Create a love nest on a budget
Your bedroom is — or should be — a haven of tranquility.
Think of it as a place to rest after a long day and a place to reconnect with your lover. In fact, think of it as the most important room in your house.
Chances are you have filled your bedroom with clutter that distracts from its two main purposes — to provide rest and romance. Or, your bedroom is simply an afterthought — it’s often not the first port of call for visitors so the bedroom is often the last room in the house to get redecorated.
But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner it’s time to treat your bedroom — and your love life — to a makeover with these five easy tips to stimulate your senses.
To add a touch of romance to your bedroom decor, interior stylist Erica Fanning suggests tapping into your sense of sight through the infusion of colour.
"Colours like red, pink and lilac have really strong emotions to love, romance and energy," she says. "They don’t have to be used in an overpowering manner — you can simply use them as accents to your decor through cushions, throws and fresh flowers," she suggests.
Black is also an indulgent colour, especially in the bedroom. "You can create black and white photos of yourself and your loved ones and frame them using an elegant black frame," suggests Erica. "Black has always been seen as a sexy colour and black and white photos add a sense of vintage and mystery."
Texture is another great way to infuse romance into your bedroom. Silk sheets are the obvious choice but if you’re looking for something a little more subtle, try introducing texture with accents instead.
"Textures like velvet, silk and faux fur are sensory experiences that evoke feelings of comfort, intimacy and luxury," explains Erica. "You could try introducing velvet cushions, a faux fur or a textured woollen throw for the bed and silk effect fabric for the window furnishings," she suggests.
Your sense of smell is a powerful thing so if your bedroom is smelling a bit stale it’s time to spice things up a little.
According to studies conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, the smell of pumpkin pie was found to increase penile blood flow by 40 per cent. The culprits are vanilla and cinnamon — often touted for their abilities as aphrodisiacs — and the good news is that they work just as well at increasing sexual desire in women.
If you’d rather not have your bedroom smelling like a bakery, Erica fanning suggests using fresh flowers and scented candles instead. "Fresh flowers such as red or pink roses, yellow tulips or hyacinth on the bedside table and scented candles will infuse the entire room with a dreamy scent," she says.
Soft lighting is seductive and has the added benefit of making you look younger. It’s also going to hide some of those lumps and bumps you may feel self-conscious about. For lighting that lifts the romance of a room think candles, fairy lights or lampshades draped in sheer fabric to soften the glow.
If you want to go all out, Erica believes adding a hint of Hollywood glamour might be just the ticket. "Consider adding a hint of Hollywood to the light fittings in your bedroom by using a chandelier," she suggests. "Acrylic or glass — either way they can create quite the ambience in a bedroom and the diffused reflection of the light sets a romantic tone," she says.
Love cinema? Why not give your bedroom a Hollywood makover >>
Well-placed mirrors also help — and we’re not talking the type that are mounted on the ceiling. Simply group some candles around a tall mirror on a dresser for a romantic touch.
Yep, you read that right. While taste may be a sense that’s more commonly stimulated in the kitchen there’s no reason your bedroom can’t be part of the action.
You can seriously amp up the romance in your bedroom with a box of goodies designed to stimulate you and your lover’s tastebuds. Think flavoured lubricant, a bottle of champagne, fresh strawberries and a small box of chocolates for a romantic night in. Or keep a box of essentials — chocolates, lubricant, condoms, tissues and edible massage oil — in your bedside drawer so you’re always prepared.
Creating a romantic retreat in your bedroom doesn’t have to break the bank and you don’t need a team of professionals invading your personal space to get the job done. With just a few small touches you’ll be on your way to a more sensual — and stimulating — experience.