Archive for Saturday, August 17, 2002

How to bring out romance

August 17, 2002

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It's easy to add a bit of romantic personal style to your home without doing a total makeover. Bring out the linens and lace tucked away in drawers. Add botanical prints and floral fabrics, and use flea market finds to add a soft, vintage look to the decor you already have.

Romantic style doesn't have to be formal and stuffy. What's more, there's no right or wrong way to approach it. It's your style, so whatever suits you is the right choice.

If you love nature, you have a head start. Garden accessories, inside and out, along with a collection of floral prints in pillows, seat cushions, curtains and tablecloths intensify the look of the outdoor growing season during spring and summer. In winter, they provide a respite from the chill outside.

Here are some easy ideas for showcasing the romantic look:

Linens and lace are natural enhancement for soft personal style. Use pillow shams, throw pillows, soft throws, and eyelet or lace-edged dust ruffles.

Small pieces of garden statuary can be used inside as accessories.

Gauzy sheers can replace heavy drapes in living room and dining room areas. Let silk ivy twine across the top of the window treatment.

One period or style can limit a decor. You'll be surprised at how African and Asian accessories work well together in a rich cultural mix.

Just an accessory here or there, such as a skirt on a bedside table or stenciling around a vintage mirror, can give the whole room a romantic makeover.

Paint, of course, can work its magic in a room. Give a soft background, such as pale seashell pink or soft seedling green, for a fresh new look.

Floral fabrics for pillows, curtains, tablecloths or napkins can add a "just-right" romantic touch.

An Italian light fixture or a provincial chair can add a romantic aura.

Mirrors in old frames full of patina add light and an instant Old World touch to a living area or bedroom.

Rich tassels as tiebacks on drapes or pillows or just over the corner of a mirror offer a bit of rich detail.

Birds and cherubs add an artful touch.

Books of poetry or art in wonderful leather covers dress up a guest bedroom night table.

White flowers always add a romantic look, from full-blown roses to delicate baby's breath.

Small classic sculptures lend a look back and fit nearly anywhere in a home.

A whole room in various shades of white creates a sense of instant calm.

Candlesticks and candelabra evoke memories of quiet conversations and romantic dinners for two.

Want to set the scene of an endless summer? White slipcovers are a good place to begin.

Old family pieces of china or majolica can be displayed on an open cupboard or used to serve dessert to guests. Bring them out of their hiding places and enjoy.

On a porch, enjoy the view with vintage fabrics, painted old wicker pieces and frothy ferns displayed on stands or hanging in baskets.

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