6 Date Night Decor Tips to Make Valentine’s Day (or Any Day) Feel Extra Special

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching—but plans might look a little different this year. Instead of a fancy dinner out, many couples are opting for a date night in. But for some, that can feel like a bit of a let-down. After all, how can you make Valentine’s Day dinner (or any date night dinner, for that matter) feel special, when you spend night after night together at home?

All it takes is a bit of creativity and planning ahead! With a few decor swaps and some rearranging, you can make an at-home date night or celebration feel just as special as a night on the town. So, whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a Galentine’s get-together, or an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or special milestone, we have the tips you need to elevate your night in.

Read on for a round-up of simple tips and small decor shifts to take you from a regular dinner at home to a very special, thoughtful date night in.
date night decor tips

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1. Tidy Up

Key to making date night feel different from any old evening? A clean home. After all, your favorite restaurant doesn’t have dirty dishes in the sink or toys strewn about the floor, does it? Elevate the vibe of your space by giving it a good clean! So, either the night before or day-of, give yourself some time to tidy up your space so that when dinner time comes around you can sit back and relax.

2. Bust Out the Fancy Stuff

Do you have special dishes, glasses, or cutlery that you only use when you have company over or on major holidays? Well, consider this the perfect opportunity to bust out that special occasion tableware. Use your nice dishes, your best serveware and flatware, and your favorite wine glasses. Have a decanter or wine chiller collecting dust at the back of your cabinet? Date night is the perfect time to elevate your drink presentation as well! Pour your red wine into a decanter for serving at the table, or keep your white wine or champagne chilled, tableside.

Stylist Tip: If you and your partner have a favorite restaurant, try to recreate the vibe of that space at home! Bring in decorative elements and tabletop pieces that visually resemble the restaurant’s ambiance and style.

date night decor tips

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3. Create Some Ambiance

Nothing says “there’s nothing special happening here” like bright, unflattering overhead lighting on date night. So, make sure you create some ambiance before settling in for dinner! Dim (or entirely turn off) your overhead lighting and light some candles! You can go with tapers, a trio of pillar candles, or even a few flameless votives. Want a little more light? Consider investing in a mood-setting new lamp to place on a buffet or console table!

But ambiance isn’t just about lighting. Queue up some background music, too! Bonus points if it’s on vinyl, played on a nearby turntable.

date night decor tips

4. Arrange Some Fresh Flowers

A simple floral bouquet or vase of fresh greenery will help enliven the mood and serve as a beautiful centerpiece while you dine. Want your space to feel even more special? Scatter a few different arrangements of florals and greenery around your room—from the table to a buffet and even your bar cart. (More on that next!)

date night decor tips

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5. Prep Your Bar Cart

Plan ahead for what you want to drink on date night, whether that’s a fancy cocktail or mocktail, or some celebratory bubbles. Make sure your bar cart is stocked and styled with the necessities. From there, take it to the next level by sprinkling in little moments of delight that will make mixing drinks feel extra special—like a vase of fresh flowers, flickering candles, a decanter, and perhaps a book of love poems!

No bar cart? No problem. Here are 7 ways to create an impromptu bar!

date night decor tips

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6. Consider Setting Up Somewhere Special

If having dinner at your dining table feels too “everyday,” consider setting up your dinner or appetizers elsewhere in your home. Don’t be afraid to dine in your living room by the fireplace (how cozy!), lounging by your sofa, or even at your eat-up kitchen counter if you want to recreate the vibe of your favorite bar! (What is it about sitting side-by-side on barstools that feels so romantic?) Any of these relocations will help your date night feel different than the ordinary day-to-day scene.

Stylist Tip: If you set up in your living room, consider swapping in a few special throw pillows and extra cozy blankets to up the cozy and romantic vibe of your space!

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6 Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party in Small Spaces

small space hostingWith Thanksgiving less than a month away, it’s safe to say peak hosting season is officially upon us! That means it’s time to break out the pumpkin décor, light your favorite fall scented candle, and get your bar cart ready for action.

Whether you’re opening your home for the big turkey day or planning an informal “Friendsgiving,” hosting a dinner party in any space can be intimidating. But for those of us working with minimal square footage, it can pose an even greater challenge.

Not only do you have to negotiate cooking a spectacular meal in a pint-sized kitchen, but you also have to figure where everyone is going to sit. Not to mention the struggle of fitting your feast on your tiny (or even non-existent) table!

If those struggles sound familiar, don’t fret! With a few clever tricks you can easily host a successful dinner party in your space, no matter the size.

To help, we rounded up our Modsy Designers’ 6 best tips for small space hosting.

small space hosting1. Don’t Be Afraid to Rearrange Your Whole Space

The most common challenge with small space hosting is that most small homes don’t have dining rooms! But here’s the good news – dining rooms are not a requirement for hosting an excellent dinner party.

Try rearranging your main living space for the evening. Push your sofa to the side and bring your dining table into the newly opened space.

Not sure what the best layout is for your space? Try your hand at our 3D Style Editor to see how new layouts will look in your room (without the heavy lifting). Not a Modsy customer? Start a project and we’ll show you your options in 3D.

small space hosting2. Mix and Match Your Chairs

Don’t have a full set of dining chairs handy? Gather all of the seats from around your house and take them into the main entertaining space.

Look around for desk chairs, stools, entryway benches and other furniture that you can repurpose as dining room seating for the evening.

Designer Tip: Dining chairs can be used in more places than just the dining room! Try one as a desk chair or even get creative and use it as a nightstand. This is a great option if you prefer the look of a matching set (not to mention shopping in pairs can often save you money).

small space hosting3. Expand Your Table (Or Expand Your Options)

One of the best ways to prepare for a small space dinner party is with an expandable dining table. These give you the option to accommodate more people when needed, but also easily collapse to save space when it’s just you.

If purchasing a new table just isn’t, well, on the table, consider making do with what you have. Don’t be afraid to pull in desks and console tables to create a makeshift dining space for the night.

Read This Next: 6 Ways to Prep Your Dining Room for Holiday Entertaining

small space hosting4. Go Mobile With Your Drink + Snack Station

A bar car is a great option for hosting a dinner party in tight quarters. You can wheel it in when you need it, and easily tuck it away when you don’t.

If you’re working with an especially small space, look for an option with an open frame to keep your space looking airy and light. Mirrored shelves are another trick to help make your space look a bit larger than it is.

Read This Next: Small Space Hacks to Optimize Your Living Room

small space hosting5. Set Up a Buffet Station

The last thing you want is to clutter up your dining table and leave no space to actually eat. Instead, outfit a credenza or console table as a buffet station and encourage guests to help themselves.

6. Serve Vertically

Vertical displays are a great way to make more surface area when you don’t have any. When it comes to small space hosting, opt for some tiered serving trays to make the most of a smaller serving station.

Read This Next: 7 Sneaky Storage Ideas for Small Spaces


Don’t let your small space hold you back! Whether it’s a tiny dining room or an awkward living space, our Modsy designers are standing by to help you find the perfect design for your home. Start a project today and get your space ready for the holidays!