Formal Valentine's Day Decoration Ideas For The Dining Room

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Are you serving a special meal for Valentine's Day? Whether it will be a romantic meal for two, or a festive holiday banquet for a large group, Valentine's Day décor will enhance your dining room's holiday atmosphere.

Valentine's Day Colors, Themes and Textures

Working with classic Valentine's Day colors helps create a holiday mood for your dining room. A traditional Valentine's Day palette usually includes some or all of these colors:

  • Red
  • White
  • Pink

For a modern, formal twist, try using these specific colors:

Valentine's Day Centerpieces and Extra Touches

A homemade centerpiece and a few little extra touches really make your dining room table pop. You may want to try a few of these romantic table decorations:

  • Fresh flowers: Fragrant cut flowers bring romance to any table. Make yours special for Valentine's Day by choosing pink, red or white blossoms, arranging them in a color coordinated vase, or selecting a clear vase and coloring the water pink with food coloring.
  • Heart lollypops: These confections aren't just for kids. Enhance any floral arrangement with a heart lollypop, or create a table centerpiece by arranging a group of them in a tall glass or vase, tied with a ribbon.
  • Balloons: Tie red, pink, white or metallic helium balloons with ribbons, and tie the other end to candy kisses or flower arrangements to weigh them down.
  • Cloth heart tree: Create a unique table centerpiece by arranging bare twigs in a Styrofoam base and hanging red puffy cloth hearts from each "branch."
  • Red ball ornament candle centerpiece: On a decorative serving plate, arrange red ball ornaments of assorted sizes around a tall white candle or a cupid statue.
  • Candy heart centerpiece: Fill an attractive, clear vase with conversation hearts and foil covered chocolate candy hearts. Tie with a pretty ribbon if you'd like.
  • Hurricane lamps: Bring the romance of a bygone era to your dining room by creating a hurricane lamp centerpiece. Use a white hurricane lamp and place a red or white candle inside. Or display hurricane lamps on your buffet or sideboard.
  • Tall white or red candles: Arrange three tall candles at the center of your table on an elegant silver tray.

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Valentine's Day Dining Table Settings

A central attraction of Valentine's Day dining room design is the table setting. Here are a few ideas to help you dress up your table for this holiday:

  • Tablecloths: Try a red, white, black or hot pink tablecloth with a lacy or contrasting colored liner. If you do use black, be sure to add pops of red and/or pink to add enough of a Valentine’s Day influence to the décor style.
  • Coordinated napkins, plates and placemats: Choose Valentine’s Day solid colors or table linens with hearts, cupids or flower motifs.
  • Lace or crochet doilies: Arrange these under dishes, glasses or stemware for a soft, romantic look.
  • Red ribbons: Tie a red ribbon around the stem of a champagne glass, or wind red ribbons through the backs of dining chairs and tie in pretty bows. For a more risqué look, try tying the ribbons on chair backs in the pattern of a corset. Accent with a black bow on the bottom.
  • Table confetti: Sprinkle festive confetti with little hearts, flowers or champagne glasses over your table. You can also create your own table confetti with candy message hearts.
  • Valentine place cards: Stand reproductions of vintage Valentine's Day cards at each place setting with guests' names and perhaps a simple loving message.
  • Picture frame place cards: Set each place with a small, heart-shaped picture frame that you can fill with a soft, romantic picture of each guest or just write guests names on paper in calligraphy in each frame.

Valentine's Day Walls and Windows

Expand your Valentine's dining design by including the perimeter of your dining room. These ideas will get your windows into the holiday spirit:

  • Valentine's Day color coordinated or themed curtains
  • Delicate Valentine's Day window gels
  • Heart, cupid or floral stained-glass sun-catchers
  • Hand-done heart stencils.

Get your dining room walls in the holiday spirit by replacing your existing wall art with framed prints and paintings with romantic images of couples, hearts or flowers.

Creating a Mood with Light

Soft, romantic lighting is just right for Valentine's Day dining. Create this gentle lighting effect with:

  • Dimmers
  • Low-watt light bulbs
  • Natural candlelight
  • Red or pink light bulbs for your existing fixtures
  • Subtle strings of red or white decorative lights around windows or perimeter of room.

Enhancing the Atmosphere with Scent and Sound

Complete the dining room transformation with Valentine's day scents and sounds that create a romantic mood and may even have an aphrodisiac effect. Adding subtle scent is easy and many fragrances actually compliment the delicious aromas of your Valentine's dinner. Your guest may enjoy one of these romantic scents carried by candles or an essential oil diffuser:

  • Cinnamon
  • Jasmine
  • Sandalwood
  • Patchouli
  • Ylang-ylang
  • Vanilla
  • Musk.

Musical tastes are highly individual, so music that is very romantic to one person may not be to someone else. Knowing your guests' favorite genres will help you choose just the right subtle playlist for your holiday meal. Be sure to keep the volume low enough for everyone to comfortably enjoy dinner conversation. Here are a few musical styles popular for romantic occasions:

  • Classical piano, harp or guitar
  • Popular love songs in rock, Motown or R & B
  • Vintage jazz
  • Big band classics
  • Medieval music.

With your beautiful romantic decoration, your Valentine's Day dining room will make your guests smile as they celebrate the gift of love in all our lives.

Last Updated: February 9, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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