By Miranda Hitti

While chocolates, roses and candlelight dinners are always appropriate for Valentine's Day, why not let Cupid inspire ideas to bring romance into the bedroom?

It's not just a matter of sprinkling rose petals around the room or lighting candles. Instead, follow a few simple principles to create a romantic Valentine's bedroom � and help keep the spark going all year long.

Eliminate Distractions.

The first step in creating a romantic bedroom is to banish the TV set, says Diane Dorrans Saeks, author of "Bedrooms" (Chronicle Books). "I think a television set, both conceptually and visually, is anathema to romance," Saeks says.

However, Saeks recommends installing sound systems in bedrooms � music can be romantic, but late night TV talk shows are not. A good rule of thumb is to keep the bedroom free of work, computers and other distractions. Instead, reserve the room exclusively for sleep, relaxation and romance.

Create a Great Bed.

The ideal romantic bedroom features a top-quality bed and bed accessories. "Get the best possible mattress, pillows and bed frame you can," Saeks says. For instance, four-post beds look romantic and can be further enhanced with draperies and canopies. If a new bed or mattress is beyond your budget right now, treat yourself instead to soft, fluffy pillows.

Next, dress your bed in good quality cotton or linen sheets. For a crisp, fresh touch, iron the sheets or have them hand-pressed at a laundry. "White is the most romantic color, and ecru and the palest pink are also attractive," Saeks says.

Set the Mood With Lighting.

Like Saeks, Anne Landers of Savannah, Ga. is an expert on creating romantic bedrooms. Landers is the owner and innkeeper of The Gastonian, a bed-and-breakfast inn where couples often celebrate engagements, weddings or anniversaries. Landers says good lighting is important in setting a romantic mood in the inn's bedrooms.

"I use a lot of indirect lighting," Landers says, explaining that she finds overhead lighting unflattering. The inn's bedrooms also glow with light from fireplaces. According to the Hearth Products Association, fireplaces can often be installed in almost any room in a house � check your local building regulations first.

Looking for a simpler project? Consider installing dimmer switches on your existing lights. Dimmer switches, available at home improvement stores, let you control the light's brightness.

Include Small, Thoughtful Treats.

The little things count a lot in relationships so be sure to add some special touches to your bedroom. Chocolate truffles, champagne, strawberries and chocolate and romantic reading are some of the treats Landers leaves in the rooms for guests. "We put a little basket on the bed with six chocolates and a little book of love poetry," Landers says.

Flowers are also welcome, providing appealing colors and scents. "Small pots of flowering bulbs will fill the room with fresh, natural fragrance. I especially recommend hyacinths and paper whites," Saeks says.

And while candles are popular, they can also be potential fire hazards, which is one reason not to fill your room with lighted candles. In fact, Landers doesn't allow any candles in her inn's rooms, for safety's sake.

With the scene set, all that remains is to "turn off the phone, turn up the music and disappear from the world," Saeks says. By eliminating distractions and playing up comfort and sensuality, your bedroom can remain a romantic retreat long after Valentine's Day has come and gone.