This week, resolve to print your favorites and display them in  your home in lovely frames. ( Bryan E. McCay/Nell Hills)

This week, resolve to print your favorites and display them in
your home in lovely frames. ( Bryan E. McCay/Nell Hills)

Valentine’s Day is lots of fun, but why reserve the romance for just one day of the year? It’s so easy to make your daily life more romantic just by adding a few special touches to your decorating. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Make everyday dining a treat

Daily dinners don’t have to be ho-hum. Make midweek dinner a delight by adding a few romantic touches to your table. If you’re in the mood to go big, surprise your family by pulling out the china, silver and crystal.

Even if you are serving ordinary foods like fresh strawberries or raspberries, your table will look extraordinary is you present everything in lovely serving pieces. I love glass pedestal bowls – they just look regal. Fill one with fresh fruit. Instead of serving your same old dinner beverage, try tumbling fresh fruit in a pitcher of water and chill. Then serve in wine glasses.

Harness the power of flowers

Flowers aren’t just for Valentine’s Day! So treat yourself to a lovely bouquet of cash-and-carry flowers every time you’re at the grocery store or at your favorite flower shop. One of my favorite ways to use these inexpensive bouquets is to trim the stems very short and either mound a cluster in a small vase or place just a bloom or two a narrow mouthed vase. Tuck the little bouquets into unexpected places, like on a bookshelf, your kitchen windowsill, next to your nightstand or in your powder room.

Create a special spot to rest and refill

Do you have a place where you can retreat and refill your empty tank? It’s hard to pour from an empty cup. So an important part of filling your home with beauty and your life with romance is taking time out to fill up your own tank. For me, it’s a cozy chair overlooking our little lake.

Trim your bed in romance

Spoil yourself with beautiful bedding. Shop the white sales for a lovely set of sheets, or if you’re crafty, get some plain white sheets and embellish them yourself with trim. Then cover your bed with a snuggly duvet, and finish off with a mix of accent pillows. I know it sounds like a small thing, but when you head to bed after a long, hard day, and you see those lovely linens waiting for you, you feel like a princess.

Make your daily routines special

Isn’t it wonderful to be at an upscale hotel or quaint bed and breakfast where they serve your morning coffee from a silver carafe? You can do the same thing at home! Instead of heading to the coffee pot and filling up that same old coffee mug you’ve used for years, make your morning caffeine ritual special by using a silver coffee pot and china cups.

Do you have pretty bath products that are stored under your sink? Get them out and display them on a silver tray next to your tub. Add some candles for extra romance.

Celebrate the people you love

Raise your hand if you have hundreds of wonderful photos of your loved ones stored on your phone’s camera, in your computer or on a flash drive. This week, resolve to print your favorites and display them in your home in lovely frames. Tuck one on your bedside table, another on a shelf in your kitchen and another on your desk at work.

Make routine tasks less tedious by using pretty containers

No one likes to do the dishes. And some of us (me!) don’t like to cook. But chores are more fun when you make your everyday functional items lovely to look at. Pour your dish soap into a crystal decanter. Put your cooking oils and sauces on a pretty tray.

I like to put the silverware Dan and I use every day into little glass containers so they look sweet and are at the ready when we are ready to eat.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.

By Mary Carol Garrity, Tribune News Service (TNS)