Creating a Romantic Table for Valentine’s Day | New Canaan & Darien Moms

Looking for some Valentine’s Day inspiration to set a romantic table? For your Valentine or for any date night dinner, we asked designer Deborah Rhodes for some ideas. Growing up in the South, Deborah was taught from an early age how to set a beautiful table. She learned from the women around her that her glass belonged on a coaster, not the table. Today, she creates luxury tabletop designs “to add a touch of fun and innovative style to the art of entertaining.” To learn more about Deborah, visit her website. 

Can you give us five tips to create a romantic table?
Creating a romantic table is unique to each individual and couple. What one finds romantic the other may find blasé. The first tip in creating a romantic table is knowing your partner’s definition of romance. Once you know their definition of romance you can create the table of their romantic dreams. If they are a Traditional Romantic, then a candlelit dinner with soft music may be the perfect evening. Whereas if they have a less traditional idea of romance, a more casual setting may be appealing. Often romance includes the following aspects: lighting (soft or dim lighting like candles or wall sconces), sound (music that fits the evenings mood/preference), aesthetics (a modern person would enjoy a contemporary look to their evening versus someone who enjoys a cozy cabin feel), and a favorite meal.

What should we keep in mind to be able to elevate the table from every day to a romantic evening?
The everyday table is simple with many of us rushing around in our day to day lives. To elevate your everyday table, you need to intentionally add something unique that speaks to your partner’s definition of romance, such as candles or flowers at the table.

Any ideas other than flowers for the centerpiece on the table?
Instead of going “classic romance” with flowers, you can opt in to have a tiered serving tray with a variety of either appetizers or desserts.

Does the setting have to be red? Any advice on choosing a color scheme?
Red is sexy. Red also signifies anger, so the shade of red is extremely important. However, that being said, red is not the end all be all of romance. Pinks are traditional valentine colors, but I think to simplify things, you can concentrate on the dining room color scheme and highlight the natural environment with candles, napkins, or flowers to match. A little silver or gold can add a spark of romance to the table.

What is your favorite dish to serve?
My favorite dish to serve is Tuscan chicken with potato au gratin. I start with a subtle vegetable soup, such as cream of cauliflower or pea soup.

How far in advance do you need to plan?
Planning for a Valentine’s dinner will depend on each couple. Some couples prefer not to celebrate Valentine’s Day and other couples will plan months in advance. For couples who do celebrate Valentine’s, again, go back to your partner’s definition of romance, and that will help you know the level of planning to take. Classic romantics might prefer evenings that take more planning for details, whereas non-classic romantics may prefer a much simpler evening that could be planned a couple days in advance.

Any advice on one tabletop item to consider splurging on to make this special?
If you choose to splurge on one item for Valentine’s Day, I suggest beautiful linen napkins or a special ice bucket that might be engraved for the occasion.

What should we do about the kids so we can be alone?
If you want to be alone for Valentine’s Day evening, you could do one of the following things:
– Get your kids to watch their favorite movie trilogy
– Hire a babysitter/call the nanny so you truly have the evening alone
– Plan for the kids to be at a sleepover at one of their friends’ houses (this works perfectly if their parents don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day!)

For the fabulous Single Moms with kids, can you share some tips on making it a joyful evening for friends and family?
Valentine’s Day often has the reputation of celebrating love for a partner. Why not celebrate Valentine’s with the intent of celebrating self-love and compassion? To any single moms out there with kids, this can be a day to celebrate yourself and have your kids celebrate themselves and a great opportunity to teach about self-esteem, self-care and compassion. You can celebrate doing your favorite activities together, celebrate the love you have for yourself and your family. While Valentine’s can be that day that brings out the fact that you’re single, it doesn’t have to be seen in a negative light. Single moms are the strongest, most amazingly determined individuals with so much love for their children. It’s time they take a moment and show some love for themselves and celebrate what amazing individuals they are!


Growing up in the South, Deborah was taught from an early age how to set a beautiful table. She learned from the women around her that her glass belonged on a coaster, not the table. “There is great sense of pride and American tradition which is deeply rooted in my line. I knew at an early age that I wanted to create and design.” Deborah studied at the Rhodes College in Memphis and the University of Memphis completing a BFA focusing on textile and weaving. She had planned on becoming an art teacher, but fate and friends took her on a path that moved her across the country where she became immersed in fashion.

To learn more about Deborah, visit her website. Or you can follow her @deborahrhodes.table.



Join The New Canaan Darien Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around New Canaan Darien CT with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.