There's something really romantic about a real fire but why is this the case? We take a look at why we associate those dancing flames with a certain mood, and what you can do to make the most of your own romantic fireplace.
Why do we find a real fire romantic?
Wondering why firelight is an essential ingredient for a romantic night in? There are ancestral, biological and cultural reasons that explain the appeal of a real fire.
It goes back a long way
Our ancestors discovered that a fire kept the sabre tooth tigers away, and the area around the blaze became a safe space. This developed into a sociable place where people could share food and stories in warmth and comfort so we've come to associate a real fire with good company.
We love that multi-sensory experience
Fire is good for most of our senses. We like the smoky smell, the look of the glowing light, the sound of the crackling logs, the feel of the warmth on our skin. While all these senses are happy, we feel relaxed essential for romance.
Firelight creates an intimate space
The lit area around the fire creates its own little zone. In the glow of the firelight, it's easy to forget everything else around you (except for your fireside companion, of course). This is why candle-lit dinners are so popular: we feel like we're the only couple in the restaurant.
Low light is romantic
When we find someone attractive, our pupils dilate, sending a subconscious sign to the other person. In the warm glow of firelight, our pupils naturally dilate, replicating this and sending out romantic signals. And yes, we all love the flattering glow of the fire over the high lux levels of the bathroom or kitchen lights!
Think of all the movies, programmes and even commercials you've seen where romantic scenes are played out against the backdrop of a fireplace. Crackling logs, deep rugs and fireside wine have all become real cultural motifs of romance.
How to create a romantic fireplace
How can we make our own fireplaces as romantic as possible? Here are a few ways to maximise that warm, glowing feeling.
Turn down the lights
Make the fire even more of a focal point by turning off the other lights. Add a candle or two and some string lights so you can still see your glass of Valentine's fizz, but otherwise, let that gorgeous glow take over.
Add a hearth rug
Cosy up close to the hearth together on an invitingly soft hearth rug. Curling up in front of the fire is relaxed and romantic (although if you have an open fire, you may also want to add a fire screen to reduce the risk of sparks).
What's on the mantlepiece?
There's nothing romantic about clutter. Lit candles and a small vase of flowers will look much nicer on your Valentine's Day mantelpiece than a stack of brown envelopes and some empty mugs.
What do you burn?
Seasoned wood smells wonderful, so if you're set up to burn this, choose logs for that smoky, musky scent. Use kiln-dried logs to show your love for the environment, too.
Look after your fireplace
We'll admit, this doesn't sound very romantic but neither is a face-full of soot. Keep your fire and chimney regularly maintained, so those romantic moments aren't ruined by a sudden whoosh of smoke.
Choose a romantic fireplace
If you want to make romance a permanent fixture of your fireplace, start with the fire surround. This beautiful English Georgian fireplace has a centre block depicting Venus and Cupid. What could be more romantic than the Goddess and God of love?
Talk to us at Thornhill Galleries
If you don't already have a fireplace and would like to introduce this romantic feature into your home, please contact us at Thornhill Galleries.