Ahh Valentine’s Day! It’s almost here again. Season of endlessly predictable offerings to be given and received. What vivid memory does it conjure up for you?
Your nursery school days? Painstakingly creating a red and pink, heart-shaped ‘work of art’ declaring your undying love for your Mum or Dad. That age old home decor craft favoured by pre-schools up and down the country - the 'screw up tiny pieces of coloured tissue paper and stick them onto a pre-drawn heart' craft. The results adorn the nation's fridges right up until the Easter egg version comes home.
Or maybe it was something from the middle school years? A lovingly selected card (you made your Mum stand outside the shop while you chose it) furtively secreted in the school desk of the classmate you’d had your eye on all term. Of course you desperately hoped there would be one winging it's way back to you S.W.A.L.K. (naturally!!)
Fast forward to young adulthood and you might have had your sights set on receiving a bit more than a just a card. A shiny trinket perhaps to display to the world that you were the ‘one true love’ of the gift giver?
Valentine's Day gift expectations can run high and you want to get it just right!
Take a look around. Valentines displays in stores are already full of red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, jewellery and cute teddy bears. And do not get me started on underwear!! - I've a strong inkling that, with the recent mighty uprising in the movement against the sexual objectification of woman (about bloody time!), that underwear will be a long way down in the top ten of gifts given this year. Not the year to be hoping to make your sales bonus in the Lingerie business.
So what do you buy instead?
Well, they say ‘Home is where the heart is’ and whether you have the place to yourself or share it with the love of your life, it’s the ideal spot to reflect that it's the season of love.
Yep, forget the usual gift purchases and focus on your home instead - I've got a little Valentines Day update for every room!
If you’re still looking for ‘the one’ what better way to signal to the universe you’re ready and waiting for some 'luurve' to come your way, than by adding one or two of these little touches to your home in the next few weeks. And if you're already all coupled up, why not add a little celebratory symbol of your love for each other?
You don't have to buy these as a gift either. Why not just treat yourself and your home this year - it might work out better than holding out for the Cartier box to appear.....
1. Hanging heart decorations for the hall
Create a 'Hanging Hearts' display. I love this because it so easy to create and it'll give you something unique when it's done. I've used a plain glass vase, a few willow stems and some hanging heart decorations. Some of the hanging hearts were actually bought as Christmas decorations which I popped in a separate box and kept back when all the others were packed safely back in the attic. You'll usually find a good selection of both willow stems and hearts in craft stores such as Hobby Craft or the DIY wedding craft selection at stores such as The Range.
2. Heart Kitchenware
I love to add a little seasonal touch to my kitchenware and Valentine's Day offers so many options. Emma Bridgewater always has gorgeously appropriate designs and at the other end of the budget, you might want to have a good forage in TKMaxx where I snagged this bargain.
3. Heart Cushions - love your lounge!
Cushions are one of my 'go to' seasonal decor updates. They're easy to store out of season (a bag in the attic works great) or, if space is tight, you can always just switch out the cushion covers only. I love these embroidered heart cushions - £35 from Bombay Duck. Fantastic for a bright pop of colour to chase away the winter blues.
4. Quirky Valentine's Gift for any room!
How about some hanging heart curtain tie-backs like these ones from Next? Of course it would be very easy just to buy a couple of wooden hearts from the craft department of any big box store and hang them artfully from your tie backs! I love this idea because, again, it's subtle and oh so simple. You can do it in seconds then remove them just as quickly when you want to change things up again.
5. Heart Bath Towels
These great towels - £25 from towelsrus - are a really fun addition to your bathroom for Valentine's Day. I think they'd make a great couple gift too - engagement? new pad?
6. Love wall art
How about some inspirational text on your bedroom wall? Or any other wall for that matter! I love the idea that you can create something which is really special to you. For this and endless other options check out wallart.com
I so hope I've inspired you to sprinkle a little love in your home this Valentine's Day. What do you think? What are you shopping for as your home's Valentine's Day seasonal touch?
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If you're still on the fence about seasonal decor, check out this article.
If you're struggling with the winter blues you need to read this.