Top Tips: A More Romantic Bedroom - Part 2
Last week, I shared with you part one of my Top Tips for A More Romantic Bedroom. We discussed colour schemes, murals and styles and I told you how to focus on the bed, include pattern and create a nook for helping your imagination. This week, I'm going to tell you the other half of my tips, where we'll look at mirrors, talk about rugs and drapes; and discuss thinking outside the box, whilst also thinking more about your partner by taking up less space!
Sometimes, it isn't about what you need to add to your room to make it more romantic; sometimes, we need to remove things in order to improve a space. In this blog, I'll be talking you through what needs to come out of the bedroom, as well as what needs to go into it.
Let's get to it!
Spray a Scent
Whether it's yours and/or your partner's favourite fragrance, a room spray, diffuser or a scented candle, use a scent that speaks romance to you both.
Make sure the sheets are smelling clean, then start your evening with a scented bath or shower (together..?); set the smell for the bedroom - whatever you use - and then spritz yourself (or each other!) with the perfume(s) you love.
Smelling amazing is always rule no.1 to attracting your partner.
Add Drama with Drapes
Window treatments are an important part of designing any room; but one of the most important rooms to consider your windows in - in my opinion - is the bedroom.
Whilst it is sometimes nice to have bare windows, or windows with a simple blind, this doesn't really encourage romance. Firstly, there's the lack of privacy with bare windows, but I don't know - maybe you like that! Although, you can get around this by using window films or shutters.
However, there's also the whole ambience to consider.
Blinds aren't particularly inspiring, are they? If they are used as part of the window treatment, then that's a different matter, but I'm sure you'll agree that a blind hanging alone on a window is pretty boring and lack-lustre. If you're a minimalist, you probably won't agree, but if you're a minimalist, this whole blog probably isn't for you! In fact - I'm probably not for you (although, I can be minimalist, so don't rule me out!).
I believe the best base for a romantic window is a sheer curtain. I've explained before why I'm so in love with sheer curtains; they inspire images of line-dried laundry on a summer's day, they create beautiful shadows and allow silhouettes to dance within them in a gentle breeze; they combine mystery and intrigue with elegance and grace. They filter out the harsh sun, whilst also allowing the light to flood in and they can tie in with your scheme because they come in a huge range of colours and sheer materials.
One item always on my window list is the double curtain pole - allowing me to double up on floor-length curtains for extra impact and more options for drama! Team your sheer drapes with heavy, beautifully textured curtains, a beautiful trim, gorgeous tie backs (or none!) and maybe even a box pelmet and you'll be on your way to romance.
Curtains can add to a cosy atmosphere depending on the time of day, the light coming through the window and the lighting used in the room; team that dramatic window with your equally dramatic bed and you're winning!
Lay Down a Gorgeous Rug - or Two!
Rugs. We all love rugs, don't we? Whether we prefer bare floors, LVT or fitted carpets in our bedrooms, we all use rugs to add extra interest and pattern to our spaces. They create warmth, texture, and comfort and, just like beautiful curtains and cosy blankets, they also help to add romance to a scheme.
Rugs aren't just practical; they look beautiful just as much as they feel great beneath our feet. Using rugs as part of your decoration can help to bring cohesion to your design, by tying all of your soft furnishings together and carrying the romance right down to the floor.
(Faux) furs and sheepskins have long been used as floor coverings and many a romantic story has been written, of lovers lying together on a fur in front of the fire. These days, there are plenty of man-made fur carpets out there and some are so, so soft, you just want to strip off and lay on them, naked (I know I'm not the only one!).
When we feel luxury on our skin, we can't help but feel good; and this is essential to feeling romantic; so layer those rugs on the floor and walk around barefoot, or lay down naked and do a 'carpet angel' to feel all that beautiful softness against your skin!
Of course, this won't work on a stiff-fibre rug, so I wouldn't recommend getting carpet burns in an attempt to make yourself feel good; nobody's going to want to get romantic after that! Be safe and appreciate feeling good with your eyes, instead of your skin!
Use Mirrors to Reflect the Ambience
I love mirrors! I am pretty obsessed with anything that reflects light and shadows, whether it be a mirror or a metallic surface, I just love reflections. Mirrors are not only practical, much needed features in a room, but they are also incredibly beautiful and - I believe - very romantic.
Mirrors and low lighting - especially candlelight - are such a great partnership; the ambient lighting and cavorting shadows in the room are reflected back at you, doubling the size of your space and all of the romantic gloriousness within it.
There are some beliefs that mirrors should not be placed in the bedroom; Vastu says that mirrors should not face north or east, because they could bounce positive energy coming from those directions, away. Vastu also says that mirrors shouldn't face the bed if you want good health, high energy and a peaceful sleep. I don't know if there is anything in this, but I must admit, I do struggle to sleep a lot of the time and I am always feeling exhausted - and I do have a mirror facing my bed (I'm assuming it means at the foot of the bed, because surely, a mirror on any wall would be facing the bed, unless it's in an alcove?!)
Whether my mirror's position is the cause of my daily struggles, or not, I don't know; but I love mirrors far too much to be put off using them anywhere they fit and look good, so maybe I should start covering it up and night to see if it makes a difference. That is actually a suggestion!
I like to place mirrors behind plants to double the greenery; two plants for the effort of one! But placing them behind lamps, or leaning them against walls is also a good way of creating added visual interest by reflecting things in a different perspective and at different angles.
You could invest in a mirrored armoire; they're stunning and well-made, so they will last you a long time. Other mirrored furniture is also available.
Or how about a mirrored ceiling? This 70s trend - used for obvious reasons in the bedroom, and not just for bouncing light around the room - can be achieved in a much classier way these days - as with all recurring trends and popular features. Mirrored tiles come in all shapes and sizes now, allowing you to create an attractive pattern, rather than simply tiling the entire ceiling.
And how about a mirrored floor? Too far? Yes, I agree!
Music aside, keeping electronics out of the bedroom is hugely important to keeping the spark alive (well, unless you like to watch an adult movie together, that is!). There's nothing that puts me off a man more than discovering that he likes to play video games - especially if he plays them in the bedroom. Are we teenagers?!
I actually don't like televisions in the bedroom; they completely ruin the atmosphere and the decor. I know you can get TVs that look like pictures these days, but still... a bedroom isn't for watching TV in my opinion!
When you're looking to connect with your partner, turn on some music, turn off your phones and keep your eyes on one another. There's nothing more romantic or sexy, than giving one another your undivided attention and gazing into each other's eyes.
Declutter the Clutter
Nobody needs telling that clutter isn't romantic! All clutter does is block our positive energy; it prevents us from feeling relaxed and it has a negative effect on our sleep. Not only that, but it can often become a cause for tension in relationships; stopping us from connecting properly with our partner and making it difficult to enjoy our home, or the quality time we spend in it.
Keeping your home clutter free isn't always easy, though. Life can be stressful and stress has an effect on our motivation, which can make housework hard to maintain at times. But letting the clutter take over will only increase the stress within your home, making you feel agitated and lacking in energy.
If you can only keep up with one room, make sure you make it your bedroom. Don't forget that your bedroom needs to be your sanctuary - the room you go to, to wind down, relax, rest, recuperate... and get romantic! Keep your bedroom clutter free and let that sensual energy move around, blockage free!
Take Up Less Space
As well as keeping your space decluttered, there is another thing - on a deeper level - which will help to keep the romance flowing through your bedroom. Taking up less space.
No, I don't mean sleep in the corner of the room and let your partner have the entire bed! I'm talking about your belongings!
Try not to hog space; don't take up the whole wardrobe, or 4 out of 5 drawers; make sure you both have things out that mean something to you - don't be selfish with what's on show. Taking your partner's feelings into consideration is a big deal and should be one of the top priorities on your list.
Making your partner feel valued will help them to appreciate you more; letting them know that their opinions, needs and desires are being met will go a long way towards keeping them feeling romantic towards you.
So, keep this in mind when you're designing your bedroom!
Focus on your Partner
We all love to receive attention from the object of our affections; knowing that you are the most important thing to them at any moment in time is one of the best feelings; and so, why wouldn't you want to make somebody else feel that good?
I've never understood people who don't focus on their partners; making your partner feel special is such a good feeling. We all want to feel that, even the most miserable of us need to feel important to someone.
And so, if you're looking to get romantic in the bedroom with your partner, make sure you meet their needs and do the things they love.
Massage - get out the (scented!) oils and give your partner a massage; skin on skin, remember - it feels good! Help them to relax a little after a stressful day at work by kneading away the tension. Be gentle though; you want to create a sensual atmosphere, not give them a sports massage!
Use Their Love Language - If you're not sure what yours, or your partner's love language is, there are plenty of tests online to help you figure it out.
My love language is Words of Affirmation. I love being paid compliments by my partner; hearing loving words makes my day and keeps me smiling until night-time. Being praised, supported and encouraged keeps me motivated and makes me love them more. It also makes me want to try harder to better myself in order to make them proud; and because I love words of affirmation - I never fail to return the gesture so they feel special too (although, I may find it a little difficult at first, because I tend to get really shy when I'm really into someone!). Of course, this will mean the most to them if their love language is also words of affirmation.
The other four love languages are: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Quality Time and Receiving Gifts. So, find out what your partner's love language is and whatever it is, use it to make them feel loved.
Be Sensual - If you're looking to make a romantic evening in bed, don't forget the obvious. I know this blog is about making the bedroom romantic and I don't mean to get too personal with you all, so I'll just say the word and leave it there... foreplay!
Ok, I said it! Next!
Pillow Talk - For me, pillow talk is so important where romance and staying connected is concerned; there's nothing worse than going to bed with your partner in a loving mood and being told you're there to sleep. It leaves you feeling unimportant, lonely and rejected; and it's something your relationship never quite recovers from.
Make time for your partner; if they can't sleep and need to talk, listen to them. If they simply want to chat, try to stay engaged if you can; and especially if you're looking to create a romantic atmosphere - talk and listen - and listen. It really is essential to keeping one another happy.
And Finally - Think Outside the Box!
It is far too easy to fall into routine when you're in a relationship and life gets dull and monotonous, so it is important to think outside the box in order to keep things feeling new and interesting; and the same can be said for our decor.
If you're trying to create a more romantic atmosphere, but you're not ready to redesign the entire space, or you don't have the spare pennies to spend on new furnishings, there are still things you can do to add some romance to an already decorated space.
Scarves - or any spare fabric, be it clothing items, old curtains, or scrap material you have lying around; if it has the right feel to it, it can be used to create a romantic atmosphere. Remember when we were children and we built dens with duvet covers and chairs? Well, we still have that imagination within us if we channel it and we can use it for grown up purposes!
Hang a beautiful scarf on your wardrobe door, or over mirrors and art work to give the sensual effect of clothing having been tossed across the room, or a gothic ambience when candles are lit (be very careful and stay aware!); drape an old sheer, or net curtain over the back of a chair, or across your headboard for a vintage vibe, hang pretty fabric from your curtain pole, or lay it on the floor to use as a blanket or rug.
Kitchenware - pop tea lights, or battery operated fairy lights into your drinking glasses and place them around the room for a cosy glow; use large vases, or dessert dishes for the same thing, or fill them with romantic fruits for extra sensory titillation.
For those of you who never thought of fruit as romantic - here's a little list:
Figs: associated with sex and fertility; in Ancient Greece, rituals have involved beating men and women with the branches of fig trees in order to promote fertility. Fig trees also symbolise prosperity and safety, because they grow slowly and need constant care and attention, just like a successful relationship!
Adam and Eve were covered with fig leaves to protect their modesty after giving into temptation; a symbol that the fig is connected to embarrassing, or shameful actions (never feel ashamed of your sexuality, or sexual interests (unless they're illegal; then be ashamed!).
And have you seen that scene in 'Women in Love'? Enough said!
Also, this from a message board I found: "Figs are not only a phallic symbol, they are just as much, or even more, a vulvic symbol. It’s not only that they’re a flower. It’s not only that they split at the seam and burst red and often look vaginal... it’s [also that] the word for fig and vulva is the same in Greek (sykon), Italian (fica) and several other languages..."
Pomegranates: represent love and sensual pleasure, pomegranates are the culinary symbol of Aphrodite for the ancient Greeks. Some even believe that it was a pomegranate that Eve ate in the Garden of Eden, rather than an apple. That certainly seems more appealing to me... if it was an apple though, I hope it was a Pink Lady!
Strawberries: Often used to portray sensuality; feed them to one another, 9 1/2 weeks style! Strawberries also smell really good, which could tick your scent box!
(see also: cherries and grapes for popping into your lover's lips!)
Plums and Apricots: technically not romantic or sensual fruits in general; plums symbolise perseverance and hope, whilst apricots actually symbolise luck, happiness and loyal love (so, maybe a little romantic!). But one of my absolute favourite novels and films is 'Perfume: The Story of a Murderer', which - though a dark story overall - is all about the obsessive desires of one man and his sense of smell.
The journey to his ultimate career as a murderer begins with the erotic pleasure he gets from the sweet scent of plums, and apricot blossom on the skin of a red-headed woman. I remember being completely engrossed in it from the first moment I saw the trailer during a trip to the cinema, in 2006. From that moment, I found the book and awaited the release of the movie. It's fantastic and it speaks to me on so many levels. It also inspired some of the work in my largest collection of erotic poetry, entitled, 'Skin'.
No, I'm not kinky about those things myself, but I do really enjoy good scent and I am a red-headed woman who loves to feel desired; So, for me, apricots represent a sensuality they weren't originally intended to symbolise!
Overall, fruit feeds our senses; it tastes great, it's juicy; it smells lovely and it feels good in our mouths... and on our skin if you like that stickiness that comes with it! It's also beautiful, so it pleases our eyes, too. We can't really hear it... but we can hear the slurps as we eat it, which will please the majority of people who don't suffer with Misophonia!
And whilst on the subject of food...
Indoor Picnic - light those candles, set the mood, lay down a blanket or two, play some romantic music, pour the wine and lay out some tasty finger foods for you and your partner. Bring the date to your bedroom with a cosy indoor picnic. They're a great way to connect, focus on one another and get yourselves in that romantic mood!
If you're feeling creative, you could give them a theme and dress up. And don't forget to match the music to whatever theme you choose!
Flowers - Surely we all love flowers? Flowers are beautiful, they smell divine and there are definitely certain flowers out there that could help to put you in a seductive frame of mind.
Roses are the original flower of love! They have a strong scent which makes people feel good and automatically brings romance to mind, whilst their petals are delicate and feel velvety soft. Rose oil would be great for that sensual massage you're going to give your partner.
Choosing flowers such as Orchids, Anthuriums, Calla Lilies, Irises or Sweet Pea (one of my favourites!) could all help visually, to make you think of getting romantic. And then, of course, there's the aptly named 'Penis Plant' (Nepenthes Bokorensis); a fly trap from Cambodia, which you can purchase in many garden centres - if you want a truly phallic feature in your bedroom!
Forage for Vines - Using ivy or eucalyptus to decorate your space can add a lot of romance to the environment, giving you even more of a sense of being at one with nature. Alternatively, you could use faux plant or flower garlands. Tie them to mantles, bed posts, curtain poles, headboards - and anywhere that could use a floral flourish to get you in the mood.
And That is That!
Well, we've reached the end of my top tips for a more romantic bedroom! I hope you've enjoyed reading and have found one or two things helpful. If you haven't tried any of these things, then please do and let me know if they work for you! I'd love to know I've helped in some way to reignite that spark!
It is, after all, the direction I am taking this business of mine in...
As always, thank you so much for reading!
Lots of love