they were taken with my cell phone at night, but you’ll get the idea. Maybe it will inspire you to throw something special together for that special someone out of stuff you have lying around .
8 Ways to Create a Romantic Valentine’s Dinner for Two:
- Work with what you have (you don’t have to break the bank). Pull out the fine flatware, china, goblets or any fancy stuff you may have stored away. If you haven’t accumulated hand me down items like this as I have, you could check flea markets and garage sales for a few inexpensive or vintage items.
- An elegant tablecloth or table runner always pulls a look together. If you don’t have one lying around, you can find them nicely priced at stores like Kohl’s or Kmart. Get creative! You could also use burlap or a plain white or red fabric ( one time I even used a clean white bedsheet for a makeshift tablecloth).
- Candlelight, candlelight, candlelight!!! Candlelight instantly makes any space look more elegant, romantic and expensive. Hunt around your home for candleholders or even empty glasses, jars, containers, etc that you could put floating candles or tealights in. Clear glass, frosted glass and red glass look nice with this red&white decor I did.
- Red battery powered candles add a romantic glow. Amazon has a set of 4 scented ones at Amazon for $24 (click candle photo below for link).
- Don’t forget a centerpiece to pull the look together! Fresh flowers or any artificial flower arrangements look nice. If you don’t have those on hand you could fill a clear bowl with red, white or silver Christmas balls. There are so many things you could use for a centerpiece. Just look around the house and see what little treasures you can find!
- Intimate Seating. Place chairs side by side so you can sit cozy instead of across the table from each other (especially if you have a tall centerpiece in the middle like I did).
- A nice extra touch is to place a gift for your Valentine next to their place setting. If you’re on a tight budget a handmade card is nice! (click HERE for yesterday’s article on budget friendly gift ideas). As you will see in some of the photos, I placed a little heart shaped box of chocolates by his plate and I also made some fudge brownies that I arranged on a heart shaped plate.
- Mood music. I usually play something instrumental in the background so it isn’t too distracting for conversation. My personal favorite is Kenny G’s “I’m in the Mood for Love”. To see a list of all the songs or buy one, you can click the photos below and you’ll be taken to Amazon. (the CD is only $7 currently!) :
I don’t really have much Valentine’s decor and I don’t own too many red things yet. What I did was recycle a few red items from my Christmas decor. All of the table items were hand me downs, gifts, or things I re-purposed. In case you want to know more details on my treasure hunt through the house…
- The white plates were left here from the previous home owners. I found those in the cupboard and washed them up. They are just plain white plastic plates (disposable ones I would guess), but since I was going for a red and white look Matt’s mismatched dishes from bachelorhood (which have a southwestern pattern) would work. That would look pretty awful, so plastic it was!
- The flowers in the center of the table were my Valentine’s gift from Matt last year. I came over to that surprise waiting for me on the table and felt all special and stuff. They were all done in red and white flowers with a spray of red hearts mixed in so it worked perfectly with the decor. (not to mention the fragrance of roses and eucalyptus from the bouquet really made dinner special)
- The two crystal wine goblets were house warming gifts from my best friend Becky. The pattern has now been discontinued, but if you want to find them on ebay they are the “Florale” pattern by Mikasa. The stem and base is very unique (like an artsy interpretation of a flower) and I love them! (more photos below)
- The flatware (which you can see better in other photos below) was a housewarming gift from Mom. They are from “Horchow” (part of the Neiman Marcus group). The pattern is called “baroque”. You can get it HERE (it also comes in goldtone and it happens to be 50% off right now).
- The red candles were a Christmas gift and they came from Costco (you can get them from Amazon in the link I provided above).
- The table runner is one of the few brand new items I bought for our first Christmas as home owners. Since it was Winter themed and not tooo Christmas like it worked. The table runner has red berries and sparkle in it and I got it on sale for like $10-11 at Kohl’s. They aren’t available right now, but they tend to bring this pattern back each Christmas (by St. Nicholas Square)
- The ivory cloth napkins are also from Kohl’s. They’re called the “Food Network Cord Napkins” and I really like the fabric. You can see them HERE.
- The clear glass candles on the table I recycled. They came filled with wax but once the candles burned down, I cleaned them, kept them, and now I use them for tealight holders. You can do this with any glass candle containers. Light reflects nicely off the clear glass and having different shapes and sizes of them lit all around a room really looks cool.
- The Red heart shaped plate came from Avon (I used to sell it so I have lots of random Avon decor stored here).
As far as the food goes- I always cook him something special that he loves. Last year I made roast beef with gravy, baked mac & cheese and bread (on a side note I decided not to slave in the kitchen all day like usual, so to treat myself a little too I ordered dinner from Schwan’s. All I had to do was heat it!) . Rose wine was poured in the goblets and it looked so pretty on the table.
Here’s a shot of the table decor with the lights out (because dining by candlelight is the romantic way to go )-
Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day! I hope this inspired you to create something magical for your man (or lady). A Valentine’s post for the single people (about self love and celebrating you) is coming up tomorrow!
Until then- Keep living inspired,