My design ideas for decorating your table for Valentine’s Day

Sarah in her kitchen

I have all sorts of reasons why I find staying in always feels so much better than going out on Valentine’s Day. I honestly believe the night tends to be overrated. You may find your meal is mediocre but it costs twice the price, simply because you’re dining out on this special day. There are no set rules so you don’t need to have a meal for two. So, why not invite loved ones, from friends to family, over to celebrate in style?

Valentine’s Day decorations with the wow factor

So if, like me, you’re planning to dine in to celebrate this occasion, you may be wondering how to add that all-important wow factor to your table? In this blog, I share several ideas and top tips on the art of how to add a touch of Valentine’s romance. From candlelit elegance to sweet, edible accents, I’ve designed two lovingly curated settings that I hope Cupid would be proud of. So, you too can enjoy perfect decorating for Valentine’s Day in the comfort of your own home.

valentines day decorations on my table in my home
Here, I’ve carefully curated a colourful display of pinks, greens and a dash of red to create this Valentine’s day table

My Valentine’s plan…

I’ll show you how to upgrade to an elegant Valentine’s table with a smart colour palette, while personalising your decor. I’ll also reveal how to choose the perfect centrepiece to fill your evening with fond memories to celebrate the art of love. You can level up your linen game with high-quality tablecloths and napkins. I will explain how ambiance will be key – dim the lights, cue the soft music and let candles and sweet treats set the mood.

Setting the stage with sophisticated tablescapes

Elegant Valentine's Day table setting with sophisticated decor
I really enjoyed designing this pretty in pink tablescape with hints of green and gold accents

When it comes to creating a sophisticated Valentine’s Day tablescape, it’s all about the art of curating the right elements. But it’s really not as complicated as it sounds! With a little help, you can easily create a stunning table that serves as the focal point for your Valentine’s Day decor soon after your guest/s have stepped through your front door.

Decorate with colour

Firstly, I think that selecting an appropriate colour palette is pivotal. For example, you may find that mixing deep reds with blush pink and adding gold accents will help you to induce a warm and elegant feel. I tend to take a step back from too much red as I prefer to embrace the lighter shades, such as dusky pink, with touches of red. You could also consider creating a stunning centrepiece with faux flowers or a long foliage arrangement by simply placing it down the middle of the table.

valentine's day decoration for a diy valentine's day
The colours you choose can make all the difference to the look you want to create. In this design I chose pink and white tablecloths for the base

Adding the right style

Why not personalise your space with elements that match your style, from vintage-style glassware to heart-shaped ceramic dishes? With these ideas, your table is sure to offer the perfect romantic haven as you decorate it with Valentine’s Day decor to suit your taste.

Table linen to anchor your look

High-quality table linen is always key for me to tie my table decorations together, whatever the occasion. Here, I’ve chosen the Mikado tablecloth from The Fine Cotton Company – it’s a fantastic design choice that can be paired with contrasting coloured Mikado napkins. It’s versatile and machine washable, which of course makes it perfect for everyday use.

diy valentines day in my kitchen
My Mikado tablecloth, £72, from The Fine Cotton Company, looks super smart and the perfect backdrop for my Valentine’s table. With seven sizes and three colours to choose from, you’l be spoilt for choice. Made from 220 gsm plain weave, this design feels super-soft and you can even have it monogrammed – the choice is yours

Layering your design

For a more contrasting look, I’ve also layered a square dusky pink tablecloth on top of the larger white one with crisp white napkins. Alternatively, a plain white table cloth with dusky pink napkins can be used for a two-tone approach to table linen. These decorating ideas will not only cover and protect your table but will also seamlessly tie your entire tablescape together.

Napkin know-how

I think napkins can play a key role in terms of enhancing the elegance of your table design. They are not just practical for wiping up accidental spills, but an essential part of fine dining for me. Wherever you choose to place them and the way in which they are folded can significantly enhance your dining experience.

The fabric of this napkin is restaurant quality
Pick a crisp white napkin for a stronger contrast against colourful crockery such as my Sara Miller London Chelsea ceramic 12-piece dinner set with gold detailing, £191 for a 12-piece boxed set

Craft your look

You could place your napkins in different ways to enhance your table setting:

  • To one side with a napkin ring in a fanned out design
  • Folded on top of plates for a pared-back approach – as seen in my design
  • Placed between the main and starter plate – as illustrated in my design
  • Folded into a heart shape for a romantic touch

Quality counts

You’ll also need to make sure you choose high-quality fabric for your napkins for your Valentine’s Day decoration. With the right napkin know-how, you can transform your table setting from good to great, earning you bonus points for presentation.

My idea on how to add a napkin to your table
My Mikado napkins, £30 for a set of four and showcased here in dusky pink (grey and white are also available) from The Fine Cotton Company are restaurant quality. They are also fully machine washable, making them the perfect choice for every occasion

Crockery choices that woo

Your choice of crockery can significantly influence the look you want to create for your table setting. White plates with a decorative element such as a scalloped-edge design can look super chic. Or, for a more luxurious look, why not opt for a more colourful design with gold edging?

DIY Valentine’s Day ideas with plates

One great way to enhance the look of your table is to use heart-shaped side plates in a pretty pink glaze. Or these adorable plates with gold edging detail from Sara Miller London will not only add a pop of colour to your table but also serve as a sweet reminder of the love-filled day. Remember, it’s all in the details. Layer the look with the main plate, side plate, and a napkin, then perhaps add cutlery on top of the design and pretty it up with some ribbon or paper hearts.

Candlelight decorating for Valentine’s

Romantic candlelight for your diy valentine's day
I picked Anna + Nina Swirl Taper Candles, £38 for a set of two, from Anthropologie to add depth of colour to this tablescape

Any romantic setting is incomplete without candles. Their soft, flickering light not only creates a relaxing atmosphere but can also soften the look of your Valentine’s table. For a special lunch, there’s no need to light the candles. But, come night, light them up and watch the room transform into a romantic getaway, which could be perfect for exchanging love notes if dining for two.

Mix it up with Valentine’s Day decorations

Choosing candles of various heights can add depth to your table, and I’m finding the trend for spiral patterns can enhance their look. When it comes to colours, white, pink and red make perfect choices for Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget to think about the candle holders! They can be long elegant candlesticks or tea light holders, all of which will add to the lovely look for your Valentine’s Day decor.

Glassware that glitters

Elegant glassware for Valentine's Day table decor
I commissioned the decorative hand-painted dragonfly glasses from artist Monique Low at Toasted Glass – prices will vary. This tall, sleek brass taper candle holder comes in a set of three in matt gold, £22.40 plus delivery from Yuva Home

Incorporating suitable glassware can further enhance your table setting. A patterned pair of glassware contrasted with plain glass can create an interesting dynamic for a four-person tablescape.

Valentine’s Day decoration with glass

When you’re picking out glassware, think about how to contrast your design with the food and make the rest of your decor look top-notch for your DIY Valentine’s Day celebrations. Opt for stylish drinking glasses and classy cocktail versions for gin to make your dining table look extra elegant. And don’t forget about the other glass items you can incorporate into your setting, such as cool jugs or carafes.

Coasters & flatware finery

faux flowers on table with heart-shaped coasters and silver cutlery
My Amour heart-shaped coasters, £8 each, come from Anthropologie – made from 100% marble with beautiful brass edge detailing, these are handcrafted which adds to the elegant look

While coasters and flatware are the finer details, they will still contribute to the cohesion of your table setting. Some ideas to consider include ones which I’ve used in my own table settings:

  • Heart-shaped pink and red coasters, which can help spread love on your Valentine’s table – I sourced mine from Anthropologie
  • Flatware with a gold finish, which can add a luxurious touch – this my preferred Fable design
  • Flatware with a silver finish, for a wintry look with style – I chose Viners for this set

Materials matter

Choosing the right materials are also important for a more sophisticated table setting. Marble coasters or stainless steel flatware, for example, can add a touch of elegance to your table design. Remember, the devil is in the details, and these small elements can make a big difference to the overall look of your Valentine’s Day decor.

Valentine’s decor that lasts all year round

Versatile and eco-friendly Valentine's Day tableware
I’ll feature my heart-shaped side plates, £14 for a set of two, from Next, on my table again and again – I love their solid pink and reactive pink glazes and they are reasonably priced too. I already use my gold cutlery Flatware Set, £238 for 20 pieces, from Fable every day because it looks good and it’s dishwasher-friendly

Opting for reusable tableware and accessories not only greenifies your decor, but it you pick wisely you can use them for all sorts of other occasions. I like using heart-shaped tableware for mealtimes regardless, so I won’t just be using mine for this special day.

Sustainability rules

So, keep any love-themed reusable plates in your everyday kitchen cupboard. Then just add some fun accessories to add a fresh look whenever you’re entertaining without losing the eco-friendly vibe. And, to make your room feel more festive, consider incorporating Valentine’s Day decorations that complement your existing decor.

Flowers & foliage for Valentine’s day decor

Adding elements like faux foliage or a garland can be a great way to add a natural aesthetic to your Valentine’s table. Not only will the faux variety not wilt, but it can also be used for other special occasions, from Christmas to Easter, making this sort of thing such a good investment.

valentines day color palette idea
For my table centrepiece, I combined two designs – a 2m pre-lit eucalyptus, pine and gold berry Christmas garland, £54.99 and 20 warm white LED Juliet rose fairy lights, £19.99, from Lights 4 Fun. Bear in mind you’ll need to plug in the latter

Giving your design a focal point

You can incorporate a faux garland or foliage into your table setting by strategically placing sprigs around your table or using one design to create a striking centrepiece. They can add a ‘natural’ touch to your setting and can complement your other table decor.

Wrapping up romance: ribbons

Beyond gift wrapping, ribbons can infuse a romantic flair into your Valentine’s Day table decor. You can add ribbons to your table setting in a variety of ways. Why not wrap some ribbon and make a bow around cutlery or add them to your centrepiece or table runner?

valentines day tablescape designed by Sarah
I sourced my ribbon, £1 per m, from Plum Bowtique on Etsy and I used the red two-tone herringbone pattern to craft my simple cutlery design

Wrapping up with ribbon

Choose ribbons in shades that complement your overall colour scheme. For Valentine’s Day, a two-tone stripe in red and white in a herringbone design is my preferred choice. With the right ribbon, you can wrap up your table decor with an element of romance.

Sweet treats & edible decor

Delicious treats as part of Valentine's Day table decor
I picked iced heart biscuits, £19.99, from Sugar Tables London via Etsy to add to my tablescape. These are delicious and they come in a little jar and you get more than you can see here – I just couldn’t stop eating them during this shoot!

Sweet treats have got to be the best part of Valentine’s Day for me. Adding cupcakes or heart-shaped biscuits to your table setting can provide extra appeal and can be a nice surprise for your guests on Valentine’s Day. There’s no need to bake them either – just follow my recommendations on shop-bought varieties and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

The art of indulgence

Place your treats strategically around your table, perhaps as part of your centrepiece or as a special gift on each plate. You can also display them on a cake stand or equivalent as a delectable focal point. Sweet treats not only add a tasty touch to your decor but can also serve as a lovely reminder of the sweetness of love!

love letter envelope on cupcakes
Iced with tones of pink from a handmade edible love letter envelope to rose swirls, these Valentine’s cupcakes, from £25 for six, from Rachael’s Kitchen taste absolutely incredible

The final touch: mood music

Appropriate music can establish the ambiance for your Valentine’s Day dinner, be it an intimate meal for two or a festive gathering with loved ones. From jazz to soul or modern love songs, the perfect playlist in your house can enhance the cosy atmosphere and make your dinner even more memorable.

Who’s in the room?

Consider your audience and the vibe you want to create when selecting your music. For a more intimate dinner, you might prefer soft love songs or instrumental music. If you’re hosting a larger get-together, a mix of upbeat love songs and classic hits can keep the energy up. Remember, the goal is to create an ambiance that complements your beautiful table setting and makes your Valentine’s Day dinner unforgettable.

Making it a memorable evening

Paper hearts add to the valentines decor
Why not hang a paper heart in a honeycomb design to the back of a chair to add a finishing touch to your table display? This handmade dusty pink design, prices vary according to the size you choose, comes in a pack of five from Decopompoms at Etsy

Creating a sophisticated Valentine’s Day table setting involves thoughtful selection and placement of various elements, from table linen and napkins to crockery and flatware. Adding touches of romance with candles, ribbons and a bunch of sweet treats, and setting the mood with the right tunes can turn your dinner into a memorable celebration of love. So this Valentine’s Day, why not transform your dining space into a romantic haven and create an experience that you and your loved ones could cherish forever?

AD: This is a collaboration with The Fine Cotton Company

Do you love a sweet treat and want to balance this out with some fitness goals in the comfort of your own home? Then read my Nine home gym ideas for maximising your workout space & enjoyment blog now!