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5 Tips For Creating a Romantic Night and Fun Dinner at Home

Valentines Day is just around the corner and maybe you're already thinking how to make this occasion really special. Here are some ideas for a romantic and fun dinner at home either for several couples or just for two.
Sensual Scents
Whether planning for one guest or several couples, let robust spices (think cloves, canela, cardamom and black pepper) help set the mood with the help of a standard frying pan. Toast the spices just to their smoking point, and the room will fill with an inviting--and delicious--bouquet.
Pairing Is Caring
When prepping for a perfect evening, pairings are a fun way to turn any meal into a special occasion and spice up the fun. Plan three courses and pair each with a small cocktail. A fun and easy way is to use one base spirit in three different ways.
Make It A Group Effort Let your guests in the kitchen and encourage them to enjoy the tactile sensation of the food as it is prepared. Start the party early and enjoy cocktails as you cook.
Forget the Utensils Feed…

Outdoor Fireplaces Design Ideas

Outdoor Fireplace on Patio; see Des Moines' Archadeck for More!

Homes with limited interior square footage often have a staggering amount of outdoor property as compensation. Even if you don't have a green thumb, your yard can be an extension of the home to gain more livable space. There's no need to call any contractors to pour concrete and erect a physical building adjacent to the home. Simple and functional additions entice visitors out into the garden for a retreat unlike any other.

Meandering Pathways

If the yard looks like a jungle, no one will want to traverse into its interior. Clear away bushy areas and add stepping stones throughout the space. Don't just create straight pathways to the home's side areas, but form meandering paths to enjoy the garden in a more natural way. Stepping stones are relatively inexpensive and last for many years when properly installed in the ground. Have pathways pass by favorite trees or flowerbeds, for example.

Warm Gatherings

Create one or several patio areas along the pathways. These patios could be stepping stones or leveled gravel, depending on your personal tastes. Add a fireplace for cooler regions or a water fountain for relaxing sounds. Tables and chairs are a must for this space. Add a hammock or swinging chair if you desire. The design is up to your imagination. The more innovative the additions, the more attracted people will be to the space.

Strategic Planting

Use common sense when planting your garden near the patio or pathways. Any poisonous or prickly species should be relegated to the back areas to avoid interaction with visitors. If you enjoy ground cover, be ready to prune it frequently to avoid overgrowth onto the stepping stones. Add plants that don't spread too far into walking areas to make the space more open and inviting.

Lighting the Way

Add lighting along the pathways and patio to make the evenings perfect for an outdoor relaxation period. LED lights are expensive to purchase upfront, but you'll probably avoid bulb replacements for several years. Solar lighting is always an option, reducing your electricity cost substantially. Even try old-fashioned tiki-torch designs to emulate a tropical feeling. Hang lights between poles too for a party-like atmosphere. There's almost no limit to lighting ideas.

Whether you enjoy outdoor fireplaces or a small water feature, the backyard is a canvas waiting for your imagination. Sketch out a few ideas before implementing any of them.

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