Romantic Retreat
Turn your bedroom into an enchanting escape
By Rachel Bennett

Come February, there's one room in every Triangle home that becomes more important than the rest: the bedroom.


Although you may wish Cupid was in charge of creating the perfect ambiance on the 14th, it's usually up to you. If you can't arrange a steamy trip to Hawaii or a starry evening in Paris, transform your bedroom into the Valentine's Day getaway you've always wanted.


Here are some quick, low-expense improvements for creating an exciting bedroom. They're perfect for just the night or even longer!

Ms. Clean
As you and your significant other make your way toward the bed, you don't want to be distracted by clutter. Before you turn your room into a passionate paradise, start with a clean slate.


Tidy up - You probably don't want to vacuum or dust on Valentine's Day, but it will benefit your love life. Straighten up the mess in the corner, and put those clothes away. Don't forget to change the sheets!


Organize - If you have no more room in the closet or under the bed, buy antique-looking baskets to place around the room for storage. Not only do they conceal the mess, but they are also beautiful decorations.


Hide electronics - TV and cellphones may be daily necessities, but you don't need them for the night. Close the entertainment unit, and don't put your phones by the bed. Entertain each other, instead.

Stop and smell the roses
After a fresh start, the next step is to make sure the room smells as good as it looks. Luckily, there are some simple solutions to make sure your evening doesn't stink.


Be in bloom - Flowers are practically everywhere on Valentine's Day, so make sure your bedroom is no exception. Put a fresh bouquet by the bed. If you want to take it further, scatter petals throughout the room to give yourself the feeling of being in a honeymoon suite.


Light candles - This will give the room a beautiful glow. If you choose scented candles, they'll add a nice aroma. However, don't choose a fragrance that is too strong - that may ruin the mood.


Include a special scent - To make the bed more inviting, lightly spritz the pillows with your favorite perfume. Your significant other will love this, and it will make the bedroom even more special for the two of you.

Beauty and the bed

A romantic bedroom needs to be inviting and cozy, so your bed should be especially comfortable. Just be careful that it's not too relaxing - you want to spend the evening catching up with your special someone, not catching up on sleep!


Change the comforter - To make your bed comfortable, start with - naturally -- the comforter. A fluffy comforter will cause the bed to be softer and more welcoming. If you can, use a down comforter, which is especially snug and warm, to give the room even more alluring ambiance.


Bundle up - Place a throw blanket on your bed to add color to the room and make it more appealing. Throw blankets can be especially soft, and they are perfect for snuggling under as you spend time together.


Add rugs - If you have a wood floor, put a soft, colorful rug or two in the room. You can set one in the middle of your bedroom to tie everything together. Place another beside the bed for when you wake up in the morning - you don't want to be shocked by a cold floor!


Silly love songs
Sound is essential for setting the tone in your bedroom. Whether it's listening to Marvin Gaye or enjoying the sounds of silence, you need to consider this when creating the atmosphere.


Shut it - Start by closing all the windows. Even if you don't live next to I-540, outside noises can be distracting, so make sure they can't be heard in your bedroom.


Play music - Even if you want your bedroom to be a quiet, relaxing place, music adds to the idyllic tone of the room. If you play songs that are special to you and your significant other, it may heat up your Valentine's Day.


Use your imagination - If you want to transport yourself to a location other than the Triangle, consider using the sounds of nature. These can give you the feeling of being at the beach or enjoying a night under the stars. What's more romantic than that?


Finishing touches
Don't forget to place two glasses of wine and a bowl of chocolate-covered strawberries next to your bed - no dreamy retreat is complete without them this Valentine's Day.