For some people, everyday is Valentine’s Day. For others, it is a special day to reignite their bond with the people they care about. Regardless of whether Valentine’s Day comes once or is an everyday affair, you need to make February 14 an extraordinary day by changing the ambience of your home and creating great memories. You need to spice up the spaces around your home and create feelings of passion and warmth. While at it, house finisher Peter Bukenya says do not go for excessive structural adjustments, instead make simple but beautiful changes.
According to Jackeline Biira of Spaces interior, although many people think Valentine’s decor should only can create an amazing ambience both inside and outside their homes special for this day.
“Don’t wait for the bar owners to create a romantic atmosphere for you this Valentine because you can do it in your home as well,” she advises.
To Biira, the trick in creating this amazing ambience is playing around with colours that bring out love and romance. We share some simple but yet classic tips that you can use to refurbish your home for the day.
Boniface Wanjja of Bonre Consultancy Polar, advises that before decorating your home, it is important to first tidy up.
“You can’t redecorate your space without cleaning it properly, take out every unnecessary stuff, clean up your furniture and other items that needs to be cleaned,” he says adding that once the inside is clutter-free, clean and organised, you can then start adding all the special effects.
Biira says you can choose to decorate your house with pieces of ribbon and compliment the look by changing lights to dimmable ones.
She says dimmable lights will bring out the light romantic mood in the ambiance, which will undoubtedly match well with the ribbons. She says this décor should preferably be in the living room.
Use photos as wall decor
Wanjja says the wall décor has a huge impact on the overall look of a room. “Do you have photos that the two of you took as a couple? Then use these to set a romantic atmosphere in your bedroom by hanging them on the walls,” he says, adding that it would help you decorate the room and cherish sweet memories shared.
Red accents in the bedroom
Wanjja adds that one can change the vibe in their bedroom by introducing accents. “You can get new pillows or cushion covers of velvet or velour textures, or red with a combination of white. Also, decorate different corners of your bedroom with vessels of rose flowers,” he explains.
Biira says if not comfortable with dimmable lights, you can illuminate the room with candles. She explains that candles can create focal points and turn the whole space into a romantic nook. However, she cautions whoever opts for this to watch where they place the candles for safety reasons.
Fabric for special effects
Robert Musoke, an interior designer and a house finisher, advises that one can use fabric to decorate the ceiling and the walls. He says you can also use these around lights for a special romantic effect.
He says using fabric generally gives a splash of colour and texture to the room.
He says for the case of bedroom, you need a fresh coat of paint to make a change, to adopt a more romantic and passionate approach, changing the whole mood in the room. For example, paint one of the walls red. And since this is not a relaxing colour, it should be the wall behind the bed.
Musoke says when painting, one does not necessarily need to go for red. They can opt for any colour that represents love and passion for them. He, however, believes red would be perfect although one needs to blend it with another colour.
Musoke says when painting, one needs to work around with shapes, such as hearts, especially in the bathrooms and the bedroom.
Musoke advises that if not planned before, one needs to use paints that easily dry up and also avoid smelly and staining paint types.
Musoke advises that one can use silk to provide a rich element to any room as an upholstery covering, olefin in areas where there is wood or furniture since the fabric is durable, and cotton to provide a comfortable environment. However, he says if planned earlier, it would look more beautiful when not rushed.
“It can be something temporary, crafted for this occasion and it could be done using fabrics such that there after the house can be re-adjusted to what it was before,” he adds.
Monicah Kitaaka, an interior designer and fine art teacher, says on Valentines, just like any other festive day, one should work on temporary designs for instance, they can opt to change the ceiling by crafting one with gypsum, change paint and lights. Kitaaka advises that with gypsum, one needs to pre-plan and if done at last minute it takes too much labour and money to design. However, if they can afford the last minute cost, they should go for it.
New bed and beddings
And that new bed! Ssenteza Edward, who sells beddings, says for your bedroom to look glamorous and fresh, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for you to get rid of that old, ugly bed and get a new one. Ssenteza says besides the structure of the home, Valentine’s Day is the day for new things at home and he says if one had a canopy bed, they should consider another type like the four-poster bed or even a round bed. “Look for satin or silk beddings for Valentine’s Day to create a romantic environment especially in your bedroom,” Ssenteza advises.
Change of room purpose
He also says one can also turn one of the rooms in the house into something completely different, for instance, a ballroom or spa. He says one can re-arrange the setting and create space and light some candles or have flowers all over the room.
Jackeline Biira of Spaces interior, says one can also compliment the romantic look by choosing curtains that can complete the look. “Choose a colour that shows your passion and love. Red would be nice as a theme colour for Valentines but you can also play with other shades to bring out that effect that you want to see in your house,” she says.
Exterior: Preparing for this romantic day should not only be for the interior, but exterior as well.
Susan Nalumansi of Exotic Outdoors, says one can use beautiful flowers and fresh greenery to create an atmosphere of love. “Decorate your exterior with fresh flowers preferably green with red and some white and design your outdoor space in a Valentine’s Day spirit,” she says, explaining that these flowers can be placed in vessels at different corners of the veranda.
Radhia Namata, a gardener at Soya floral centre, Kansanga, says one can spice up the backyard with colourful flower vases to create a new look. Namata advises that something similar be done in other gardens in the home though she emphasises that the backyard should receive a special touch since most of the times it is where love blossoms.
Vases cost between Shs75,000 and Shs10 5000. She adds that vase types like the cylindrical vases come in single stem widths with multiple flowers especially, roses. One can also opt for a sphere vase, which is good for medium size flowers.
Namata notes that besides floral adjustments, one can hire a lights expert to give the gardens a lively glitz by choosing the right lights to make the gardens amazing. She notes that with the right lighting, one may not need to change the vases but rather play around with the lights.
Nalumansi of Exotic outdoors, says one can light up the walkways to illuminate this special day and brighten up the world of their loved ones. She says this can be done by using led ropes or strip lights along the pathways and driveways to set the mood for this romantic day. “Get more creative with the outdoor lighting and express your love in a unique way,” she says.
She says these can be combined with plants in the walkway.
Security light in green plants
Annet Alitusabira, a lights expert at Crystal Euro LED lighting, Kampala, says most people tend to focus on the indoor lighting when planning for eventful days like honeymoon, Valentine’s Day and Christmas, but she says one should opt for beautiful walkway lights in the gardens. She emphasises that some security lights should be deliberately placed in green plants around home to create a unique beautiful effect.
However, Alitusabira advises that as one thinks of how to transform their outdoor for the day, they should consider unique lighting designs such as wall washers, star lights to give their house a new look on Valentine’s Day. These can be used for both outdoor and indoor lighting.
She says unlike other adjustments like repainting the house, lights are easy to fix.
Light up your tree branches
Nalumansi says there is nothing amazing like sitting in the dark as you watch over a well-lit tree with your loved one.
“I know such decor is mostly common in hangout places but can have these amazing sites in your own compound this Valentine’s Day,” she says.
For those who have an outside porch, Nalumansi advises them to design their porches in romantic ways so as to create a romantic place where the two of you can have a good time together.
“Dress up your porch to create an angle where you can spend quality time together,” she says.
She adds that you can design some heart-shaped pillows on the chairs and decorate the space with beautiful candleholders to bring Valentine’s romance to your porch.
How are you preparing your home for Valentine’s Day?
"I plan to use dimmed lights to create a romantic feeling in the bedroom. This I will compliment with white beddings and red pillow covers. I also plan to have some scented flowers in the house," Marion Bameka
"I always love changing my bedroom to create a special feeling for this day. Last year, I changed the corner where our bed stands and also changed the entire décor of the bedroom. A part from changing the décor, I moved from everyday’s lighting and placed candles in different corners. it was abstract and different from the usual and it was also romantic," Elizabeth Nakyambadde.
Would you overhaul your home for valentines?
"Everyday can be Valentine. I choose to adjust my home whenever I feel there is need. And basically if the original setting was properly planned then there is no need for one panic over one day," Douglas Kasule, calligrapher.
"I would opt for decorations other than full scale adjustments. I would limit my focus to the bedroom other than overturning the entire house for one day," Dorothy Nabunjo, artiste.
"At no time can I dare temper with my house just because of Valentines. It is a a normal day that couldn’t make someone call for any adjustment,"Giovanni Kiyingi,Afro-soul musician.
"The best way to feel Valentines Day is by exploring one’s creative ability. I would definitely adjust my house enhancing some special areas in the house like the bathroom, bedroom," Melanie Mataaga, Rights activist.
Cost of lights
Annet Alitusabira, a lights expert, says dimmable lights cost about Shs380, 000 depending on the make and security lights can go for Shs280,000. Star lights range from Shs1.5m and the wall washers go for Shs200 000 depending on the material explaining that some materials like aluminum go for Shs300,000 and the strip lights are sold at 250,000 per metre. She however cautions people to take note and ask the sellers whether the light they are buying is for indoor or outdoor revealing that most strip lights people use in their houses are designed for outdoor purposes. He adds that garden lights can cause health implications if continuously used indoors. These lights can all be got from Kiyembe, Industrial area and Kampala road in Kampala. You can also get them in shopping centres outside Kampala.