Instead of dining out on Valentine’s Day—in a restaurant packed with strangers and dripping with paper hearts—wouldn’t it be more intimate, in every sense of the word, to stay in? That’s always been our preference: candles, a table set for two, and perhaps pajamas over crowds and cold.
When we emailed recently with Ajiri Aki, the France-based doyenne of stylish, effortless table settings (she runs the vintage tableware shop and linen purveyor Madame de la Maison), we were happy to hear that she feels the same, all the way over in Paris. Here’s how she sets the table for a simple Valentine’s dinner for two—plus her tips for making it just a bit romantic, never fussy.
Photography by Ajiri Aki.
1. Resist the urge to go pink.
2. Choose petite flowers over big bouquets.
3. Sprinkle some roses.
Above: “I always add one little stereotypical element that connects to the holiday,” Ajiri says. For a romantic touch, she scattered a handful of dry rose buds down the center of the table.
4. Use the good china.
5. Embrace imperfection.
6. Sit kitty-corner.
P.S. See more of Ajiri’s entertaining tips in Joyeux Noël: How to Throw a Holiday Party the French Way. And here’s our original feature on her work: Vintage French Style You Can Rent: Madame de la Maison in Paris.
One the eve of Valentine’s Day, we asked our experts from the Remodelista Architect and Designer Directory for their go-to “millennial pink” paints. Their picks range from sweet and subtle to downright seductive, and neutral enough to look at year-round. Here are their favorites.
Photography by Mel Walbridge.
(N.B.: Featured photograph, above, by Justine Hand for Remodelista, from Cape Cod Summer Bedrooms Refreshed with Farrow & Ball Paint.)
Not pictured: Marie Fisher Interior Design uses Rose Pále from Les Couleurs’ Le Corbusier collection of pigments.
For more on our top paint picks, head to our Palette & Paints tag page. And for more pink palettes, see:
Up ’til now, I admit, I’ve much preferred earthier colors—for wearing and for interiors—than what I’ve always thought of as somewhat frilly, not-me pink. But lately I’ve surprised myself by being rather drawn to it: There’s a slew of pinks out there to love—not all of them bubblegum or tutu—from dusty mauve to soft salmon to just barely barely pink. And, contrary to my previous (maybe popular) belief, pink in interiors needn’t be fussy, or young-looking: It can be bold, romantic, playful, unexpected, even a little cheeky.
Proof? Just take a look at these bedrooms—some with just a touch of pink, others dressed head to toe—that I’m seeing in new light.
Psst: We’ve rounded up our favorite pink rooms elsewhere in the house—and paints, too—here:
It’s been a few years since we first wrote about Wanås (pronounced va-noos) Hotel, an 18th-century Swedish farmhouse-turned-boutique hotel by architect Kristina Wachtmeister, but we’re still obsessing over this perfect pink bathroom she designed. It features vintage dusty-rose tiles, bespoke furniture by Christian Halleröd, and fixtures from Swedish brand Ifö.
Below, we show you how to replicate the look (without having to commission custom furniture).
Photograph by Magnus Mårdinger, courtesy of Wanås Hotel.
Above: The bathroom is finished with vintage pink square tiles, Ifö bath fixtures, and slate flooring.
Steal This Look
Above: Stockholm-based Massproductions makes the porcelain A01 Wall Hooks, which come in white, off-white, and gray; $51 at A+R. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Modern Robe Hooks.) Above: Waterworks’ Collette Freestanding Oval Bathtub is a near perfect match; $12,558. Above: American Universal Corp. says it’s the largest importer and distributor of fine Japanese porcelain tile in the United States. These Brittany 4×4 tiles, in the BR-94 shade, on their site have a similar retro look. Above: For a similar look, try a wooden clothes drying rack (we’re partial to deVol’s Clothes Horse) if you have the space. For a more compact bathroom, we like this Folding Towel Holder by Czech furniture company Matela; kč 2,200. Above: Skagerak’s Georg Side Table is $249 at Danish Design Store. Above: The Mia Modern Ceramic Planter by One and Many is $85. Above: Serena & Lily’s Turkish cotton Spa Robe has waffle weave on the outside and terry on the inside; currently on sale for $80.
For more bathroom inspiration, see:
Steal This Look: A Luxurious Master Bath in Shades of Pale
Steal This Look: A Hudson Valley Artist’s Above-the-Shop Bath
Here’s how I usually respond when my husband asks about Valentine’s Day gift ideas: “I don’t want anything.” “Really, any gift you give me will be great.” “Whatever.”
Here’s what I’m going to do this year instead: send him the link to this gift guide.
Below, Remodelista’s wish list of beautiful things:
Above: Margot’s smitten with the plant-dyed textiles of Dublin-based Kathryn Davy, in particular with her pink-hued wool socks, but as those are currently sold out, she’s eyeing this Linen Cutlery Pocket, hand-dyed with madder root; $24.71.
Above: From Julie: Centuries-old French fragrance company L’Officine Universelle Buly will carve whatever monogram you wish into its Savon Superfin soap for added luxury. You can also choose from different packaging (pictured are 2 of 14 options); €24.17 each (€5 for monogramming).
Above: “I love the foil of iron exterior and soft blush interior of this cup,” says Justine. One Kiln Ceramics’ Ash Glazed Cup, made in Japan, is $30 each at Alder & Co.
Above: “I would be happy to receive a clutch of dead flowers for Valentine’s Day,” says Fan. “These dried botanicals from Bloomist are so pretty and poetic.” The Dried Pink Heather is $22 and the Cream Globe Amaranthus is just $12. Extra points for presenting them in a Pink Terracotta Vase by Sheldon Ceramics.
Above: Another Julie suggestion: Cafe Bowls, in sorbet, from Heath Ceramics’ Chez Panisse Line; $37 each.
Above: “I am dying for somebody to please get me a pair of pajamas from Zara Home’s really great-looking collection,” says Annie. “In particular, their Pleated Pajamas“; $69.90.
Above: Another one from Annie, who is committing to a candle-lit life this winter: Hay’s Flare Candle Holder, shown in pink, is just $25 each.
Above: Fan finds paper products—books, newspapers, magazines—romantic. These prettily packaged Antoinette Poisson Notebooks are each hand-printed and bound in Paris; from $48.
Above: Julie has Baies Rose Dishwashing Liquid by Astier de Villatte on her wish list. She found it at The Primary Essentials, where it’s currently sold out. Liberty London also sells it for £20. Above: Another one from Fan: “I used to work with Marcie McGoldrick at Martha Stewart Living, where she was the editorial director for crafts and holiday. She’s now making artful ceramics, among which are these captivating cameo pendants, cast from tinted porcelain.” Her Cameo Jewelry, which also includes rings set in silver or gold, starts at $140 each.
Above: Margot fell for R+D Lab’s Italian colored borosilicate glassware at Shoppe Object last week. She was happy to discover that the Bon Nuit Bedside Carafe and Glass and Cameo Pink Ribbed Wine Glass are both sold at Sunday Shop; $178 and $82.
For past Valentine’s Day roundups, see:
Editor’ Picks: Our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Editors’Picks: 10 Valentine’s Day Gifts
8 Favorites: Drinking Glasses With a Hint of Pink
Rethink Pink: 14 Favorite Graphic, Un-Frilly Rugs in Rose Hues
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.