Our Editors Share How They’d Style Their Apartments to Impress a Date

Take a deep breath, light the incense, and open the door.
an apartment
Photography by Thayer Gowdy; Styling by Rosy Fridman

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After the ceremonial presentation of drugstore roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate this Valentine’s Day, couples across the country will be wining and dining the night away. With bars and restaurants still facing restrictions, more dating duos than ever will be opting to savor that glass of Merlot at home. Which means touching up your space in anticipation of company. We’re here to help with a few subtle styling ideas that will convince your partner you have it together, tried and tested by Team Domino. 

Be a Good Listener

We all think we make a great playlist, but there’s still something to a full album, played on an actual record player. (That way, your speakers won’t be pinging with Hinge notifications while you’re busy wooing.) Leave your Al Green slow jams on the shelf; that’s too much. Go for Van Morrison’s album Moondance, which might as well have been engineered in a lab, as it makes anyone seem seductive. It’s about 40 minutes long, the perfect amount of time to talk before making your move. Tim Latterner, design editor, single

Light My Fire

After a year of dating, there aren’t many ways I can surprise my boyfriend when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try! I plan to set the mood with a low glow—mainly from my new Wooj lamp and my favorite mini fig tree–scented candles. —Esmé Stern, editorial assistant, in a relationship

Feed the Soul

A lot of people like to show their love through cooking, but I prefer to impress with elevated takeout sushi. There’s nothing sexy about picking at a spicy tuna roll from a plastic carton, so I’d quickly transfer everything over to vintage ceramic plates and whip out some stainless steel chopsticks (they’re actually really lightweight) before my date shows up. —Lydia Geisel, associate home editor, single

Burn, Baby, Burn

No one needs to be thinking about what your neighbor is cooking. Most people love a trendy candle, but I find these spiritual healing incense sticks offer a fresh, cool, woodsy note. Everyone always comments on the richness of the fragrance. I love the packaging, but decant them into a little wood box and pair them with a handmade enamel-glazed terracotta holder from Astier de Villatte x John Derian to let the aroma open up in the room. —Benjamin Reynaert, style director, in a relationship 

Beware the Sun!

Everyone is always so focused on date night that they forget to think about the potential next morning (I’m rooting for you!), when the sun streams into your apartment and brutally reveals the dust bunnies taking up residence on your floors. Do yourself—and your date’s allergies—a favor and sweep those guys in advance. —Lindsey Mather, editorial director–home, engaged

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

I always have a bottle of Tanteo, my favorite habañero-infused tequila, stashed away to prepare one of my famous spicy margaritas for those nights when you’re not totally prepared for company but the date ends up better than expected. Don’t forget to keep at least two polished glasses in the back of your cabinet. Nothing kills the mood more than spots and stains. —Erica Maltz, associate social media editor, single

Make Your Bed

I try to style my bed perfectly, as if it’s going to be shot for the cover of Domino. I’m not saying that I get the iron and lint roller out, but I’m not not saying that. Sex and the City’s Miranda said it best: “If I can make my bed a place I really want to be, others will feel the same.” And I will leave you with that. —Julia Stevens, associate style editor, single

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