I used to love going out. Dinner and a film, perhaps a trip to the local pub or meeting up with friends for a comedy night - the list seemed endless. Things have changed, I now have two children so I'm a veteran of nights in. It's not all bad, spending the evening at home gives you a chance to relax, have meaningful conversations with your other half, puts you in control of the playlist, the menu, the schedule and the dress code. Here are The Wooden Furniture Store's tips on how to create the perfect night in.
Set the mood
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No night in is complete without the correct lighting. Too bright and you won't relax properly, to dim and you'll be scrabbling around in the dark to find your snacks and remote. We suggest a balance of candle light and lamps to create a soft glow that lights the room but doesn't overpower. For special occasions and the fresh, clean scents they give off, you can't beat the smell of a luxury candle. Scented candles are all about the ambiance - verbena is invigorating, while lavender is perfect for stress relief. Alternatively, tealights are fantastic because they are very inexpensive, come in a myriad of colors and scents, and can be put into reusable containers that dress them up.
A great meal
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The kitchen is the most sociable room in our house. The result is a good meal, as well as lots of chat. We go for variations on the themes and food that involves help with the preparation - a pizza, sushi or fajitas. Not only is it highly enjoyable but it's also an interactive part of the evening! No night in is complete without great snacks too. I’m thinking of popcorn, chocolate, ice cream, crisps and dips.....
What to drink
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A night in calls for the perfect drink. You could choose a nice bottle of wine for dinner or even a cocktail, however a glass of Prosecco would always be top of my list. For something non-alcoholic, you could go with sparkling water, sparkling grape juice or fresh squeezed juice.
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Choose the background music to help set the mood. We love a playlist of our favourite songs that remind us of the best concerts we've been to, nights out with friends and memories from the past.
What to watch
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Don’t spend the entire night switching from one streaming service or premium channel to the next in search of the perfect thing to watch. It will be 11pm before you know it and you won't have watched anything. Do a little research beforehand and either narrow it down to a manageable few options or purposely leave yourself an episode or three of your favourite show to catch up on. Settle back in your specially created home cinema and then pour yourself another glass of wine.
A bit of pampering
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When you've finished watching TV, turn your evening into a mini-spa night. I can't think of anything better than a good book, a glass of wine and some candles along with a good long soak in the tub! Afterwards, lather yourself in your favourite moisturiser, why not try a face mask and then paint your nails.
And finally, what to wear
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Anything goes - your favourite sweater and fur-lined slippers, a plush bathrobe over PJs, or your best lived-in jeans and a T-Shirt. Comfort is the key (especially after that second helping of ice cream!)
After a night in rather than a night on the tiles, I find that having taken time to step back means I'm better equipped to deal with daily stresses the next day. We'd love to hear your ideas for the perfect night in. What's your favourite tip?