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Romance in the home; Create a love nest at home.

Byline: Gabrielle Fagan reports

VALENTINE'S Day may be the most romantic day of the year but this lover's event has to be handled with care if you want to woo and win.

You can, of course, take the traditional route and bombard your chosen one with fluffy teddies, flowers and chocolates and they'll presumably be gratefully received.

But if you want to do something a little more intimate and special, like creating a "love nest" at home for that intimate evening, it should be done with style.

Ideally you should match those interior touches to the state of your relationship - whether you're flirting, dating or permanently partnered.

Naturally, there'll be no doubt about your intentions if you deck every room with hearts and flowers. If you're still in hot pursuit of Mr Right you might just sprinkle some subtle clues that point to where your heart lies, so that he gets the message.

Alternatively, turn one room into a soft, romantic setting with seductive, cuddly throws and cushions, or beautiful bedding and soft lights.

FLIRTING

A light touch is vital here - anything more might intimidate. Be prepared for your girlfriends to love some of these while the average unobservant male might need a nudge in their direction.

Set the scene with heart-shaped tea light holders and rose-scented candles from Tchibo. A set of four costs pounds 4.99.

Replace those door handles with Pink Mortice Heart doorknobs pounds 15.64 for three. Make sure he hangs his coat up on its Form Floating Hearts Hook rail, a see-through perspex panel with red hearts, pounds 12.98. Both from B&Q.

Decorative heart paperweights could get the message across. John Lewis has a good collection including the Spaceform Forever paperweight pounds 35, and a Rosenthal Crystal Heart paperweight pounds 22.50 in clear or pink. Or if you're really looking to impress, try the Lalique Entwined Heart paperweight, pounds 125.

Check out Caroline Zoob, whose new website is a treasure trove for Valentine-themed gifts. A delicate heart wreath decorated with dried white Ixodia flowers set in moss, pounds 18, is so pretty that you'll never want to take it down. Or display Tiny Silver embossed hearts, embossed with a snowflake design, in a bowl or hang on ribbon from handles or a curtain pole. They cost pounds 4.50 each.

Gilded letters spelling out the word "Love" placed on a mantel or bookshelf could be a hint. Gilded letters cost pounds 7.50 for small and pounds 12 for large from Graham & Green.

And if you think he might stay for breakfast invest in a mini pan that delivers a heart shaped fried egg, pounds 14.95 or a Heart egg ring, pounds 7.50, also Graham & Green.

DATING

There's lots of ways to show how much you care, and surprising him with seductive treats around the home is one way to make the path of true love smooth.

Attach a loving note to the fridge with a pink rose fridge magnet, pounds 6.95 for a set of six from Selfridges, or hang some carved wooden hearts from a door handle or a wall hook. Triple heart decoration, pounds 19.95 from Pure Country.

Chocolate's known to be an aphrodisiac but if you don't want to pile on the pounds, scatter some appropriately named heart-shaped cushions from Cabane, pounds 38 each. Their mouth-watering shades are White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.

Get cosy under a heart motif fleece blanket, pounds 12.99, or follow the loving theme with a fresh cotton duvet cover and pillowcases decorated with pink hearts and roses. King size duvet with two pillowcases, pounds 32.90, both from Tchibo.

He'll know he's the one" if you offer him a red heart-shaped chair to sit on. Called the Ballerina it has a heart-shaped back which comes in chrome, gold, white, red or black, with a lycra seat cover and skirt in over 10 colours and patterns. It starts from pounds 155 from Key London.

PERMANENTLY PARTNERED

Don't lose that loving feeling as the months or years go by. Freshen up a room with little romantic touches and put the sparkle back into that long-term romance.

Wallpaper is so fashionable. Use pretty pink wallpapers to create a new boudoir or for an elegant feature wall in a lounge. Try B&Q's floral designs such as Linda Barker's Passion Flower or Lotus Flower wallcoverings, pounds 15.98 a roll.

If vamping it up is more your style, Vintage Vienna wallpaper, pounds 15.98 and Deep Red Colour gloss, pounds 5.48 for 750ml could be the perfect combination.

Make that bedroom an alluring sanctuary. There's nothing more romantic than a four poster and Next's Hepburn four poster bed, from pounds 425, is a sleek and contemporary version.

Go for the full sensual style with the store's Valencia bedside cabinet, pounds 149, Pink satin throw from pounds 59.99, and luxurious cushions, including floral Geisha, pounds 12.99, and Pink pleated faux silk cushion, pounds 12.99.

If you're serving a Valentine's feast, use white plates decorated with a red heart. Guzzini White and Hearts Dinnerware from Selfridges costs pounds 29.95 for a three-piece set.

STOCKISTS

B&Q: 0845 850 0175/ www.diy.com

Cabane: 0870 242 7619/ www.cabane.co.uk

Caroline Zoob: 01273 476 464/ www.carolinezoob.com

Graham & Green: www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

John Lewis: 0845 6049 049/ www.johnlewis.com

Key London: 020 7499 9461/ www.key-london.com

Next: 0845 600 7000/ www.next.co.uk

Pure Country: 01959 563 003/ www.purecountrystyle.co.uk

Selfridges: 0870 837 7377/ www.selfridges.com

Tchibo: 0800 0850 507/ www.tchibo.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

John Lewis paperweights, from pounds 15' Tchibo soft cotton king-size duvet cover with pillowcases, pounds 32.90' Wreath made from dried white ixodia flowers set in moss, pounds 18 from Caroline Zoob
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2006
Words:980
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