How to Prep Your Place For Valentine's Day (Republished From NY Daily News)


Friday, February 10th 2012, 1:36 PM

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Why shouldn’t you do all you can to help your hookup potential, even if the date is with the old ball and chain? New York City neighborhoods and home decor can help much more than any silly wingman.

The right city streets can be the perfect place for a kiss. But you’ll need more romantic savoir-faire than that. Prepping your home for love doesn’t have to be a chore, nor does it have to be expensive.

New York and Los Angeles-based matchmaker Samantha Daniels (at left, BRYAN SMITH FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS), who founded Samantha’s Table, has put together 125 marriages in a decade. She believes a person’s feelings for their home should mirror those they have in the “right” relationship.

“How you feel in your home should be similar to how you feel in a relationship with that perfect person,” says Daniels, a former divorce lawyer who was the model for the NBC dramedy “Miss Match,” starring Alicia Silverstone. “You can tell right away when you walk into someone’s house if they’re ready or not for something serious. If it’s messy or has decorations done by an ex, well that’s a red flag.”

Daniels says you can prep your home for a hot date or set the mood for love with art, furniture and the right props.

“Whether you are male or female, your home can be the perfect place to evoke a little romance by adding touches of warmth, and interesting home decor pieces that are personal to you,” she says. “These days, there are many home- decor items that can style your home while, at the same time, evoke a sense of love.”

As we approach Valentine’s Day, here are 10 tips from the matchmaker for creating the right mood in your home:

Lighting first. Dimming lights is so yesterday. Make sure that lighting creates the perfect romantic glow so that the two of you can get into the mood. Use a portable fireplace to evoke that romantic feeling. Empire ­Tabletop Fireplace, $99.99, www.any­

Candles are warm. Lanterns are hot. These days you can find items that will let you incorporate candles into your home decor and be available all the time. Try placing candles in a great lantern or candleholder, like the Mini Mogador pair of stainless lanterns, $24,

Romance smells good. A person’s olfactory sense will identify a pleasing sense and translate that into a romantic feeling. Think about a stylish Scentilizer masking your gym bag stink with something lovely, like Sweet Orange or Peppermint. The Lantern Scentilizer, $129.99,

Flowers work, but faux works forever. Flowers are always romantic, but a lot of women feel a sense of loss when they wilt quickly. Why not try faux flowers that you can keep permanently which give off the smell of your choice, continuosly? Hervé Gambs Purple orchid, $49;

Yes to wine — bigger yes to a wine caddy. Sipping a glass of wine can turn the mood from casual to romantic. In your home, it’s important to have a stylish place to set out that vino. Try a hardwood tray or a hand-crafted wine spinner to create that great look of romance. Dog Wine Bottle holder, $79,

Moisturize it — a hands-on approach. It’s surprising how hand products can actually help someone get into “the mood.” Try Tarocco Sicilian blood orange wash and moisturizer, $28,

Cuddle in comfort. Sometimes cuddling can be more romantic than “sealing the deal.” Make sure you have a scrumptious throw on your sofa in case the two of you get cozy. Chocolate channel throw, $150,

Music man or woman. Nothing works better than this. Make sure you have a great selection on your iTunes. I like Bruno Mars or Michael Bublé. Don’t knock it till you try it.

Just in case, more than clean sheets. If your evening takes you into your bedroom, it’s key to luxuriate in luscious sheets. Try a set of high-thread-count sheets to feel like you are lying on a cloud. A 400-thread-count cotton sateen hotel collection double sheet is $79;

Go with a classic, chocolate. Sometimes romance can come from connecting over the silliest of things. Why not make some ­Popsicles together and cover them with the best ­aphrodisiac out there, chocolate? Zoku Chocolate Station, $19.95;