Date night at home is inexpensive and convenient, especially when you have kids. The problem for many of us is that we’ve spent a LOT of time at home lately with our partners, so creating a romantic mood and lighting that spark can be a little more difficult.
Getting the mood right – transforming your home from living space/home office/homeschool into a romantic escape is all about creating the right atmosphere.
The key to creating the perfect romantic atmosphere at home is to appeal to each of the five senses: cater to the sense of touch by making your space cosy, incorporate romantic lighting and alluring scents, set the tone with music, and serve enticing foods.
By choosing the right things to stimulate each sense, you can transform your home into a romantic sanctuary. But there’s also one thing that can make or break your hard-laid plans if you forget it, and that’s your ‘sixth’ sense. Your ‘vibe’ will affect the atmosphere, so use the strategies below to get that right too.
Appealing to the sense of sight to create a romantic ambience
There’s nothing less romance than gazing across the table towards your loved one, only to have your gaze land on the pile of ironing that needs doing or the kid’s toys all over the floor. That brings things down to reality quick-smart!
So the first step to creating a romantic ambience is to tidy up and make your chosen space distraction-free and one you enjoy being in. If that means shoving the mess in a cupboard to deal with later, that’s ok.
The second, timeless tip is to dim the lights in the room and use soft lighting in a way that’s flattering. Candles offer a warm glow, fairy lights give a whimsical touch but even just a small lamp can improve the atmosphere of a room compared to the harsh overhead lights.
Finally, flowers play a double role in that they provide decoration to the room and, if you choose the right ones, they can also provide fragrance, appealing to the sense of smell.
Romantic Scents to Set the Right Mood
Nothing invokes our emotions and memories like scent. A subtle whiff of that certain fragrance can immediately transport us to another time and place. Using the right fragrance can be a powerful way to create the mood you want.
The ideal fragrance is one that is meaningful to you and your partner and one you both enjoy. It might come from the food you cook, the wine you sip, the perfume you wear, flowers or scented candles in the room.
My favourite way to use scent to set the mood is with aromatherapy. A diffuser with your favourite oils will permeate the room with fragrance. You can then use the same fragrance to recreate a similar mood on subsequent date nights.
When it comes to using essential oils, it’s always best to choose the ones you and your partner enjoy the most. But if you’re looking for inspiration, the following oils are considered to enhance romance:
- clary sage
- orange oil
I like essential oil blends because all the mixing has been done for you and you only need one bottle. EcoModern’s Romance Blend includes ylang-ylang, patchouli, Peru Balsam and Lime oil. Other blends to consider are their Sensuality Blend, Paris Blend, or for something a little more woodsy and smokey, their Casablanca Blend.
Music plays several roles when it comes to setting the scene.
The first is the most important and the most underestimated: music covers up the conversation and creates some privacy so that the kids don’t hear every word you say. It’s hard to have an intimate conversation when you know one or more sets of ears are tuned into everything you say.
Music also sets the mood, so choose the music to match the mood you’re trying to create.
Are you creating a sensual mood? Then soft jazz or ballads might be the best choice in music.
Or do you want to create a more fun kind of date night that involves games and laughs. A more lively playlist may be a better choice.
Create a Romantic ‘Feel’ At Home
When it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere, the sense of touch plays a key role in the form of TEMPERATURE and TEXTURE.
A romantic ambience is a cosy one – one where you’re not too cold or too hot.
If have a fireplace then it can do double-duty – getting the temperature and lighting right. Alternatively, crank up the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
If date night is in summer, then you may need to do the opposite and turn the temperature right down. Forget germs, I don’t want to be within 1.5 meters of another person’s body heat during summer.
However, the heat lends itself perfectly for a bit of backyard dining. Lighting, scent, good food, soft music, can all apply outdoors as well as inside. Just be sure to bring the mozzie spray to because mosquito bites are not the type of ‘touch’ we’re going for here.
TEXTURE is important too. Consider a fluffy blanket to snuggle under or some soft cushions on a picnic rug or a diaphanous dress or satin sheets. We live through our senses, so use texture to create a sensual experience.
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”-Alan D. Wolfelt
Any food is romantic if it is a favourite dish, lovingly prepared or if it’s food that recreates a past date that you’ve both enjoyed. A food that you don’t get to enjoy often – say a meal that you enjoy but don’t eat because of the kids – can be a good choice.
But some foods will always be considered ‘romantic’. Here are some ideas:
- cheese platter
- charcutier board
Sharing foods that you eat with your hands, from a cheese platter for instance, maybe on a picnic rug in the yard, creates an intimate and sensual dining experience that’s a little bit different from the regular weeknight meal.
Don’t forget your ‘sixth’ sense
I’m taking a liberty with the meaning of sixth sense here – what I mean is your ‘vibe’ or your emotional headspace. All the candles and soft music in the world won’t help if you or your partner is tired and stressed, anxious or angry.
So if you want to enjoy a romantic date night at home, then it’s important to time it wisely when both of you are more likely to be relaxed, and take the time to unwind a bit beforehand.
A warm bath and some deep breathing exercises can work wonders. So too can dressing up in something that makes you feel attractive. It can feel like overkill when you’re just staying at home, but dressing up can do wonders for your mood.
Setting the right mood might also mean agreeing not to talk about certain topics on date night: work stress, kids, money worries etc. Our partner is often the person we unload all our troubles onto but date night will be more enjoyable if you both stick to more pleasant topics of conversation.
If you find that there’s not much left to talk about – which can especially be true lately with working from home and lockdowns – watching a movie together can be an enjoyable diversion and give you something to discuss afterwards.
Regular date nights are important for keeping the romance alive. At-home date nights are convenient and less expensive than going out, especially if you have kids. And with lockdowns and restrictions, going out may not be even possible – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy date night at home. The key is to inject a little romance by creating the right atmosphere through the senses.