To turn a bedroom into your own personal den of desire, you've got to think beyond the standard satin sheets and incense. Besides, those satin sheets can slip you right over the side of the bed.
It's time to get creative. Start by fantasizing: What excites your sense of smell, touch, taste? What do you like to be able to see, or not see, when you're snuggling? Things that suggest sex are usually more erotic than those that scream it out loud (although blatant overtures can be fun too!). Consider what turns up the heat in world-renowned love locales and use those places as your inspiration from plush hotel rooms to tropical beaches, from isolated cabins to elegant night clubs. Bring into your room what turns you on, then see what follows.
Reluctant to sign your entire bedroom over to sin? You can add four or five fire-starters without foiling your feng shui. Here's your complete Love Nest Starter Kit:
1. Extra Pillows. The more the merrier! No true seductress expects her honey to sleep in discomfort, and imagine how you'll look lounging against a mountain of plush, comfy, oh-so-inviting cushions. Try different textures and fabrics for sensual surprises when it's too dark to see.
2. Banish the Television. Ladies, we don't want to remind him that Seinfeld is in syndication.
3. Adjustable Lighting. Fiery, delicious-smelling candles are a woman's best friend, of course, but also consider less flammable alternatives that allow you to control the mood: a bedside lamp with a dimmer switch, or low-watt lighting behind a mysterious screen. Try a lampshade or paper lantern that's decorated to cast lovely shapes and shadows around the room.
4. The Best Sheets You Can Buy. What makes sleeping at a hotel so sexy? Hint: it's not the mint on the pillow. It's the soft, crisp, easy-to-slide-between sheets. The magic words for any temptress worth her tickle-feather are "thread count," and you're looking for nothing less than 250.
5. Music. It's not the food of love for nothing. A successful love nest creates an ambience of passion and suspense, and music is a key part of that effect. The tunes you play in a love nest should be rhythmic, intriguing, and a little bit racy. Think Barry White or Middle Eastern doumbek. Music that's repetitive or too soft, combined with dim lighting and a cozy-looking bed, can run the risk of soothing the very senses you want to stimulate. So take risks with your music, and don't be afraid to turn up the volume!
6. Adventures for the eye. A well-chosen, striking, and prominently-placed bit of eye candy can spice up your bedroom faster than a truckload of oysters. Think bold, sexy colors and prints, like one wall painted your favorite dramatic shade, or anything leopard.
7. Reflect the romance. Mirrors can go a long way toward creating an inviting atmosphere, and no, you needn't hang one on your ceiling. Some flirty alternatives: a lamp in a beautiful color or a cluster of candles in front of your mirror can enhance romantic lighting, or a strategically-placed selection of small makeup mirrors throughout the room (on the table, near the flowers, on the bedposts) will add a sexy twinkle and some delightful surprises to the evening.
8. Organic Pleasures. Recreate some tropical abundance in your room with luscious plants and flowers and food! Beware of going overboard unless your guy gets a kick out of hacking his way through a jungle to you like Indiana Jones.
9. Something Billowy. Try to add a little motion to the emotion in your love nest, with a loosely-flowing nightgown, a floaty sheer curtain, or just your trusty ficus plant, reborn with a string of lights and swaying in a low breeze. And speaking of breeze, nothing gets sexy fabrics moving like a quiet fan on a low speed in the corner perhaps with a pot of delicious potpourri in front of it, to spread a warm scent.
10. Clear the Clutter. The following things are not welcome in any true Love Nest: pictures of mom, pictures of exes, electric bills, the television (it's worth repeating), pesky pets, laundry baskets, stray socks and inhibitions!
For more bedroom decorating inspiration, browse through our favorite pictures to get ideas on how to turn your bedroom into a dream room.