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Home decorating with an air of romance


Decorating for romance is as much about making a personal statement as it is hearts and flowers, according to Nancy Lindemeyer, editor of Victoria, arguably the most romantic magazine on the marketplace.

"Romance is how you put things together, how you think about it, the meaning it has," she said. "Just like a house is a home if you put your heart and soul into it."

Just as there are no hard-and-fast rules about decorating your home, there are no specific how-tos for creating romance in it. Still, there are a wealth of ideas for bringing a little romance into almost every room of the house, and some tips from Ms. Lindemeyer may make your home a little richer.

*Bedroom. Bedrooms are easy. Four-poster beds with canopies or swathed in fabrics, and lace curtains are romantic. So are dressing tables, vanities and bed trays.

SG *Living room. Take the notion of parlor and impose it on the living

room. Use a chair that belonged to somebody important in your family. Mix a small table that was inherited or a flea-market find with a wonderful, comfortable sofa. Use fabrics that are soft and blend together, in whatever style you like.

Be careful with your selection of colors. It's hard to have a romantic environment with a shrill color. Color can be rich and deep, but not loud.

Add a footstool, lots of plants, a side table, butler's table, candles. Display any collections, small or massive, that you have. Create a picture table with family photos. Use anything that makes a living room a wonderful, private place.

*Dining room. This is a formal room by nature and also a romantic place. It might be where you display your silver, where your linens are in a cupboard or chest. Chandeliers are romantic.

*Library, home office. A handsome library table or desk is a wonderful place to keep pretty writing paper, a beautiful address book, favorite small volumes. A skirted table might hold a nice water carafe and glass, tea cups or mugs. Serving tea is charming and romantic because it suggests ceremony. It's an occasion. Certainly, mood lighting and a comfy, cozy chair to read in are romantic.

*Kitchen. You might have a cupboard that has some of your better things on display -- glasses, dishes or collectibles, even food that is beautifully packaged. Line or edge your shelves with paper lace. Lighting is very important. Utility rooms such as kitchens can be lit not only for function but also for softness and mood. A reader once wrote, "May I use a Battenberg lace cloth in my kitchen?" You certainly may. Feel free to bring in things that are personal, like an apron hanging on the side of a door, a rack or garden hats.

*Bathroom. Put your towels in a great basket. Display pretty toiletries and soaps. Use a soft striped or floral wallpaper. Hang a robe and perhaps an old-fashioned dress on a hall tree. The bathroom is a great place to mass all sorts of art, photographs and collectibles. Bathrooms actually can be very romantic places.

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