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I have shown you my kitchen and dining tables set for Thanksgiving Brunch and Christmas Dinner, but this time around, I thought it would be a nice change to set my coffee table for an intimate Valentine’s Dinner for two.

Brian and I have never enjoyed going out to dinner ON Valentine’s Day. Reservations often feel like a cattle call, and the food and service lack much to be desired. We typically do our Valentine’s date the week before, but honestly, now that we have kids, finding a sitter for a holiday is such a beating. If you are in the same boat as us, and just don’t feel like navigating the dinner scene or hearing yet another rejection from a sitter, why not stay at home, put the kiddos to bed early and have a romantic dinner (hello Pasta Puttanesca!) in front of the fire…or TV if you have shows recorded. #OldLady #OldMan #OldCouple

My inspiration for this table was the heart-shaped felt placemats I found at Pier 1 several years ago. I knew the red would not be very visible against the dark wood of my coffee table, but a white tablecloth easily rectified the situation while establishing the red and white color scheme. Of course, I used my beautiful wedding china, Padova by Waterford, for the place setting and topped it with a red accent salad plate. The layers of white cloth, red placemat, white china, red plate create an interesting pattern of various textures. I like to call it ‘finish out.’ Those small details make the table look complete, interesting and special.

I rummaged through the huge box of white linens that belonged to my Mimi and found two extra-large, white dinner napkins and folded them into an envelope…like a Valentine envelope!…and used a small ceramic heart to keep them closed. Is this not the best place to hide your sweetheart’s actual Valentine card?

Swirly red tumblers and wine glasses give height to the scape while reinforcing the color scheme. In order to keep the centerpiece relatively low–to make it easy to see across the table–a red table runner covered with a pile of white feathers set the stage for three miniature white vases, each holding one red rose. I love something as simple as a small pile of feathers in the centerpiece is evidence of Cupid’s visit without barfing “THEME!” all over the table. Playful and still sophisticated. Mission accomplished. The Heart Garden I wrote about last week would also be a lovely centerpiece for your Valentine table.

Even though there are just two place settings, you know I still had place cards…I guess I’m just bossy. A red frame held Brian’s name, and small red letters spelled my initials at the other spot. Don’t forget its okay if everything doesn’t match.


If you have never followed the whimsical character artist Patience Brewster, you will love all the ideas she gives on her website about how to repurpose Christmas ornaments throughout the year. This is especially doable with the ornaments she designs because they are not only Christmas in theme. Even her reindeer apply to life outside of December! I love Cupid! Just look at these ornaments, figurines and linens that are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Why not invest in some Patience Brewster Cupid tea towels to display in the guest room at Christmas, and then use for napkins on your Valentine table each year?


I hope my tablescape posts inspire you step up your typical “plate goes here, fork goes here” table setting. Finish out your tables. Incorporate beautiful pieces from around your house, or repurposed décor from other holidays.

Stay tuned for an incredible Valentine’s Dessert coming your way on Wednesday, and don’t forget to check out my Valentine’s Pinterest Board for more LOVELY inspiration.

-ciao for now-


Photography Credit: Patrizia Montanari




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