ROMANTIC DECORATING
                                   (Western Morning News 16-2-02)

With Valentine’s Day just recently passed it is a great time for romance and Spring in
particular enjoys a romantic place in our hearts. In the garden early camellias have
blossomed, snowdrops and daffodils are emerging, and there is a scent in the air that
heralds a new season.

Bring the great outdoors inside and fill your home with the heady scent of freshly cut
blooms. Arrange a mass of flower heads together in a single container and avoid
spreading the flowers too thinly. It is a time to connect with our romantic side and explore
how to echo these sentiments in the interior decoration of our homes.

With the general trend for people to spend more and more time at home – whether in a
work capacity or simply staying in and enjoying your home, comfort is an all-important
criteria. Create a calm and relaxed interior that is both tactile and easy to live with. Soft
colours are the key – chalky whites, silky pinks, soft aqua, soothing lilac and the like.
Choosing a selection of sumptuous fabrics may be your starting point. Create rich layers
with wool, chenille, linen, taffeta and sheer. A softly printed floral linen print of faded roses
may be a starting point. Build on the hues in the print and add in other patterns such as
stripes, herringbones and smaller prints.

The style of curtaining and use of fabric at the windows can set a certain romantic tone.
This treatment will need to incorporate a voile of some kind, either as the sole curtaining
where privacy and blackout are not required, or as a secondary curtain to the main fabric.
The voile gives plenty of opportunity to use romantic fabrics such as organza, muslin, lace
or delicately embroidered sheers. For a stand alone sheer curtain consider using a slightly
heavier weight of fabric such as a wool sheer – lilac, oatmeal, soft green or cream will
bolster a delicate scheme. Such a fabric is particularly suitable for large expanses of
glazing or for a series of windows where a solid fabric could overpower your room.

Adding delicate trimmings to a curtain treatment will embellish and reinforce the romantic
theme. Whether beaded, tasselled, buttoned or frilled, the impact will be worth the effort.
Mix matt and shiny trimmings with your choice of curtain and voile.

Introduce an ethnic flavour if desired, with the inclusion of saris. Bright, colourful and often
sparkling, they may combine well with silk as an eye-catching pelmet or as a throw, over
the back of a sofa. The bedroom will of course offer the perfect canvas for some romantic
decorating with the bed itself the most obvious three dimensional piece. Use satin, moiré
or taffeta as a wonderfully light covering on the bed that will shimmer and glow in both
natural and artificial light. Add luxurious down filled French pillows with a variety of smaller
beaded examples.

Bedside tables and dressing tables should sparkle. Scatter them with evocotive
accessories of glass, mirror and silver. Choose wall light and chandelier fittings that drip
with clear and coloured glass droplets hung from delicately arranged arms.
Finally, fill your home with heady scent. Arrange large bowls of lavender or rose petals,
burn several incense sticks plunged into shallow bowls of fine sand. Sport sumptuous
scented candles at all times, perhaps mixed as floating candles in amongst camellia flower
heads. This is a time to indulge your feminine side and create a little sophisticated
romance in your home.


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