Romancing Your Home

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Valentine’s Day is lots of fun, by 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

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Daily dinners don’t have to be ho-hum. Make midweek dining 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.

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Even if you are serving ordinary foods like fresh strawberries or raspberries, your table will look extraordinary if you present everything on 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

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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 in 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. BTW – the flowers in the photo above from Nell Hill’s are fakes – can you believe it! Lifelike artificial flowers are a great option if you don’t want to have to worry about keeping up with fading flower bouquets.

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Flowers aren’t just to look at – they can also be a decadent treat. My friend Tracy, owner of the French Bee Bakery in Parkville, has created a sinfully delicious white chocolate bark covered in edible flowers. Here’s her description: “A delicately hand-crafted artisanal ivory chocolate confection sprinkled with a romantic blend of edible petals, fragrant herbs and chartreuse colored pistachios for a one-of-a-kind culinary masterpiece.” I think the Bouquet Bark is a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, for any special occasion, or to just treat yourself. They will be available for a limited time at Nell Hill’s or anytime at the bakery. Find out more at


Create a Special Spot to Rest and Refill

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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

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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 striking 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

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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.

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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.

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A lovely fragrance can transport you, even when you are doing the dishes! That’s why we carry Caldrea cleaning and personal care products at Nell Hill’s – it’s the only way I can get myself to clean my cottage.

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One of our staff members said she cleans her counters now just so she can smell the fragrance of her favorite Caldrea spray. Afterwards, you can restore your hardworking hands with the lotion.


Celebrate the People You Love

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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

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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.

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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 it’s time to eat.

Next Week …Beautiful and versatile, sideboards are a fabulous addition to just about any room in your house.