As an alternative of eating out on Valentine’s Day—in a restaurant filled with strangers and dripping with paper hearts—wouldn’t or not it’s extra intimate, in each sense of the phrase, to remain in? That’s all the time been our desire: candles, a desk set for 2, and maybe pajamas over crowds and chilly.
Once we emailed lately with Ajiri Aki, the France-based doyenne of fashionable, easy desk settings (she runs the classic tableware store and linen purveyor Madame de la Maison), we had been completely satisfied to listen to that she feels the identical, all the best way over in Paris. Right here’s how she units the desk for a easy Valentine’s dinner for 2—plus her ideas for making it only a bit romantic, by no means fussy.
Images by Ajiri Aki.
1. Resist the urge to go pink.
Above: Simply because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t imply it’s best to drape the desk with all of the pink issues you will discover. “As a lot as I really like pink the whole lot, I needed to go along with a easy, mushy, romantic look utilizing the orage tablecloth and sable napkins,” Ajiri says. “The orage linen is grey-ish blue, form of like a storm. Orage means storm in French. It’s a mushy coloration palette with out going full-on pink.”
2. Select petite flowers over massive bouquets.
Above: In lieu of a giant (fairly presumably overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck only a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. That is an intimate dinner at residence, keep in mind; the size ought to be small. Ajiri used classic apothecary bottles and vainness jars; easy jam jars work, too.
3. Sprinkle some roses.
Above: “I all the time add one little stereotypical ingredient that connects to the vacation,” Ajiri says. For a romantic contact, she scattered a handful of dry rose buds down the middle of the desk.
4. Use the nice china.
Above: Preserve the meal easy, however serve it with favourite items. “These mussels in white wine sauce take a whopping 20 minutes to make, however they’re all the time served in lovely vintage finds,” Ajiri says.
5. Embrace imperfection.
Above: Let the desk be somewhat fantastically imperfect, not prim or overdone. “I not often iron my linens as a result of I discover the feel lovely,” Ajiri says.
6. Sit kitty-corner.
Above: Set two locations kitty-corner from each other. It’s extra informal than going through one another—and also you received’t have a desk between you.
P.S. See extra of Ajiri’s entertaining ideas in Joyeux Noël: Easy methods to Throw a Vacation Occasion the French Manner. And right here’s our authentic function on her work: Classic French Model You Can Lease: Madame de la Maison in Paris.