Mae West was famous for saying, "The best way to get over a guy is to get under a new guy." Despite its many implications, it was a good reminder to me that amidst all the politics of dating, as an Apartment Therapist, underneath it ALL is a bed and the BEST way to catch the new person you want is to have a fantastic bedroom. Your bedroom is the clearest expression of how you are feeling about yourself right now and is bathed in your pheromones.
After two long years, I've updated this post, added new pics and saved all of your great comments. Who has more to add?
Now sex is always a good starting point and a sexy bedroom is essential, but what you also want it a bedroom that supports your LOVE - both for yourself and for others. A bedroom shouldn't just be a short term chick or a boy magnet, it should also be a long term love nest. So let's rule out red walls, mirror balls and racy artwork, okay? At least all those elements that don't represent who you really are deep down.
Let's talk about personal, comfortable and curated. This is sexy.
When I was in college I remember very clearly walking into a woman's room in my eating co-op and being instantly smitten with the space. This was no cookie cutter dorm room. It was incredibly comfortable, mature and sexy. Even before I knew who she was, I wanted to meet her and be IN that bed with her. We soon were, and she and the room are still memorable (and friends).
This blue and gold bedroom is apparently from a Venetian palace...
I've done many interviews over the years on bedrooms - particularly around Valentines Day - and I always say that visiting the person you like's home - and checking out their bedroom - is an immediate and super clear indicator as to whether the relationship was going to be on or off.
So give yourself a chance!
There are a lot of things in life that you can't control or you can't improve immediately, but your bedroom is not one of them.
Here's my shortlist. Please add to it, and Happy Valentine's Day next month!
The Ten Tips For The Sexiest Bedroom
1. Go Grownup
This means that your bedroom should express YOU and have in and around it furniture, artwork, clothes and items that are deeply personal. An attractive bedroom with all new furniture and no real character is not sexy. Additionally, I've always found that women whose bedrooms express their older, mature sides are sexier than younger rooms that look like holdovers from college. Women are sexier than girls, so let go of the Victoria's Secret PINK decor, or "my bedroom is just my crashpad" and kick it up a notch.
2. Lose Computers, Wires and Officey Stuff
With all due respect to those who work from home and are short on space, please do all you can to keep all non-bedroom activities OUT of the bedroom. It just kills the space. Make sure your bedroom is a retreat from all the other stuff you do in your life. Make it your inner sanctum.
3. Rock a Good Bed (not a bad one)
After sleeping on over a dozen beds last year (see my Year in Bed Project) I have come to really believe in investing in a good bed. This doesn't mean that you need to spend a lot of money, but taking care of this purchase, spending what you can and really falling in love with your bed is a great start for falling in love IN bed. Also try not to store anything under your bed if you can. It's not good ju-ju.
4. Lighting is KEY
Your bedroom should be lit for you and for your easy use. This means at least three points of light, which is typically two reading lamps and one opposite. Like any good hotel setup, you want to be able to have a nice light in bed before you go to sleep and you want the rest of the room to be softly illuminated with low, indirect light and NOT a fixture on your ceiling. Easy to reach soft, low light is sexy.
5. Have Candles (and Lanterns) at the Ready
Candles always carry a romantic connotation and for good reason. The light they cast is the softest, warmest and sexiest around. EVERYONE looks good in candlelight. For an even bigger effect, place you candles inside a lantern that will cast great shadows and light on your walls. The lantern above by Arteriors is one I love.
A Note On Scented Candles: While I like nicely scented candles in the home, they can be too much at close range in the bedroom. And PUH-LEASE be really careful with scented candles as low quality scents can ruin everything. When in doubt, AVOID. If you really want a good one, here's a list of my top recommendations.
6. Warm Colors, But Not Too Warm!
While cool colors are actually better for supporting a good night's sleep, they are are not hot, stimulating colors, which might be more useful right now. My recommendation is to aim somewhere in the middle. AVOID red-light district red and go for warm greys, lavender, warm greens, browns, tans, rose (if you really want it feminine). Neutral colors rock. Think "spa chic" and raw linen, which is so popular right now. China White is a lovely not too warm white, which goes really well with little warm pops of color in bedding, pillows, rugs, curtains or lampshades.
7. Keep it Quiet
Peace and quiet is of signal importance in the bedroom, but particularly in the sexy bedroom. It's communicates privacy, intimacy and coziness. To quiet down even the noisiest bedroom you simply need to add a lot of fabric to dampen the sound. Heavy, tall curtains and a good rug or wall to wall carpet will do most of the heavy lifting here. Headboards are excellent for absorbing sound while you're in bed. Armchairs add a luxurious touch to the bedroom - can you say Boudoir? - and also will eat up unwanted noise.
8. Keep it Soft to The Touch
You want to consider all the senses when in the bedroom and softness of touch is a big one. Lovely, high quality bedding under your body, a warm rug under your feet and a crisp, dry oversized towel to wrap him or her up in will take you really far.
9. Mirrors Are Great For Sex
While some may feel mirrors make them too self-conscious, it's worth the risk. While not good for a sleepy, slumbering bedroom, an attractive, large standing mirror or wall mirror that allows you to watch yourselves (when you're ready to) is super stimulating and can take you to new heights. If it's a large standing mirror, you can easily move it if you want to as well.
10. Clean Is Sexy, Don't Forget It
I left this one for last because it's a buzz kill, but it can't be said enough that if you do NOTHING else, make sure your room is really, really clean. It's actually the first thing a person senses (consciously or unconsciously) when they walk into the bedroom and is the biggest turn off, even when everything else is okay. Keep clothes folded and away, the floor vacuumed (under the bed too) and all your surfaces neat and clean. Order and cleanliness in the bedroom are the best backdrop for letting go and getting wild and dirty, and you don't want to blow it.
11. Sexytime Loves a Little Music
How could I forget??? When I last made this list I totally forgot that every bedroom deserves a good soundtrack and you don't want to go fishing around in your iTunes, Spotify or Pandora at the last minute. Know what you love and what is also generally accessible to your potential mate, so look for music that is about love and union and not necessarily about independence and breaking free. Groovy stuff, a little older stuff, slow with a deep beat and your golden. One of the all time greats in this category?? Sade.
12. Sateen is Sorta Sexy, I Must Admit
Clean sheets are a must, but if you want to get sexier having a pair of really nice sheets to rub up against your skin is hot. I've enjoyed regular cotton, linen, flannel and sateen sheets over the years, and I have to say that the nice, high quality sateen sheets that were given to me won hands down. This may be an acquired taste and I didn't expect it, but sateen cotton sheets are absolutely lovely against the skin in an arousing way (but don't take my word for it. Try it yourself).
13. Keep Toys & Helpers Discrete But Close
Not much to say here, but when the time comes you don't want to go far in the dark to find what you need, and you don't want to have run out either!
What are yours?