With Valentines Day around the corner, and seeing as we all have no choice but to stay home and eat in this year, I thought I’d share a few simple tips to make your table look just as good as any restaurant. Because if there’s one thing we’ve all learnt in the last year, it’s that things really can be just as special at home (although I absolutely can’t wait for someone else to cook me a meal when the time comes!).
I must admit we’re not normally much of a Valentines celebrating couple, my husband and I. We celebrate all the biggies – anniversaries and wedding dates and the day we met. But Valentines has always just been a – maybe let’s cook a nice meal shall we? – kind of event. So I guess from that point of view nothing much has changed this year, but with the world as it is at the moment, there’s certainly no harm in spreading a little extra love, and like almost every occasion since last March, I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to make it extra special. Because, really, there’s very little else going on is there?
So, if you’re feeling the same way then why not dig out everything pink you own, get the fizz chilling and read on to see how you can make your table that little bit fancy.
Tips for Styling your Valentines Table Setting
1. Avoid the cliché’s
Ok ok, I know I’m at risk of losing you already with this one, because Valentines, by nature, is all about those cliche’s. But this is really the first tip for any table setting. For me styling a table is about creating something simple (with items you probably already own and can use over and over) and versatile (that you can adapt and recreate for other occasions or holidays). And this means not making it overly ‘themed’. Although this is for Valentines, it doesn’t need to include red (controversial I know), roses, or love hearts. It can be classy and stylish and simply nod to the date you’re celebrating, and that way in a month or two when Easter rolls around, your same tablecloth and glasses can be used but you can just switch up the flowers and place settings.
Obviously if you love the clichés, then by all means go for it, but this more subtle approach which will hopefully allow you to add your own spin and adapt as needs be for each holiday.
2. Pick a starting point
Just like in fashion, where you might start with the new pair of shoes you really want to wear and build the rest of the outfit from there, it helps to pick your key piece and style everything around that.
It might begin with your tablecloth, or maybe that bunch of flowers you’ve been given, or even a sweet little keepsake you have. For me, this year it was these gorgeously soft and romantic Ranunculus flowers which came in a Spring bouquet. They were so soft and subtle that they set the tone – I then wanted to opt for soft pink shades and lots of feminine, romantic details. But whatever it is for you, try and think about the feel of it – is it bright and bold, is it whimsical and magical, is it glam and glitzy, or is it sweet and feminine? Then you can begin adding more pieces to complete the look.
3. Choose versatile items
Ideally you just want to raid your cupboard and pull out things you already own, but if you have decided to buy anything new think about its versatility – especially when it comes to a once a year occasion like Valentines. While a bright red, heart adorned tablecloth probably won’t get much use other than on this date once a year, a soft pink linen tablecloth could very easily be brought out for Easter, birthday parties and even Christmas (I styled my Christmas table this year with pink and green). I always love a gingham check at this time of year – there’s something very fun and cheery about it – and a gingham tablecloth or napkins would look great for both Valentines and Easter.
4. Opt for Seasonal Flowers
I know I’m always banging on about seasonal flowers these days, but honestly, the easiest way to nod to the time of year without having to buy a lot of new tableware, is to switch up your flowers for the occasion.
Roses are, of course, the tradition for Valentines, but again I’m going to go against the grain here and say that you’ll get much more styling potential with other, less traditional, Valentines blooms. There are lots of very pretty and romantic flowers in season in February, all of which have different colour options to suit your style and will make your table look super special.
A few seasonal flowers to consider this Valentines which are all oh so beautiful are; tulips, hyancinth, anemones (they smell gorgeous too), ranunculus (my favourites – a softer more delicate option than a rose), Freesia, Gypsophelia, Magnolia and Violets.
5. Pull out anything with a romantic detail
If you own anything with a scalloped edge, something adorned with sweet flowers or polkadots, or any piece that screams romance to you – this is the occasion to use it.
Little romantic details like these will quickly change your setting from a nice, classy evening dinner to a Valentines dinner. Rose tinted champagne coups will look great over regular champagne flutes, pink candles instead of cream, gold cutlery over silver, scalloped edge side plates and delicate embroidered napkins – you get the idea.
From there its just a case of lighting all the candles for a romantic mood, filling the table with sweet posies of flowers, chilling the (pink naturally) fizz, getting your favourite dress on and cooking something lovely (or you know, getting an M&S dine in for two deal which is probably what we’ll be doing).
However you spend your day, whether loved up or single, I hope you make some time for self love too!