Spice Things Up At Home For Valentine's Day
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Bring Sexy Back1 of 11
By Martine Bury
To make your home a more inviting and alluring place, consider a few senses: smell, sight and, most importantly, touch. Choose big, comfy furniture, feel-me fabrics, come-hither scents, and dimmed lights. Most importantly, don't overthink it. Here are ten tips to help you keep it simple—and sensual.
Red Alert2 of 11
From Valentino dresses to Louboutin soles, there is an amazing energy to the color red. It quickens the pulse and revs the metabolism. The fabulous Ferrari shade is a signature for New York–based decorator Milly de Cabrol, who recommends it for accent pieces "like a plush arm chair, a great painting or an area rug. Red can be combined with myriad colors—mustard, emerald green, orange and royal blue."
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Night Light3 of 11
Skip recessed, overhead lighting and opt for ethereal pendants, table lamps and sconces that glow. Moll Anderson, author of The Seductive Home, suggests investing in one special feature: "dimmer switch, dimmer switch, dimmer switch. Lighting is extremely important in every room. I even use them in my laundry room, which transforms into the perfect coat room during a party!"
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Eternal Flame4 of 11
In addition to lamps and dimmer switches, nothing sets the mood like the flicker of candlelight. Keep votives, pillars and tapers on hand, as well as a mix of glass hurricanes and vintage candelabras to set the scene.
Soft Touch5 of 11
Cozy, delicious fabrics feel good on the skin and can look luxurious. Seek out pillows and throws in cashmere, silk velvet and faux fur in comforting colors such as brown, gray, cream and honey.
Fantasy Island6 of 11
One piece of large-scale furniture can inspire a romantic retreat in a master or guest bedroom. Create fantasy, perhaps, with a canopy bed.
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Lair of Love7 of 11
Adorn the most important room in the house with decadent bedding and the best mattress you can afford. "Find sheets that feel good to you," says Anderson. "Then layer textural elements on your bed with throws and pillows." In the morning, add coffee, served up in bed, liberally.
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Your Nose Knows8 of 11
Romance, appetite and scent are intimately linked. Vanilla, rose geranium, ylang-ylang, bergamot, clove and jasmine are known aphrodisiacs. "Men and women are turned on by lavender, so it's a good choice all around." says Amy Reiley, author of Romancing the Stove. "Pick one note and keep the rest of your candles unscented," she adds.
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Musical Chairs9 of 11
Dining in spontaneous spaces adds a sense of lightness and an element of surprise. Utilize that large coffee table or set things up on the balcony. Or get creative by incorporating dining tables into unexpected rooms. "There is nothing preventing you from moving a table for two into the master bedroom," says Anderson.
Toast of the Town10 of 11
Keep a good, inexpensive red wine in the house and glasses at the ready on a nearby table or makeshift bar. It sets the tone for great conversations and provides a warm welcome for guests. Even if you've been working all day, time out for a sip and chat with your honey adds sweetness to a casual evening at home.
Natural Instinct11 of 11
To set an amorous scene, forget about starched tablecloths and busy decor. "I love bare wooden surfaces topped with simple glass vases filled with garden clippings," says Reiley. "Sensuality is largely an animal instinct, so keep things natural and emphasize nature's beauty."
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