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Staying in is the new going out. Forgo suffering long wait times, expensive restaurant bills, and potentially awkward silences all in the name of a Hallmark holiday, when instead, you could be cozying up with your loved one in the comfort of your home. 

Our interior design expert, Heather Goerzen, curated her top five Valentine’s Day date in ideas that will entertain both you and your loved one. 

1. Game Night Extravaganza

Let your competitive sides out by staging a one-on-one romantic game night. Pour a glass of wine, order in pizza, and engage without phones by partaking in these fun games. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious and want to try your hand in the kitchen, try out this open-faced gouda & apple grilled cheese or winter salad recipe that will impress your Valentine. 

Heather recommends stylish jenga, puzzles, dominos, or chess as the ideal two-player games. 

Put some tunes on the record player, or on whatever stereo you have, and hunker down for a lively date night. 

Chess game
Anthropologie Printworks Chess Set

2. Indoor Candlelit Picnic

Avoid the hassle of a crowded restaurant (with potentially snobby servers) and keep the setting intimate with your honey at home. Post up in the living room and break out the blankets, pillows, and candles. 

Heather recommends a large, comfy blanket to set the scene. Pottery Barn’s soft and lightweight Houndstooth Sherpa Throw is ideal for getting cozy on the floor.

Pottery Barn Houndstooth Sherpa Throw
West Elm Paradiso Glass Taper Holder
Crate and Barrel Onslow Tray

To make things extra hygge-y, try West Elm’s romantic, glass candle holders in the center of your picnic. Dim the lights and put on some tunes to set the mood.  

For eats, focus on finger foods that won’t create a mess. Heather recommends a basic charcuterie spread to nibble on throughout the night. Purchase two cheeses (one hard and one soft), a fig jam, several cured meats, and crackers and you’ll have all the core components of a good time. For all your other snacks, try a tray to amplify the outdoors, brought indoors feeling.   

Pro tip: Platters without sides won’t get in the way of you taking down an entire block of brie, and they allow you to arrange your charcuterie board more freely.

By creating a playful setting on the floor you’ll have a chance to connect in new ways.

3. Movie Night In

Don’t think of a movie night in as a cop-out for an expensive evening out. Your sweetheart will appreciate the sentiment if you pay extra attention to the details. 

For starters, don’t buy microwavable popcorn bags from Safeway. Heather suggests going big with a state-of-the-art popcorn maker that will ensure your kernels come out tasting movie theater worthy. Experiment with different flavors, using butter or olive oil as the base, and adding parmesan, garlic powder, or nutritional yeast (we promise, it’s tasty!). Serve your loved one a personal bowl and make it pretty using something like this Anthropologie Atamcama bowl Heather loves. 

Cozy up with a throw on the couch, pour a drink, light up a calming scent and flip on the tube for the perfect movie night in. 

Popcorn maker
Crate and Barrel Stovetop Popcorn Popper
Anthropologie Atacama Bowl
Anthropologie Atacama Bowl
Crate and Barrel Calm Mood Candle
Crate and Barrel Calm Mood Candle

4. Culinary Adventures In Your Kitchen

Looking to reenact the scene from Lady and the Tramp this Valentine’s Day? Try setting up a personal cooking adventure in your kitchen. Classic Italian is a safe bet for romance.

Go for something easy, but delicious and low stress like make-your-own pizzas. If your better half is a chef, Heather suggests Williams Sonoma’s pizza set which doubles as an activity and gift.

Set the table, and the mood, with red wine glasses and stunning plates that will make a night in feel just as special as going out. For date night worthy plateware, that’s also versatile enough for everyday use, Heather recommends Anthropologie’s Glenna dinner plates.

Go for a Fusion Twist

If you and your partner are feeling more adventurous try a DIY sushi set for beginners, paired with a sake set meant for sore eyes. “Serve it all up in Anthropologie’s navy Lynah Bowl so the sushi can pop, with subtle, organic details,” Heather adds.

Pizza Set
Williams Sonoma Emile Henry Pizza Gift Set
Anthropologie Lynah Bowl
Anthropologie Lynah Bowl
Sake Set
West Elm Kanto Sake Set

5. Bring Napa to Your Living Room

Avoid the biggest downsides to wine tastings like driving, small pours, and the cost, by playing sommelier at home. Go to your favorite wine shop and ask for a professional’s recommendations, then set the scene with products below.

Pottery Barn Chateau Wood Cheese Board
Pottery Barn Chateau Wood Cheese Board
West Elm Horizon Collection
West Elm Horizon Collection
Crate and Barrel Swoon Carafe
Crate and Barrel Swoon Carafe
Anthropologie Brass Wine Rack
Anthropologie Brass Wine Rack
Peugeot Electric Wine Opener from crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel Wine Opener

Nothing beats a night in when done right. By adding a few extra touches to the decor and ambiance of the evening, your special someone is sure to feel extra loved this Valentine’s Day.

Words by Alena Courtney