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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Newly married couple Brian Bondy and Melissa Cohn kiss while posing in Times Square on Valentine's Day on February 14, 2013 in New York City. Bondy proposed to Cohn on 'Good Morning America' this morning and the couple then had a 'flash wedding' in Times Square. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Passing on big plans for a night on the town in favor of a quiet Valentine’s Day at home? Lots of us are this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be romantic. If you’re trading overpriced pre-fixe restaurant menus for a night in with your Valentine, it can still be just as lovey-dovey, if you do it right. To help you get there, Robin Standefer, the designer behind the New York City restaurant La Mercerie – which is a beloved date spot – shares her tips for recreating the romance at home this Valentine’s Day.

  • Set the mood and the table – Activate all of your senses by cooking foods that smell amazing, listening to a passionate playlist, and creating the ideal tablescape. Standefer suggests setting the table with small and large plates and bowls, as well as tall and short glasses. Collect all the little dishes you have and make the red and pink foods pop by using white plates.
  • Use natural hues around your home – With shades of red, plum, and purple as an accent to “raise the temperature on the table,” as the pro puts it, you’ll want to balance those out with more neutral hues around the house. Use colors from nature and a splash of color from fresh flowers or even fresh fruit, like plums, figs, and cherries.
  • Let there be light – The easiest way to add some ambiance? Candles! Even if it’s daytime, Standefer suggests keeping the candles lit to “make your home full of love and light.”
  • Treat yourself with sweets – Sure, you could buy chocolates and candy hearts, but you and your sweetie could also create a dessert together. Bake something or melt some chocolate and dip cherries or strawberries in them and enjoy the process of making it as a couple. But if you’d rather not spend your Valentine’s Day in the kitchen, support a local restaurant and splurge on a fancy dessert that’s too hard to make at home and looks amazing on your table.
  • Play dress up – This goes for your table, your space, and yourself. Deck out the table and your home in a way that makes you happy and the same goes for you. Staying at home means you can wear anything you want, whether that’s your jammies with hearts on them or your favorite party dress.

Source: Vogue

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige