Leverage your chef skills for the perfect romantic dinner

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of us are already busy planning for a magical night with our significant other. Often our plans include dinner at a nice restaurant, followed by a movie, a live performance, or maybe a romantic stroll through the park.

While all of these activities are great ways to spend the holiday, they can lack a certain intimacy. This year, maybe it's time to try something a little different. Here are a few easy tips for planning an unforgettable and intimate evening.

Consider the Ambiance

Let’s start with a few decorating tips. A good Valentine’s Day dinner should reflect the romantic nature of the holiday without being too gaudy.

This year, avoid all of the bright pink streamers and cartoon heart symbols and go for something a little more subdued. Try a simple tablecloth, some of your best dishware and a couple of nice candles. Lighting is important, so take the time to test out a few different variations using natural and artificial sources of light around the house. If you have a dimmer switch, now would be a good time to make use of it.