Top Tips: A More Romantic Bedroom - Part 1
Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Generally, our bedrooms serve us as a place to relax, rejuvenate and sleep at the end of a long and tiring day; but they also need to serve other purposes for us, dependant on the age we are and the life we lead. A child might need his or her bedroom to inspire, teach and shape them as they grow up; a teenager might need their room to motivate, re-energise and comfort them, whilst adults may want their bedrooms to be an escape from their hectic work life, or a place to connect with their partners.
Those of you who already know me well, know that I love passion, lust, romance and love. It's the thing that makes me excited to create; and whilst it obviously isn't appropriate for many of my designs, or future clients, it is the thing that drives me forward and the thing that makes me dream of more. And one day - I will specialise in something quite different; because I have a dream... and I'm going to reach it.
For us adults, keeping the spark alive and the romance flowing in a long-term relationship can be difficult when every day life takes over and the monotony catches up with us; we often find ourselves going to bed at different times to our partner, one of us reading whilst the other tries to sleep, less pillow-talk in favour of peace and quiet - sleeping back to back, rather than having a cuddle. But it is important to try to keep the connection between you, strong. When you need comfort at the end of a hard day, your partner's arms are going to provide that more than your lonely duvet will.
But - when you go to bed at the end of the day, there are ways your bedroom can help you to be more in sync with your partner; if you follow these design tips, you may even feel encouraged to go to bed sooner - together. Let's see, shall we?
Design Tips for a More Romantic Bedroom
Just with any other room in the house, the perfect decor is going to be different to me than it is to you. I may like dark, cosy schemes, whilst you may prefer light, airy spaces. But when it comes to romance, our differences can be narrowed down a little; because certain styles, colours, textures and patterns definitely ooze more romance and passion than others.
Certain styling methods can create more romance than a space void of ornamental elements, certain artwork can say much more than others in respect to the heart and certain lighting can help to create a more romantic atmosphere.
So let's look at my tips into creating a bedroom which helps you to feel, and be, more romantic:
Choosing the right colour palette for your romantic bedroom is the most important part of the design. If you choose the wrong palette for you, then that alone could ruin the whole vibe of the bedroom, making you feel agitated, or anxious, rather than relaxed and in love.
Monochromatic Design - this is one of my favourite design styles, as previously featured in my blog, The Colour Wheel: Monochromatic Design. Using one colour in varying shades in a bedroom can help to give the feeling of comfort; and - especially if you paint the ceiling in the same colour - a feeling of being enveloped and hugged. If you add to this, dark, or moody hues, this enhances those feelings. You can add metallics to any scheme to bring a light lift to a space; these allow the light to bounce off them and in the right atmosphere, can be very romantic.
Calming Colours - If you're not one for dark schemes, or you're somebody who needs to feel relaxed in order to be romantic, then a calming scheme may suit you better.
Using soft pastels, mid-tone greens and blues, or warm neutrals will help you to relax in the bedroom; just make sure it isn't so relaxing that you fall asleep every time you sit down!
Create Contrast - Contrast - be it bold, or subtle - is a great way to bring a bit of drama into your bedroom scheme; good drama, that is!
Contrast can be applied to any area of your bedroom, from the curtains and headboard, to the cushions on the bed, the colour of your furniture, or a bold, statement ceiling. Be brave with your contrast and it will make you feel empowered!
Introduce Red? - I question-mark this one because it brings back flashbacks of the 90s when Feng Shui became a big thing and Changing Rooms gave us food for thought... and that food has definitely expired (sorry Laurence - I love you - and I still love Changing Rooms!)! But red is still a romantic colour; albeit a little tacky in the wrong shade. Perhaps use it with caution; although, if you find the right tone in the right material, then it can really work well. Just keep it an accent, rather than a main feature, I say..!
Use a Mural
Wall murals are a great way to add character to your bedroom; and no matter what mood you're trying to create, there will be a mural out there for you. The selection is enormous and they can really help to add a romantic feeling to your decor. Let me show you some examples with some mood boards I've put together:
Whether you like fancy florals, rustic charm or dancing silhouettes in the sun - there is something romantic in all of these murals.
How you style your room and what colours you choose to team your mural with, will all make a difference to the overall scheme and feeling of the space.
Just go with your heart; if it feels good to you, it can't be wrong.
Play with Different Styles
Whenever any of us decorate, we go with a colour, theme or style we love - that's a given! But if you're stuck on how to make your bedroom romantic, looking into these styles can be a great place to start and may just help you to find that little spark you are looking for. Of course, memories play a huge part in what romance is to us as individuals, but if you're lacking in that department, here are some good places to start:
French - the French are well known for their passion; just the image of Paris conjures up romance for most of us and the language itself is voted sexiest in the world, so it's no wonder French style is often used to inspire a romantic environment in the interiors world.
These examples of romantic French bedrooms give you a good idea what you need to include into your design if you want to create this look and feel; chandeliers, rustic charm and curves with ornate detailing. French style is also about neutrals, whites, natural stones and pastels; as well as swags of fabrics and fresh linens.
Vintage - Vintage is always romantic; the nostalgia of times gone by and of lovers in the past. Forbidden love, unrequited love, lost love and distant love; it all tugs at our heart strings and makes us crave a love story of our own. Antique items have a history - and it's that history - whether it's known or unknown - that builds a story in our mind; and as loving beings, we tend to add a romantic flourish to these stories as we tell them to ourselves.
Ignore all the hideousness that would have been (mostly poor) Tudor England; the rich are what those of us with a romantic heart focus on. That is where we pull inspiration from - where we look when we search for sensual bedrooms and passionate tales.
Pretend that missing your loved one during the war wasn't a torturous, heart-wrenching thing to go through; the beauty of love letters, poems and stories of reunited lovers are what we choose to see when we think of early 20th century romance.
Vintage design can be anything you want it to be and can be made from any of the things you love from the past; but the true idea of romantic vintage decor can be found in these images above. Beautiful antique beds, vintage furniture and accessories; wooden floors, embroidered fabrics, heavy curtains, ornate mirrors and lighting, old rugs... you name it! Vintage decor is one of the easiest - in my opinion - to make the most of mis-matched items in a way that looks cohesive and beautiful.
Boho - Bohemian style doesn't automatically say 'romantic' to me; but when you break it all down into smaller parts, the romance starts to show itself.
Natural elements, such as wood and plant life, or 'biophilia' (the more, the better!) giving that feeling of sitting outside in nature, fairy lights twinkling like stars in the sky - or fireflies, perhaps - throws and rugs, like blankets on a picnic... all of these elements bring romance to my mind. Now, imagine these bedrooms dimly lit in the evenings; isn't that image cosy and romantic to you?
Boutique Hotels - these are a great place to look for inspiration if you find yourself stuck on how to create a romantic atmosphere; some boutique hotels can take this idea deep into the tacky end of the spectrum, but others can be stunningly beautiful, sensual and seductive - enticing us all in with their brilliant designs.
These examples are just three of the rooms I found on Pinterest which speak to me of romantic stays and weekends away with the person you love - or the people - I'm not judging!
They're imaginative, dramatic and bold. Even in the minimalism of the middle one, the contrast of the sheets against the walls adds a big impact; the sheets look velvety soft and the lack of fussy decoration means that you will have to bring your own creativity into the bedroom with you... romance!
Focus on the Bed
All rooms need a focal point. In a lounge, it could be the fireplace; in a dining room, perhaps a beautiful, sparkling chandelier above the dining table. But in the bedroom, that focal point should be the bed.
I see so many bedrooms that make me sad. Flat pillows, wafer-thin duvets, boring bed linen... how is any of that going to bring romance, or passion into your relationship?!
Make a statement with your bed!
You walk into your bedroom after a long day; maybe you stumble in after a night out, or awkwardly bounce through the door as you grapple with your partner's tie... stay focussed, Evie!
What do you want to see when you enter? A bed that brings you a disappointed sigh? A selection of pillows that need plumping up and piling on top of one another before you can lay down your dizzy head? A flat duvet with bed linen that's dull enough to make a puppy lose it's get up and go?!
No! You want a bed that calls you into it! You want a selection of plush, plump, perfectly pouting pillows to lay your weary head on; a fluffy, bouncy duvet to keep you excited until the fun ends... you want ROMANCE!!
And this is how you get it, by focusing on your bed:
Use Decadent Bedding - Decadent bedding doesn't have to be expensive - it just needs imagination and good styling; but - as the saying goes, "you get what you pay for". Obviously the better the quality, the higher the price is likely to be; but there are plenty of beautiful bedding ranges out there for the lower budget.
If you want that classic feel to your romantic space, opt for white, or cream bed linen and accessorise with colour. This is often the best way to get a more elegant, classy look to your bedding. It's timeless, fuss-free and will go with anything. White bedding always gives the impression of cleanliness, too; and when it smells fresh, that's even better!
That's not to say a patterned duvet can't be classy. I have a dark floral print on my duvet and I think it looks lovely; but plain bedding - in almost any colour, really - is my preference for a sophisticated look.
Whatever you choose, make sure your bases are covered; a nice fluffy duvet, plump pillows and comfortable, high quality sheets. The rest is added extras! There are more tips on this in my recent blog, The Seven Deadly Sins of Bedroom Design for those of you who aren't sure where to begin!
Play with Textures - This is so important to creating a romantic atmosphere. One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of skin-on-skin; when you're with the person you love and you're getting romantic, their skin - soft, warm... maybe a little hairy - is what you love to feel against your own. And this is how you should feel about your bedding and the textures surrounding it.
Accessorise your bed with texture; whatever textures you love, go with those. For me, its velvet; anything soft, or sumptuous has my senses tingling and my 'touch-buds' (not a thing, I know!) wanting more!
Luxe, heavy velvet always looks expensive, elegant and exciting. The depths of colour within its highlights and shadows gives that impression that you'll sink into it, surrounded by a cosy, comforting cocoon. It makes you want to go to bed. It's inviting and calls you into it.
And that's what you want when you need romance; you want that bed calling you into it whenever you see it!
Pile on the Pillows - You can never have too many pillows! Yes, I know they're a pain when it comes to getting into bed and finding a place to put them, but guess what? They look great during the day!
Remember, you want your bed to speak to you; and you don't want it saying, 'Look at me. Look how boring I am. You might as well sleep on the sofa!' - You want it to call your name, teasingly; you want it to be a tempting place, whether it's for romance, or just for a much needed rest. You want your bed to look beautiful, to feel beautiful and to keep you smiling whenever you look at it.
Pillows add a depth that makes you imagine sinking into them; they bring a sense of luxury and, if accessorising with extra cushions, a much needed accent of colour, or pattern to your scheme. They can be a mix of those textures you love, with added flourishes in the way of tassels, trims, fringes... and if they're feather filled, they can feel even better to lay on, adding to your much needed comfort.
Go on; add another pillow..!
Layer the Blankets - just like pillows, layering a blanket or two on the bed (or a chunky throw) can really add something to its appearance and make it feel much more alluring.
Whether you team a throw and a runner, a couple of blankets, neatly folded, or a throw gathered in a slightly messy manner on one corner of your bed, looking at it will remind you of comfort, warmth and cosiness; all the requirements for bed time.
Layering fabric and textures is a really good way to make your bed beautiful; and we love beauty. Beauty makes us happy; it fills us with endorphins that give us a good feeling inside. Why else do we feel a surge of excitement when we look at someone we find attractive?
In other words; I say if your bed is beautiful - you're going to want to be in it. And if your partner is in your beautiful bed - you're going to want to be in it with them. This isn't nonsense; I know what I'm talking about (do I..?)!
Create a Feature Headboard - Kit Kemp is one of my favourite designers; her work has been some of the inspiration to me wanting to be a bedroom designer. If you read my blog, Why Bedrooms..? then you'll know all of the reasons why bedrooms are my passion - and maybe also why passion is my passion!
Kit Kemp creates the most wonderful feature headboards; they're huge, bold and exciting. They make beds even more beautiful than those without a massive headboard and they really make the entire room sing! They definitely add romance!
But whilst Kit creates her gorgeous, fun and fancy headboards, I would like to create them on a darker, more moodier, more romantic level. I don't for a second think I could ever do better, but I'd like to create bedrooms which evoke passion, thrill, mystery and seduction; bedrooms which get the imagination racing, the blood pumping and the people who use it, amorous.
A bold statement headboard will really add impact to your bedroom. It will draw your eyes directly to the bed, so that you can take in all of the beauty you've created upon it - starting with that headboard!
From there, you'll take in the cushions, the bedding, the throws, the textures, colours and even the comfort you feel when you're in it. A statement headboard is definitely the way to go if you want a show-stopping bedroom!
Consider the Position of the Bed - we're not all lucky enough to have lots of space in our bedroom and sometimes we just don't have many options when it comes to positioning our bed in the optimum place; but if you do have a little space to play with - even if it is a tiny amount (just enough for your legs!) - try not to push the side of your bed against the wall.
If your bed is against the wall, one of you will always have to climb over the other in the middle of the night if you need to get up; and whilst this may sometimes encourage romance, it is more likely to hinder it - especially in the long term.
We all need a restful sleep and when we don't get that, we get irritable. So if you're constantly climbing over your partner in the night, you're likely to be disturbing their sleep and this will only make them tired and unhappy over time.
Keep a little space at the side of your bed, so you can get out of your own side and leave your partner sleeping. They will be thankful for it and you'll get bonus points for considering their - equally important - feelings.
Here's your checklist for Considering your bed:
Create a Reading Nook
If you're lucky enough to have enough room in your bedroom, then creating a reading nook can be a great addition to your space. Not only will it allow you a quiet corner to wind down at the end of the day with a good book - which, in itself could help you to reach into your imagination in order to keep the spark alive - but it also gives you a perfect spot to take in the view; whether that view be the ideal perspective of your glamorously empty bed, the view of your partner sleeping, or the view of something altogether more... erotic!
Whatever you get up to in your bedroom - give yourself a nice seat to do it - or view it - in!
A world without pattern would be a very sad one. Pattern intrigues us, helps us to visualise something more; it feeds our senses and breaks up the mundane. Pattern is art; and art is passion.
As with murals and wallpaper, pattern on fabrics, rugs, furniture, accessories and even ceilings can help to build a romantic ambience in a room. Whatever patterns feed your soul, whatever makes you feel pleasure to look at - use those patterns to bring your scheme together.
Mixing patterns is also a great way to bring different feelings together in a room; they can be as different as you like; they won't clash if they have elements in common, such as a similar colour palette.
Choose Symmetry & Style
We humans love symmetry. When we see symmetry, we feel relaxed, at ease and feel a sense of pleasure. This is because symmetry is balanced; it is comfortable. It feels right.
Studies have shown that we tend to find people with symmetrical faces more attractive at first glance; and it is exactly the same when it comes to interiors. This is where the Golden Ratio comes into effect; this mirrored balance (1.618) occurs over and over in nature - in the curvature of shells, the formation of clouds, our own bodies - even in the pattern of our own universe - meaning that, because we see it so often, it is easier for our brains to process and therefore, we find it more pleasing to the eye.
A symmetrical interior gives us the sense of peace and relaxation - harmony and happiness; and so it makes sense that a symmetrical bedroom will help to increase romance.
This doesn't mean that everything has to be in perfect pairs; two bedside tables and lamps can be completely different, but they should be of equal height and width, with a similar shape, or style. You could have two different pieces of art in similar frames, but in the same size and hanging at the same height. Or A collection of vases on one side of the mantle, with a collection of photographs on the other - taking up similar space and using similar varying sizes.
Carefully Consider your Art
Art speaks directly to our souls; because art comes directly from our souls. We all see art differently and what is exciting and motivational to me, might not speak the same language to you. I might find a piece of art sad, whilst you may find it engaging in a more inspiring way. So, when it comes to choosing art for our bedrooms, it is important that we consider really carefully what we choose to hang on our walls.
In order to create a more romantic environment for you and your partner, you're going to need to find artwork that speaks the same language to both of you. The art hanging on your walls needs to make you both feel the same way; it needs to make you feel good. You need to be inspired to feel romantic love when you see it.
Of course, if you have children, you'll need to consider that too, but I'm sure you will find something PG to hang, or maybe even something that speaks to you and your partner, but that they will be completely oblivious to.
Whatever it is that raises memories of special times between you; romantic weekends away, date nights of the past, or something that signifies a private fantasy you share. Art is certainly not limited, so there will definitely be something out there for you.
Create an Ambience
Lighting is definitely key to romance; make sure you put your lights on a dimmer switch so it's easy to turn them down low when you need to set the mood. Light candles, shut off the ceiling light(s) and flick on the lamps; use fairy lights if you're into those (I love a fairy light!). Whatever you choose - make it look warm and cosy!
End of Part One...
I think I shall leave this here until next week; that's quite a lot of reading and I'm only half way through!
So, if you enjoyed these tips, please return next week for the second half, where we will discuss scent, drapes, space and other helpful points to creating a more romantic bedroom.
Thank you so much for reading!
Lots of love!
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