10 Tips for a More Romantic Week

10 Tips for a More Romantic Week

It’s Valentine’s Week! Are you setting a more romantic ambience around your home? If you have little people, romance can sometimes (OK, oftentimes!) be a challenge.  While our own kids-in-diapers-days are long over at our house, we are entering into the teen years with our son and my husband and I are both really busy throughout the week, so trust me when I say that no matter what stage of life you are in, creating romance has to be a priority! It’s all about the mindset and setting the right ambience.

Here are ten tips for a more romantic ambience at home:

Set a pretty table

Are you eating dinner on plastic or otherwise ugly plates? Or, heaven forbid, eating in front of the TV every night? Bring out the pretty dishes and set the table this week! No need for fancy china, I collect lots of white plates from discount stores like HomeGoods and TJ Maxx. Make your table romantic with pretty table settings and a couple of candles — it is a simple thing to do but it sets the tone for a romantic evening.

Bring home flowers

Stop in a grocery store or florist for some affordable carnations or tulips or other pretty flowers and create a few small bouquets in the bedroom and bathroom. I find affordable flowers at Costco and Trader Joes!

Tidy up the bedroom & bathroom

If the laundry piled up on the bed during the day, or the kids flung their pull-ups or undies across the floor, or if your cereal bowl is still on the bathroom counter, take just a few moments to freshen things up. Seeing unsightly reminders of your long day will kill the romantic ambience pretty quickly.

End the day earlier

If you tend to be tired in the evenings, do as your grandparents probably did and try having “supper” instead of dinner. Meaning, eat earlier if you can! The earlier you can eat and clean up, the more time you have in the evening to enjoy relaxation. And adjust the kids bedtime if you can pull that off! It is nice to have a couple of child-free hours in the evenings.

Another tip my husband and I used to use when our kids were young was to feed the kids separately once in awhile. Then we’d put them to bed and have our own dinner together, just like having a dinner date at home!

Freshen up the scent

If your house smells like leftover fish tacos after dinner, air things out! Spray some perfume here and there or use a diffuser for essential oils (here is where I got my diffuser and my oils come from here) to freshen up the house. Or bake something yummy for dessert!

Turn on the mood lighting

As the daylight starts to fade, turn down the bright lights in the house, too. Use lamps instead of overhead lighting. Once the kids have gone to bed, light candles to lend a pretty glow to end tables.

Light a fire

If you have a fireplace, use it! We have a gas fireplace so it is easy to flip on a switch for instant warmth and ambience. If building a fire is impractical or you have a nonworking fireplace or no fireplace at all, set up a bunch of candles to give off light and sparkle. This tip works best if your little ones are already in bed, as a safety precaution!

Get creative

Are you turning into an old married couple with a predictable evening routine? Gulp. If you usually clean up after dinner, put the kids to bed and then watch TV the rest of the night, try mixing up the routine by playing a board game next to the fireplace or reading out loud to each other curled up on the couch. Or, re-read your love letters or re-live your memories of your early dating days. At first you might think it sounds corny or forced, or you might think your old routine is pretty comfortable, but routines can get a little dull! And dull is not very romantic.

Music to your ears

Instead of flipping on the TV every evening to fill the silence, try some more romantic background music instead.

Attitude check

By the end of the day, I am usually really tired. I work hard right up until the end of the day. Not only do I need to end my day earlier, but I need to shift my thinking from work and housekeeping to setting a romantic tone — both around the house and in my attitude.

What’s one thing you could do this week to create a more romantic home?

Pillow Sources (from back to front)

1. Anthropologie

2. Williams-Sonoma Home

3. Made from an Antique Grain Sack

4. West Elm

Master Bedroom Update {The Year of the Cabinet}

Bedroom Decorating - Navy White and Gold - The Inspired Room

Hello! Last year my main home goals for 2014 involved taking a good look around the house and figuring out where I could ramp up the storage and style. One thing I’ve always felt I could use more of in my life is cabinets and dressers. Not because I wanted to store more stuff, but because I really wanted to simplify life, and being more organized with our everyday things was one of my main goals. I had some dressers and cabinets, but I felt it was time to up the game and identify what was working, what wasn’t, and make changes accordingly as I was able.

Gold Dresser Nighstand- Bedroom Decorating - The Inspired Room

While I’m always on the lookout at second hand stores for what we need, sometimes I just don’t find what I want. Usually that’s because I have specific needs in size or depth, but it’s also because I really don’t like to get dressers in particular if they are hard to open.

I don’t know about you but adding frustration to life isn’t something that really interests me, so I’m pretty mindful of what I add to my home these days. It has to add something special, serve a purpose, look pretty and be functional.

Bedroom Decorating - Navy Gold and White - The Inspired Room

After looking forever for a nightstand/dresser for our bedroom, I finally saw something online that would work for us at Joss and Main (and I had a bunch of credits to use so it was a great deal)! It was the right depth for our space and a good width to use the space we had. Plus, I loved the unexpected pattern and gold finish on it. I took a risk and kept my fingers crossed that it would be as pretty in real life as I imagined it would be!

White Navy and Gold Bedroom Decorating - The Inspired Room

And I wasn’t disappointed! It weighed a TON so we didn’t get it upstairs for a really long time (honestly it was getting embarrassing how long it was sitting at the bottom of our staircase, haha) but once it finally arrived at its destination in our room, I was so happy! It has very shallow drawers that don’t open far at all, but it works fine for our purposes. By the way, I just checked and it’s still available at Joss & Main, it’s called the Grace Chest.

The Inspired Room - Antique cabinet bedroom display

I love how the gold in the dresser ties in the gold from the antique chinoiserie cabinet on the wall opposite of the dresser. This cabinet was in our living room and entry in our earlier days in this house, before we moved it upstairs. It’s a family heirloom–my grandparents brought it back from Thailand many years ago. I love having such a treasure in my home and all the memories of it being in my grandparents’ home so many years ago.

Navy and White Bedroom Decorating - The Inspired Room

I haven’t yet figured out exactly what I want on the left side of our bed, but this little console is doing the job just fine for now. It used to be just a solid color but in a moment of craftiness with a tube of Rub n’ Buff, I gave it a little gold detail, just to class it up a bit.

Navy Gold and White - Master Bedroom Design

So, little by little in 2014 I made my way around the house improving small corners with style and lots of function! I’ve started to call 2014 “The Year of the Cabinet”. :) I didn’t get as far as I had planned in my mind, but…I also didn’t know I was going to sign a contract to write three books over a twelve month period (plus five more after that, heh heh) when I considered my goals for the year, so I guess I can give myself a little mercy! It was a productive year and I’m pleased with the progress.

Bedroom - Jack the Goldendoodle and Lily the Australian Labradoodle

For those of you wondering right now how I have a white duvet cover and two dogs, the truth is that I don’t put it on the bed when the dogs might be muddy. The duvet gets folded on the other side of the room and we just use an easy to wash blanket during the day, just in case of muddy dog calamity. Nobody’s got time for that.

Jack and Lily - Goldendoodle and Labradoodle- The Inspired Room

So how did you all do last year, 2014, on accomplishing your goals around the house? Even if it was a slow year on the home front, it’s a new year so I hope you’ll take a little time to set even just a few goals for this year. Don’t forget to download your Home Goals worksheet, it might help you to zero in on a few things you want to do! Next Tuesday I’ll share mine for 2015 so I hope you’ll come back and have a few to share with us!


(some affiliate links and many were purchased awhile back and may be sold out!)

Paint colors can be found here!

Gold dresser/nightstand – Grace Chest

Duvet cover

Cable knit throw blanket

Bedside lamps – HomeGoods

Mirror above bed – HomeGoods

Curtains – (Slate Green Velvet, appears to be sold out currently)

Navy euro shams in the back – Anthropologie (40% off sale items now!)

Euro shams (in the front) – Williams Sonoma

Sweater pillow – West Elm (similar here)

Long pillow is made from an antique grain sack

Love sign

Fall House Tour {Part Two}

Fall Decorating - Nature

Hello! Welcome! HAPPY FIRST DAY OF FALL! OH MY GOODNESS! How amazing is that. I mean, honestly. I wore BOOTS last night. BOOTS! Fall lovers UNITE. RIGHT? I’m so glad you are here! Come on in, you can keep your boots on if you want, or kick ’em off and make yourself at home. We are casual around here but that doesn’t stop me from getting all excited about Fall nesting and making things all cozy and pretty this time of year.

Fall Home Tours

If you feel like it’s a deja vu to be invited into my Fall house tour it’s because, well, it is. :) And not just because I invite you all in every Fall, but you were invited in for a fall tour last week. This week I’m joining up with the lovely hostess White Buffalo Styling blog tour to invite ya’ll in for a few MORE peeks of the rooms as they are so far this season. So, welcome!

If you are just joining in the tour today from the last stop on the tour yesterday, Rain on a Tin Roof, WELCOME!

Fall decorating ideas - console table and pinecone jar lamps

I’ve been wanting to try filling my glass HomeGoods lights with seasonal decor ever since I got them. And I finally told myself, self, this is the week to try it. So I got out my stash of pinecones and cinnamon sticks and filled the glass. Now check out how awesome they look! They warmed up the glass and just look so Fallish!

Seasonally Filled Jar Lamp - Fall Pinecones

I’m so excited about these lamps. Imagine the possibilities? I did a post with some great ideas for glass lamps like this awhile back so now watch out world, I’ll be changing these all the time now. It’s like crafting for people who have no crafting skills! You have no idea how much simple ideas like this mean to me. Hahaha.

One of the things I’ve been pondering lately is how much I have enjoyed bringing in traditional Fall colors like browns and a few pops of rusty reds, greens and even some maroons. With mostly neutral rooms and decor it’s easy to just try new colors and go with my seasonal whims. And if my whims want greens and rusty reds mixed in with the grays and blues, my whims win out and I just do it. It’s fun.

Simple Fall Mantel - The Inspired Room

I showed you the mantel in the last tour, but here’s a close up. I am so happy with the Restoration Hardware mirror, it’s just a nice focal point there on the fireplace so I can add a few seasonal touches around it and that’s really all it needs. I just don’t get too fussy when it comes to decor, so it’s nice to have the basic structure of a mirror there to anchor the design.

Cozy Fall Blankets

One thing I love about preparing my house for Fall is making things all cozy especially with BLANKETS. I always thought it would be fun to have a big cabinet filled to the brim with beautiful blankets. You know, like in a store when you see an amazing antique armoire or something piled high with beautiful Dash & Albert blankets? That’s my dream. But, I don’t have that. I have three Target blankets on a small shelf. You gotta start the dream somewhere. You better believe when it gets a little chillier I’ll be snuggled up under one of these.

Fall in the kitchen

In the kitchen I’m already thinking about how much I enjoy delicious hot breakfasts like oatmeal (I love putting cinnamon, brown sugar and walnuts on mine on a cold morning). I also start feeling more domestic and enjoy Fall baking (you can see a fun guide here that I put together for eBay of some of my favorite Fall baking items). I also love styling my open shelves (you can see my kitchen shelves here).

Kitchen Sink and Fall Bouquet- The Inspired Room

That blue and white vase we got at the Goodwill has been filled with Fall flowers for a few weeks now. I just keep going out in the yard and cutting things! This weekend I picked up some pretty Fall flowers at Trader Joes. Fresh seasonal flowers and natural decor really speak to me so much more than anything I could make myself. Just seeing a little plant or bouquet as I’m passing through a room makes me ridiculously happy.

Memorable gatherings

I don’t even mind that it starts getting darker earlier because, CANDLES!!! Tell me candles are not one of the best things about this time of year! (The tray and pumpkins are from LoveFeast. If you missed the $200 shopping giveaway for LoveFeast yesterday, go enter!). By the way, the glass lanterns are from Mary and Martha (I’ll be having a Fall giveaway for a few fun things from them, too, soon!).

Fall Bedroom Decorating = The Inspired Room

It’s time for the sweater pillows and cable knit blankets to cozy up the nest. You can see a couple of other views of my bedroom in my last Fall tour.

Cozy Fall Entry Decorating

And now we are in the entry, just about to the end of what I have to show you for the second part of my Fall tour! My fiddle leaf is still growing and happy…I’m pleased to report.

I’m still excited about my 21 Days of Loving Fall series. I’ve only shared one day so far but fear not and stay tuned for all 21 days over the next couple of months. I’m just going to be sharing the little things that make me embrace Fall and love every minute of it.

Simple Fall Entry - The Inspired Room

Thanks for coming by! Please stop by the next love Fall home tour today…my friend Beth from Home Stories A to Z!


*Don’t forget to visit part one of my Fall Home Tour!

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