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Romantic Ambience


Since Valentine’s day is just a couple of weeks away, and my personal goal for the month is to create more ambience in my home, I wanted to start off the month talking a little bit about ROMANCE at home. Are you blushing or cringing?

If you are at all like me, the busyness of life with kids, housework, jobs, carpools, and pets can take a bit of the romance out of living. Those fairytale ideals we had as teenagers of how romantic life would be once we were married give way pretty quickly to endless diapers, dust bunnies and sinks full of dirty dishes.

I can easily get lost in the day to day challenges of just keeping my home going. The last thought on my mind (sadly, more often than I would like to admit) is setting the mood for romance. For me, creating ambience is critical to a romantic mood in the home. Not just in the bedroom, but throughout the house.

Here are a few tips I use (or intend to use this month!) for creating ambience and setting a more romantic tone around our home in the evenings. I know my husband will be happy to read this post! {blush}

*Use the pretty dishes
(yes, it matters)

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. I buy a lot of shades of white plates at Homegoods or TJ Maxx. I don’t worry breaking them, there are plenty of them. They don’t all match and that is OK. They always look so pretty at the dinner table. Make your dinner table romantic with pretty plates and a couple of candles — it is a simple thing to do and sets the tone for a romantic evening.

*Freshen 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.

Romantic Ambience

Coastal Living
*End the day earlier

If you tend to be tired in the evenings (aren’t we all once we get to be “our age”) do as your grandparents probably did and start 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. I could get them fed before my husband even got home. Then, after the kids had a little time with daddy, we’d put them to bed and have our own dinner together, just like having a dinner date at home!


If your house smells like leftover fish tacos after dinner, air things out! Turn on your diffuser with some uplifting essential oils! Or bake something yummy to override the offending odor!

*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 now have a gas fireplace so it is easier 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 the little kids 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 dull. And dull is NOT romantic.

Romantic Ambience

House Beautiful
*Music to your ears

Instead of flipping on the TV every evening to fill the silence, fire up your ipod or stereo with some more romantic background tunes.

*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. I don’t want to make the house all pretty and romantic and then ruin the ambience by my attitude!


  1. Jennifer Valerie

    Awesome article. I’m gonna write up a post about this and link back to your site for my readers to read the rest of it. I need to work on some of these very things myself.

    Jennifer Valeries inspiring blog post..Great Finds Week!

  2. Kristen

    These are such wonderful, simple ideas. I know I DEFINITELY still fall in the newlywed category (our first anniversary is coming up in a couple months!). But with both of us working now and Hubby working late, late hours for the past few weeks, we could use a little romance in our home this month. Thanks for the encouragement to pay attention to the ambiance of my home this month.

    Kristens inspiring blog post..Splurging

  3. edie wadsworth

    Great ideas Melissa…if I read Goodnight Moon to him, does that count?

    edie wadsworths inspiring blog post..Kosher Marshmallows and The Prodigal’s Return

  4. Traci

    I have the twinkle lights in my bedroom over the window….the kind that have the mini-chinese lanterns on them….really adds to the romance department. Also, a candle sconce over the bed…or beside the bed, hanging on the wall. Great post!!!

    Tracis inspiring blog post..A New Old Music Group

  5. Astrid

    Great ideas!

    I think I’ll try feeding my girlies and putting them to bed earlier. Better for them and better for me!

    Astrids inspiring blog post..Hooked on::Bird Watching

  6. Vee

    If we follow all these suggestions, we’ll be well on our way. I would further add that if the tv gets turned off and a good book is added that it can make a huge difference. Reading the same thing together allows so much discussion to take place. Talking with one another about ideas is good…very, very good.

    Vees inspiring blog post..Nonni Day

  7. Lindsay

    I definitely need to end my day earlier and adjust my attitude. Well, I need to do all of the things you mentioned, but I think these two would help immensely. I spend so much time caring for my son, our house, and myself (it took me almost 3 years to get “Lindsay” back once she became “Mama,” so yeah, I focus on me a lot), that I do neglect my DH. :(

  8. gina

    I am currently house hunting and have had my heart set on aquiring a set of white dishware for my new kitchen. I received a Homegoods gift card for Christmas from my sister and am going there this Friday- my heart just skipped a beat when I read your little tip about several shades of white plates. I wasn’t even thinking that white didn’t have to be a matching set- but now I’m LOVING that idea. Thank you so much!!

    ginas inspiring blog post..Interest piqued

  9. Shannan

    I love this post! I know most of us can probably use the reminder to make time for a little romance in our lives. I’m loving the idea of eating separately every now and then. Our kids go to bed early and easily – so this would be super easy for us to do! Not sure why I never thought of it…but I guess that’s why I have you!

    Shannans inspiring blog post..The Final Straw.

  10. beth daggett

    Great tips! We already do things like have dinner early. We generally eat at 4 o clock. And we also usually have the kids in bed by 7. But then of course, we turn the television on and veg out watching HGTV all evening. Definitely NOT romantic. Time to turn that TV off and turn some nice quiet music on! :)

  11. teresa

    I was just thinking today that I needed to step up my game a little :}
    We are in that “Older” no kids at home routine-
    Thanks for giving me some ideas- just wonderful… as usual :}
    Happy Day

    teresas inspiring blog post..Happy Birthday Payton-

  12. songbirdtiff

    Thanks for these tips. I think already do a lot, but I also believe there are something I can improve. The old married couple? Ouch. :)

    One thing I do is set my bedroom apart from the rest of the house decorating-wise. My house is pretty bright and airy, but the bedroom is dark. I have taupe walls, and chocolate brown curtains. It’s a room made for relaxing, and not tasks. It’s so dark, I can close the curtains and sleep during the day. Wonderful.

    Come over and leave a comment on my give away post!

    songbirdtiffs inspiring blog post..Give it Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

  13. Kimm at Reinvented

    Thanks so much for the ideas. These are very doable, yet will bring about great change! And I kind of need that in the romance department…

    Kimm at Reinventeds inspiring blog post..Saturday Shout-Outs

  14. Mrs. Q

    So, right now in thinking about romantic ambience, I am cringing…

    My bedroom is severely lacking in that department. I keep it picked up and clutter free, which is all my husband asks of me, but it doesn’t speak romance to me. I need to find out what I am missing and what my heart is longing for. And then recreate that on a shoestring budget. I’ve got my work cut out for me!

    Mrs. Qs inspiring blog post..Crime and Punishment

  15. PamperingBeki

    Beautiful ideas Melissa! Really beautiful.

  16. Sandy

    We end almost every night in the hot tub. Our room is … a little chaotic at times (my office is in the room), but really – our relationship and how we spend time together, talk to each other, create *time* for each other out-weighs it all. Same w/the dishes. Our conversation around the table is the KEY. When the mood around the table is not good, even w/the prettiest setting – it’s all in vain. I think I have a post here! hee hee.
    I love your inspiration though, to be creative and keep things fresh. I just know too many people who focus on *that* and they are lacking in the real/relationship department!
    SOooooo looking forward to Thursday! Woo Hoo!

    Sandys inspiring blog post..No-Flour Barney Butter Cookies – & Giveaway!

  17. Loralee - No Fuss Fabulous

    I just loved this post. I love a romantic house and it really does just take a little thought and effort. Thank you for the wonderful ideas!
    Happy Love Month!

    Loralee – No Fuss Fabulouss inspiring blog post..Read My Heart Valentine

  18. Laurie Ann

    Great tips! I wrote a post on marriage one night and Satan seemed to invade our home the next. Youch. These came at just the right time for me.

    Also, I just wanted to stop in and say congratulations for being one of the Internet Cafe’s Top 100 Christian Women’s Blogs of 2008! Your blog truly does bless!

  19. anne

    Great post Melissa….Our bedroom is my haven always tidy it and smells devine, we nearly always eat at the table…and last night we lit the fire.
    In fact I do a lot of the above, must be the hubby thats wrong :-) :-) :-)

    annes inspiring blog post..A start to our Walking….

  20. Kirsty

    Thank you so much, you inspired my own post for today (and I linked to you too). I really enjoy your blog!

    Kirstys inspiring blog post..Romancing the ordinary…

  21. jane

    wow! did i need this message. not for tidying up, since we are emptynesters, but for breaking the routine! best wishes to you on keeping things romantic! jkj

  22. Michelle

    What a nice post for today! I have definately fell victim to the mommy routines, and am usually exhausted by the end of the day. It’s always nice to be reminded to slow down and break out the candles and soft music!! Thanks!

  23. Misti

    Very petty pictures, and we all probably need this post! My husband works out of town now, and the other night I still had my shoes on at 11:30! Cleaning the cat box, taking out trash, making coffee for morning… my list never stops! I really need to adjust things around the sports schedules in my life so that I can relax with or without the husband. Hmmm… Not sure if that came out right… you know what I mean. Got to get in a little TV time (and wine) before bed.

    Misti @ Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Looky what I got in the mail today…

  24. Alison Gibbs

    Fabulous post. There is definitely something in your post for evryone.
    Sometimes we forget about the time we need to spend with our husbands/partners – we have to make the time for each other.

    Alison Gibbss inspiring blog post..STILL HOT,HOT, HOT

  25. Lisa

    I thought I would stop by and say I give God the glory for what you’re doing in Christ being recognized on your blog in the Internet Cafe.

    God bless you as you keep your heart close to HIS.

  26. LuLu

    Great reminder, I need to do more of things you wrote about… I do feed the children at 5pm or they will snack endlessly then my husband and i eat when he gets home 6:30 or 7 pm.Thanks for sharing all these great tips.

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Open Shelving

  27. Shawn/Lifeatbuttercupfarm

    All of the little touches really do make a big difference. I do love to sit in the library with my cute husband and a glass of wine while dinner is in the oven or before we start dinner, to catch up on the day. I feel like we need those 15 minutes of time just “talking” to keep our relationship balanced and in touch (we send the kids to their playroom while we do this…it works most of them:-)

    Shawn/Lifeatbuttercupfarms inspiring blog post..Easy Gift Wrap

  28. Julie

    That’s a great goal you have, and great tips! Something my husband and I always do once a week is have a “date night”. We have two kids and we’re on a budget so normally these are at-home date nights. We put the kids to bed and have a “no laptop” rule. We usually watch a movie from netflix and cuddle. We always look forward to Tuesdays now.

    Julie @ Organizements inspiring blog post..Money-Saving Tips From the Helpful Hound

  29. Tara


    I think the best thing we did after New Year’s was to get to bed earlier…just that simple and it has made a big difference!

  30. Maven

    Great tips Melissa. I followed one this evening and had supper at 5:00. It gave us time to go for a nice long walk this evening.

    Mavens inspiring blog post..The Oprah Blog… or why I am *Over* weight

  31. Lori

    Great tips, and cute site.

    Loris inspiring blog post..A Basketball Player

  32. Nikki

    great ideas! Maybe one day I will acutally be married and be able to put them to good use! hehe :)

    Nikkis inspiring blog post..{Needing some Prayer}

  33. PrettyOrganized

    Great info lady. Here’s one of my little tips. I gave “US” a love letter journal. It sits next to our bed and whenever either of us feel like writing something fabulous about the other we jot it down. That way, when days are tough and the house smells more like burnt fish and piled up laundry, that book is there to remind us of how we feel about each other. I also try to write each night in a different journal (journal queen) on ways that God blessed our life that day. It’s nice to take time to really look at how God works in our family. 2 of my favorite Love ideas!

    Pretty Organizer

    PrettyOrganizeds inspiring blog post..The Ideal Homemaker

  34. My First Kitchen

    I’m one of those girls that doesn’t really get into romance, but my husband is one of those guys that does. I know, right? I guess I need to pick up the laundry in my bedroom.

    My First Kitchens inspiring blog post..The Easiest Roast Chicken

  35. Bonnie Mattson

    These ideas are so important no matter how long you have been married. As for me it has been almost 41 years and I still want a romantic {{Blush}} mood in my home and bedroom! Wonderful post, as usual, Melissa!

    Bonnie Mattsons inspiring blog post..Passionate About Houses

  36. Sarah aka Mamalotsoftots

    Thanks for the tips! It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Valentines day! Seems like just last week it was Christmas! ;)

    Thank you for your inspiration. ♥

    Sarah aka Mamalotsoftotss inspiring blog post..Goal keeping.

  37. kristin

    Great and very fun post to read – lots of good ideas, now I’m REALLY excited for Valentines Day!


    kristins inspiring blog post..A MUST read for everyone!

  38. Coline bettson

    thank you

    at 58, in a second marriage, I agree totally – we all need to have a sweet sanctuary – simple space, smells, fresh touches – no more expensive & much more tranquil – just give it some thoiught & build it up slowly, a day at a time.

  39. Bryan Ulatowski

    Love the separate dinner tip Melissa. If you are too busy to get the romantic touches, you can order a romantic room package from us. $20 off if you set it up at home, or we can coordinate with a hotel to do it for you – just visit

    Searching blogs like The Inspired Room is the first step to romance. Get creative, and enjoy!
    .-= Bryan Ulatowski´s last blog ..Accommodation Game Changers: The 14 Most Influential of this Decade =-.


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