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Interior Design: Put some romance into your home

How can you create a romantic interior without it looking chintzy or cheesy? Vicky Sanderson advises a balance between your own style and traditional design

In the build-up to Valentine’s Day, heart accessories, flower prints and pink hues all feature strongly in homeware departments – but is this what defines romantic interior design?

In short, no. But they can play their part. It’s good to subtly add these kinds of accessories into your living space as a nod to the time of the year (see my suggestions below). According to Laurel & Wolf, however , at its heart (sorry), romantic interior design is all about appealing to the senses and creating a space that’s warm, welcoming and timeless.

So how can you create a romantic interior without it looking like a cross between Barbie’s Dreamhouse and a chintzy mess? Aim for a balance of your own style while blending elements of traditional and French Neoclassical designs.

Colour – Forget about oppressive heavy fabrics, dark reds and garish gold fixtures. Begin by creating a soft colour palette starting with neutral walls. Look for paints with ‘hints’ of colour that will complement your furniture and home accessories and give a sense of calm to yourself and guests alike. Natural materials like marble and wood can feature highly in romantic interiors, both in a practical sense – think hallway flooring and bathroom surfaces – but also in room accessories, such as shelving, lamp bases and candle holders.

Lighting – Keep in mind that this look is about appealing to your senses, so consider this when choosing your lighting. Candles, fairy lights and cotton ball lights will create a cosy but contemporary look to a living room or bedroom. Shabby-chic cream lamps can be a charming addition to an entranceway, and dimmer lights are ideal for dining spaces as they can alter a room’s feel depending on the occasion. Jewelled light fittings can also add a sense of Parisian glamour to a room.

Furniture – It’s all about the curves when it comes to romantic interiors. Soft linen chesterfield sofas, round tables, wingback chairs and circular footstools all make for a relaxed and romantic feel.

Fabrics – Texture, texture, texture… Treat your feet to sumptuously shaggy rugs by your favourite armchair or bedside. Layer up sheer voiles with your existing curtains or wrap them loosely around your curtain rail for a truly dreamy feel in the bedroom. You might not want your whole interior to look like Louis XIV’s private chambers, but an occasional chair upholstered in a muted-coloured velvet can add a subtle touch of romantic charm to any room. Not forgetting bed linen; natural cotton sheets, a velvet headboard, quilted blankets and a carefully selected satin throw cushion or two tick all the boxes when it comes to a romantically styled place to lay your head.

Accessories – The beauty of creating a romantic style is that it’s easy to apply an element of it to any interior base, simply by accessorising cleverly. Fragrant floral arrangements in decorative vases, a distressed gilded mirror and jewelled door knobs can all appeal to the senses. Similarly, artwork – either portraiture or nature-inspired – can sit beautifully on a neutral wall.

So, whether you’re going ‘all out’ when it comes to your romantic interior , or simply fancy softening the look of a certain room, hopefully these ideas have served to tickle your fancy.

Scent of the month

Lavender & Bergamot by Hudson Home

After a hectic festive season, unwind and restore energy with the scent of classic lavender teamed with subtle elements of uplifting citrusy bergamot. Think of a Provencal garden at the height of summer , relaxing and timeless. Hand-poured in England from 100 per cent natural wax, Hudson Home’s candles are beautifully presented in jars reminiscent of what you might find in a natural apothecary, finished with pearlescent labelling.

Available from: (www.hudsonhome.co.uk) £12.50. Candle burn time about 36 hours.

Five of the best… Valentine’s Day-inspired home accessories

1) Dunelm Embossed Heart Pink Faux Fur Throw £20 (www.dunelm.com)

2) Baa Stool Calon Wlân Cushion in Ivory £50 (www.baastool.co.uk)

3) Emma Bridgewater Personalised Pink Hearts Medium Vase From £30.95 (www.emmabridgewater.co.uk)

4) John Lewis & Partners Personalised Heart Slate £30 (www.johnlewis.com)

5) The White Company Heart Fairy Lights £12 (www.thewhitecompany.com)

Find out more Pinterest: (www.pinterest.co.uk)

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