Wednesday, 10 February 2010

5 ways to love up your living space

Hello all!!
Firstly, a big thank you to Pats for giving me the honor of sharing a few thoughts with you all, via her own personal stage – I salute you,muchos gracias!
Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, it is only fitting that my first entry pays homage to the occasion. Candlelight dinners, chocolate truffles, marriage proposals, full, red roses – tis’ the season to plan, indulge and empty one’s wallet, yes?
I say no.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it all just as much as the next person, but I do believe in the reality of the moment, the cold hard truth that we lovingly call the global recession.
And though those 2 words are rather menacing, I don’t believe that they translate to no valentine celebrations. There are so many little ways to accomplish the most beautiful things and as Pats showcases so often on her blog, it’s the little things around the house that make the most startlingly gorgeous difference.
So here, I’m going to share a few ideas that you can use around the house to give it that extra special feel this 14th.
A Valentine at home can be just as special and who knows, perhaps it’ll be one you’ll never forget!!
1 - Photographs
As a couple; whether married or still dating, you’re bound to have a few good shots of you and your significant other. This is the time to fish them all out, no matter how old they are. Remember, you may not think they’re great pictures, but more often than not, they will remind you both of a special memory, outing or time in your lives.
If you have the time, you could probably make a quick collage of some of your favorite photographs and it could adorn a blank wall. Think of you both standing in front of it, reliving all those memories together! Alternatively, make a quick trip to IKEA and get the wooden frames for AED 5/- (gets you 3) and use them around the house.

Since the frames are wooden, use a bright red marker and color in some hearts on the borders or if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own special design. Position these around the house, on the bedside table with a solitary standing candle, floating candle or flower and voila, instant prettiness! If all else fails and you just don’t have the time – run to the fridge. Transform your fridge door into your canvas for pictures and use a few pretty magnets or even tape.

You know a memory is a good one when it ends up on the fridge. Plus, it makes a great conversation piece while the 2 of you are getting a drink, fixing dinner or even washing up together!
(I did say this was applicable to married couples too – I’m a stickler for reality!)
2 - Candles
Candles are a huge favorite with Pats. What I love most about them is how easy they are to use.
Pick out a few candles that appeal to you. It could be the color, scent, the arrangement. If you like it, chances are so will your partner. Don’t be afraid to experiment with placement around the house. There is nothing more romantic than entering a dark house, dimly lit by candlelight. On your dining table, centre table, even the floor, candles seem to fit in just about anywhere.
Spend some time to ensure that the bathroom is pretty as well and shove the laundry hamper out of sight. One candle on the mirror sill in the bathroom, is a pleasant surprise! Post a little love note on the mirror and it’s immediately a special little something. If you don’t have the time to get the prettier candles, use tea candles, which are easily available and cheap. Line up a few of them from the entrance of your house alongside the wall and let them lead up to a heart of candles on the floor. Cheap, pretty and loved up!
3 - Wall décor.
This may take a little more time, but it’s worth it and it totally changes the face of a room. While you can probably pick some wall décor at your local party shop, this is my effort to encourage you to DIY or make do with stuff at home. This should only take you about an hour – tops.
All you need is a few sheets of red chart paper (normal sheets will also do), scissors/cutting blade and tape. Fold the sheets down the middle and draw half a heart against the creased line. Using the scissors, cut out the half heart that you’ve drawn and thanks to the fold, you’ll have a perfect, full heart. Make several of these in varying sizes and cut them all out. Once cut, you can stick these all over the walls, go as high up on the wall as you can – it looks beautiful once done and the room is instantly Valentised!
4 – Flowers
Yes, I know flowers are expensive. And yes, I know they die. (You cynic, you.) But it’s Valentines and if it’s romance you’re looking for, nothing sets the mood like flowers.
You don’t need to buy the expensive ones. Your local flower shop will, more often than not, have a few rose bunches that are sold at cheaper rates because they are a few days old. Buy those. Pull off the petals and you have a 100 options.
Spread them around the floor, fill a pretty bowl with water and let a few petals float in it, place a few next to the photographs you use or take the extra step and fill the tub with warm water and pour in the petals! Whether you’re doing this for your special him or her, it’s bound to be a hit.
Tip: Before pulling off the petals, go through the bunch carefully and keep aside the prettiest one. Put it in a tall vase or hand it to your loved one. Cupid will sing, trust me!
5 – Music
Ok, so it’s not really a décor tip, but then I’m not a 100% décor person *grin*
I’ve come to learn that music forms an integral part of our memories. Take the effort to remember special songs from your past – your first dance, first dedication, wedding special or even just something romantic. Get a collection of these songs on CD. Alternatively, piracy is bad, yes, but I won’t tell if you don’t.
And it doesn’t need to always be a romantic ballad! For example, in my case, at our wedding my husband and I and all our friends, went crazy dancing to a Panjabi number. As a result, whenever we hear that song, it makes us smile and takes us back to our special day.
It could be a ghazal, instrumental, pop, rock, country – it’s your special song. It could take you both back to a precious moment, make you laugh or perhaps share a dance in the candlelight. That’s amore!
Hope my little tips help you make your day a tad more special and don’t puncture your wallet – if you’ve got some more ideas, Pats and I would love to hear them!
Till later, have a great Valentines, lovebugs!!


  1. Loved the ideas :) Recession or nt, the joy of dng things by ourselves does add a lot of warmth no :)
    Gr8 post :)

  2. Thanks for the tips! I don't go all out on v-day, but it's nice to do something a little special :)

  3. These are great ideas Patricia :)

    Feel the love in the air already !!!

  4. Great post... and have a lovely weekend!

  5. Hey lovely ideas! I will try to use one of them :P


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