Whether you recently swiped right on each other or are happily married with kids, couples take their date nights very seriously. It's a great excuse to dress a little nicer, wear something sumptuously sexy and spend the entire night gazing into your partner's eyes, letting the daily stresses of work and kids drift away.
Many of us think the best date nights take place at a concert or pricey restaurant, but having an equally awesome night in the comfort of your home can be an exceptional option. After all, home is where the heart is, so why not spend a night with your beau there and turn up the heat with these six romance-enhancing essentials?
A Fiery Candle
Lighting a beautifully scented candle is a fool-proof way to set the mood. If you want to add a new candle to your collection, you can still snag Diptyque's limited-edition Rose Delight ($68) at Nordstrom. A delicious medley of fresh roses, honey, icing sugar, and lemon zest, this scent is both sweet and sultry — just like your partner. Plus, its charming canister is pretty enough to display on your bookshelf or coffee table.
A Bottle of Wine Worth Toasting To
You can also add a special touch to your night of romance with a bottle of vino, but finding a blend that both you and your partner will love may not be easy. So why not give Williams Sonoma's wine program a whirl? Start the night off right with a carefully curated gift set for as little as $40. Want to keep the vino flowing? Sign up for its Explorer Wine Club, where members will receive six popular bottles for $90. Seasoned oenophiles should take advantage of the store's Entertainer Wine Club, which offers six premium bottles for $180.
A popular aphrodisiac, oysters are a great way to take your home-cooked meal from simple to steamy. Instead of venturing out to your nearest dollar oyster joint, buy a batch of 'em at the grocery store. Shucking oysters requires some elbow grease, but the Zyliss Oyster Tool ($14.95) from Sur La Table makes prepping them significantly easier. Now all you need is some cocktail sauce or vinegar.
A Cozy Throw Blanket
Netflix and chill in style with this cozy throw from West Elm ($79). Not only is it long enough to cover the two of you, but the soft basketweave will feel heavenly against your skin as you and bae play footsie underneath. Once the special night is over, drape this over your couch for a homey finishing touch.
A Fondue Set...
Fondue has been a date-night mainstay since Justin Bieber sang, "chillin' by the fire while we eating fondue" in his 2012 hit, "Boyfriend." You could go to a restaurant, but we have to admit there's something inexplicably sensual about feasting on fondue in a more intimate setting. That's where Swissmar's 11-piece set ($89.95) from Crate & Barrel comes in. Perfect for meat, cheese and chocolate, plus the base can heat up to 350 degrees in no time. As an added bonus, this set comes with six forks, so you can use it during small dinner parties and double dates.
... Or Some Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
If your idea of the perfect romantic evening involves zero cooking, cleaning or physical labor, trade in the fondue set for some pre-made chocolate covered strawberries. Sur La Table's batch ($36) is dipped in creamy white, milk and dark Belgian chocolate. Consider your sweet-tooth cravings fulfilled.