You’ve invited your date over for a romantic, at-home date night and now the pressure’s on to set up a lovely evening that will leave them impressed. You should show them that you’ve put in the effort and tend to all the details, including decor, ambiance, food, drinks and more. Here are some tips that will help you prepare your home for a date.
Setting Up the Space
Assess the state of your living spaces — are the rooms clean, organized, functional and well-decorated? Do a deep clean of your house before your date comes over because no one appreciates dust, dirt and clutter. Make sure you organize the small things you wouldn’t think of organizing like your bathroom cabinets, closets, your kitchen cabinets, pantry and refrigerator. Set up the table for dinner ahead of time, so when your date arrives they will be wowed. Choose some candles and candle holders to decorate the dinner table and disperse around the living room. Choose unscented candles for the dining area, as you don’t want the fragrance to interfere with the taste of the food; and disperse subtly scented candles in the living areas. Try to stick with fragrances that smell natural: lavender, eucalyptus, cedar, lilac and jasmine.
When your date walks in the door, they should immediately be taken by the vibe of your home. Strategically light your home by dimming the light switches or turning on hallway lights versus main room lights. This helps the rooms have a more cozy feel and show off the romantic candlelight. Find a playlist on Spotify that has romantic, soft music that can be played in the background as you cook dinner or share a glass of wine. Lo-Fi, Folk, Indie and Jazz Ballads are other playlist genres to explore and use to create an intimate, pleasant vibe.
Food + Drinks
Have a game plan for the evening’s food and prepare everything in advance, even if you plan to cook with your date. Choose a menu that doesn’t have overly aromatic ingredients that could cause bad breath, like onions or garlic. Make sure you check in with your date and inquire about food allergies and flavor preferences. Shop for all the ingredients ahead of time and do as much prep work as possible, like chopping vegetables, measuring out ingredients and organizing the cooking space.
The meal you create should impress your date, but not keep you in the kitchen for the entire night. Pick up drinks that will accompany the meal, like sparkling water, wine or beer. Choose beer or wine that will pair well with the food. For example, a lager goes great with tacos and an imperial stout compliments a ribeye steak with a side of roasted root vegetables. For wine pairing, reference Wine Folly’s visually aesthetic book or blog which will help you create synergy for your tastebuds.
Plan an activity for after dinner that will keep the fun night going. A classic, go-to activity is a movie or television series screening with popcorn and/or dessert. You could also play some two-person board games or card games, like UNO, Catan, Checkers, Chess, Rummy, War or Cribbage. You should consider the season, when thinking about activities and engage in pastimes like pumpkin carving, mulled wine, cider pressing, cookie decorating, gingerbread houses, ornament making, easter egg decorating, outdoor fire pit or making s’mores.
A date night at home is a romantic alternative to going out on the town. If you follow the tips above and pay attention to the details, you can create a date that will impress the object of your affection.