Decorating 101: Romantic Style

Author: Alecia Pirulis

romantic decor

What is romantic style decorating? If you are picturing lots of pinks and creams, flowers, crystal chandeliers, curvy furniture, and lots of lace and satin – well, you’d be right. But there’s more to the romantic style than those basic elements – and it isn’t just for girls. Here’s what you need to know to decorate your home in the romantic style:

First, the color scheme – think muted shades and pastels. That doesn’t mean just shades of pink and lavender — you can use blues and greens, and even add a pop of darker shades here and there – but the overall look should be subdued. If you want a room that is gender-neutral, consider a soft blue palette – such as aqua or cerulean. Off-white and taupe also work well for romantic-styled rooms.

While romantic decorating does lean toward feminine, that doesn’t mean a romantic space can’t be ideal for men, also. Add rich, dark wood accessories, striped fabrics, and an inviting overstuffed chair to give the space a masculine – yet still romantic – look. Decorating a room in the romantic style means plenty of thrift-store and antique-store shopping. You want to look for vintage furniture (along the lines of “shabby chic”) with lots of curves and embellishments. Mirrored surfaces (think 1930s Art Deco) also work well in a romantic space.

Curtains, pillows, throws, and rugs should all be soft, warm, and welcoming. Think plush, luxurious fabrics such as chenille, velvet, and silk. A silk pillow with satin ribbons and lace trim, for example, would be a perfect fit on your overstuffed couch. Don’t limit the fabrics to curtains and pillows – drape a lace tablecloth over a round side table, add delicate crocheted doilies or a runner to the coffee table, use ribbons to hang photographs, etc. Layer the fabrics whenever possible to make the room warm, comfortable, and plush.

Accessories should look as though they’ve been passed down for generations. Crystal vases and lamps, silver picture frames, a Limoges dish, and ornate clocks will all fit with your romantic décor. Flowers are also important – be sure to fill vases with fresh blooms and decorate with floral wallpaper or fabrics.

Lighting should be soft and muted. Wrought-iron sconces on the walls, an elegant chandelier, and table lamps with curvy bases are perfect. Use plenty of candles, also! Place candles strategically throughout the room – add them to the fireplace mantle, on the coffee table, and on end tables. Add mirrors, crystal, and other reflective surfaces to bounce the soft light around the room.

When decorating in the romantic style, you want haphazard – not fussy. The room should invite people in to sit down and relax. Items shouldn’t be perfectly organized or arranged in a regimented way. Instead, imagine a cashmere throw tossed casually across the arm of the couch, a bunch of pink peonies seemingly just plucked from the garden and placed in an antique pitcher, a vintage tray holding a French teapot filled with roses left behind after someone’s morning coffee.

Look for furnishings that are slightly worn — a coffee table with a few dings, wrought iron chairs with chipped paint and maybe even hints of rust, an antique pie tin with some dents. If the shape is what you are looking for, you can always paint the furniture (to add a distressed look, rub a candle in a few places before painting. Before the paint dries completely, take a cloth and gently rub the spots with the candle wax).

The romantic style is curvy, ornate, soft, and yes – feminine. But with the right accents and colors, this style of decorating can appeal to the entire family.