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Creating a Romantic Valentine's Day Getaway

Romance does not require a holiday. Valentine's Day is simply a good excuse. Nothing is wrong with a bouquet of flowers or a heart-shaped box of chocolates, but soon the candy's eaten and the flowers are faded. Love lingers longer than each of these fleeting gifts. Since romance is already in your heart, express it by adding some romantic design to your bedroom. Here are some ways to stimulate the senses and make this holiday one to remember.

Love awakens our senses. Studies have shown that when romance is in the air, food tastes better, sounds are more appealing and bright eyes virtually illuminate their surroundings. In the ideal romantic bedroom, each of the five senses should be visible. "The bedroom is the one room that is really important to the man . . . more important than most rooms," says Hazel Barry. She and her husband co-own Medford home gift store, Veranda. "Style and furnishings need to satisfy both genders," she says.

Most important in the bedroom, says Barry, is the use of color and light. On Valentine's Day, light some candles and dim the lights. If you are ready for commitment, consider painting the bedroom walls a rich, warm color. According to feng shui, the relationship area of the home is the far right corner from the front door. "If the relationship area is in the bedroom, then you can really go romantic," says Sharon Baldoni, owner of Medford's Feng Shui Designs. "The relationship area is generally a rose color. A man may want just a tint of rose, and a woman, pink. Add a little bit of red. Red is the color of a woman's sensual lips and her heart."

Red roses are for lovers. A single, crimson rose near the bed, or silky petals sprinkled on the bed covers add vitality, fragrance and beauty to the bedroom. Nevertheless, advises Baldoni, "Stay away from dried flowers since there is no life force in them. Dried flowers represent something that has lived and passed."

"You bring into reality that which you bring into your room . . ." says Baldoni. Display photographs, treasures and books or art that make you feel happy so they can be appreciated from the comfortable bed.

The bed should be the centerpiece of the room. "You want a bed you can't wait to crawl into. I think that a big, puffy bed creates romance. My husband likes it. Touch is important to men and women, so use soft fabrics," says Barry, "I don't think that men like little pillows. Big ones are better." Cover your bedspread with a washable suede duvet or turn down the bed to reveal satin sheets. Like a 5-star hotel, place a decadent chocolate on the pillow.

Champagne served in sparkling flutes delight the late-night taste buds. So does chocolate. Chocolate contains a "love drug" chemical known to evoke euphoric feelings that accompany a new relationship. Just like a romantic restaurant, complete the mood with some soft music. Barry White, old-time love songs, and even nature sounds - like oceans or rainforests create a relaxing atmosphere. Or play your favorite CDs, and sing and smile, but keep the TV and other distractions off.

Clean up the bedroom - shove the mess in your closet or under the bed if you must - and design a soothing stay-at-home evening. Soft music, lights and fabrics, combined with silky treats and fragrant flowers, stimulate all the senses. Open your heart, close the door and start a romantic tradition this Valentine's Day.

Creating a Romantic Valentine's Day Getaway