February 03, 2012

We have Geoffrey Chaucer to thank for making Valentines Day into a day associated with romantic love during the Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flourished, according to wikipedia.

All very well to live then but what to do for your loved ones now, if you are not going to spring for the stock chocolates-and-dinner? Not that I am against chocolate, it must be said. I am a particular fan right now of Tcho chocolates who manufacture their own chocolate from bean to bar – and have their factory open for tours for anyone with a “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” fantasy.

Tabletop  decorations are a great place to start for a gift idea.


Candles and candleholders like the Bamboo Style Lantern ($75.00) and the Butterfly Porcelain Votive Candle Holder from Kouboo are perfect. Add a note for your loved one with something cute like “no one holds a candle to you” or “my love burns bright” and you might get accused of being corny but you will no doubt get a smile… and there are worse fates in life than being a little corny. 

Napkin ring that resembles a dry leaf in silver color. 


Find a gift with a little sparkle or shine and let your sweetheart know that they bring just that into your life. Again, Kouboo has a couple of great options with their Laguna Rattan Napking Ring ($22.50, set of 4) or their Round Rattan Coaster With Wood Beans ($34.50, set of 4.)

If you really want to make a grand gesture, a magnificent mirror would reflect your love perfectly to your love.

Even better, right now the company is offering free shipping.

The best thing about getting a gift ahead of time is that you will not be dashing to the grocery store on the way home from work. That in itself makes you worthy of courtly love in this day and age!

Decorative hearts made out of paper.


Finally, in our family, we have a tradition of homemade Valentine’s and this year my toddler got into the swing of things with a dozen hand-painted hearts. Nothing better than that for a grandparent.

I hope that you have a wonderful month noticing all the things that you love in life. It’s a great time to contemplate everything, from small to large, which brings a smile to your face.

Please feel free to share your own gift secrets. I talked about gift giving in a post I wrote for the holidays. It isn’t always easy to think of the perfect thing to show how much you care and we’d love to hear from you if you think you have it figured out!


Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 

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