Ursula's amazing nanny of over four years is starring in a new show on Cinemax called "The Girls Guide to Depravity," from which comes the memorable line, "The best way to get over a guy is to get under a new guy." It was a good reminder to me that amidst all the politics of dating, as an apartment therapist, I think that the BEST way to catch the 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. Are they hot or cold?
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 scented candles, okay?
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. It was incredibly personal, 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).
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 - was an immediate and super clear indicator as to whether the relationship was going to be on or off immediately. 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!
1. Make it Personal & 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 and bring it up a notch.
2. Remove 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. Have a Good Bed - 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. Good Lighting is Essential - 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. Plenty of easy to reach soft, low light is sexy.
5. 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.
6. 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 your in bed. Armchairs add a luxurious touch to the bedroom - can you say Boudoir? - and also will eat up unwanted noise.
7. 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.
8. Candles Really Do Work - 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. Just PUH-LEASE be really careful with scented candles as low quality scents can ruin everything. When in doubt, AVOID. Really want a good one, check this out.
9. Mirrors Are Sexy Too - 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.
What are yours?
(Images: 1. Living Etc., 2. Hydeist, 3. Better Homes and Gardens, 4. Design Tripper, 5. Light & Airy, Scandinavian Retreat, 6. Living, Etc.)