Create a romantic space using the 5 senses

When designing your home, you have a lot of options. Sure, you want to keep the interior design in line with the physical space and, yes, there are some basic design rules you should follow, but after that anything goes. Which is great… but what if you’re looking for a little more direction?

In honor of Valentine’s Day this year, we’re demystifying what makes a space “romantic” by calling out specific examples using the five senses.

First things first: Design is personal. While you may think “romantic interior” and envision something akin to Barbie’s dream hotel, your partner may be picturing something a little more 50 Shades of Grey. Before you start making any plans or purchases, it’s important to consider what romantic means to you.


They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, which makes this the perfect place to start your romantic room transformation. Lighting is the big universal here. While you probably want to limit the clutter and choose pieces that represent you, lighting can make or break a room.

  • Hot - String lights are a great way to add in dim-but-not-too-dark lighting to any room. Gently drape light string across bed frames, bookshelves, furniture, or even the floor to add a subtle, yet sexy glow to the room.
  • Not - Not only are too many candles a likely fire hazard on a steamy night, they also transform the look of your space from sexy to solemn.
  • Hot - Neon or neon-esque lighting in blues, pinks, and purples are another great way to add a rock-n-roll romantic vibe to any room. While true neon lights can be very expensive, LED versions are now readily available in a variety of sayings and designs.
  • Not - Yellow and red neon signs give off a convenience store vibe. Great if you're trying to recreate your first date at a 7-Eleven, but not ideal for a traditionally romantic look. Pair the color with a too suggestive double entendre and you'll end up with a design that looks more cheap than chic.
  • Hot - Natural lighting is the best option for photos for good reason -- it makes everyone look better! If your space has large or nicely oriented windows, you may not need any additional lighting.
  • Not - Lighting that is too harsh feels more clinical than classy. If your fixture requires a bare bulb look, select one with a warm glow and interesting filament pattern to soften the look.


Sounds have a bigger effect on our mood than we tend to give them credit for. If you’ve ever tried to spend a night with a leaky faucet or a mosquito in the room, you know the grief a bad sound can cause. Conversely, you can create a romantic space in your home by consciously eliminating unwanted noises and replacing them with positive notes.

  • Hot - Music is the universal language and if you're trying to create a romantic space, it's helpful to be able to get your groove on. Record players can be a fun, vintage addition if that's your thing, but don't discount the effect you can get from a quality portable speaker.


Smell and taste are tightly wound together so it makes sense to think of these senses in tandem. Depending on which room you’re designing, the exact smells and tastes you’ll choose may vary. While pleasant florals and musks work well almost anywhere, you may want to avoid food smells (vanilla, cinnamon rolls, butterscotch, etc) in certain areas, like a bathroom or bedroom where they’ll feel out of place and just make you hungry.

  • Hot - Finger foods and wine are the go-to classics when creating a romantic sensory experience


Arguably the most important aspect to creating a romantic room is the texture of the room. Things that are sharp, stiff, or generally uncomfortable typically do not lend themselves to a romantic aesthetic. Instead, choose items that are soft, smooth, and have a just-gotta-touch-it vibe.

  • Hot - A soft rug adds instant warmth to any room both visually and physically. Bear and sheepskin-like options are classics, but any plush rug will do wonders for your space.

One of the best parts about interior design is that you can make changes like these in almost any space whether you rent or own. From classic Victorian homes to modern abodes (with impeccable coastal views!) to international escapes you can find it all on RealtyHive!

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