According to Wikipedia a Boudoir is “a lady’s private sitting room or dressing room.” Others have added in the phrase “where she would retire to receive friends.”
The term derives from the French verb “bouder” meaning, “to be sulky.” Apparently, young ladies were sent to their “boudoirs” to go and sulk in private. Who would have thought of that association today?
More interesting though is to see how the interpretation of a Boudoir has recently come to denote a style of furnishing for the Bedroom that can traditionally be described as ornate, opulent and sensuous. The focus of which is strongly linked to the Renaissance and French inspired bedroom styles. And even more recently, it includes an opulent spin on the “French Country Cottage” style.
This is a very definite style and is all about ambience, ambience and even more ambience. At the mention of the word “boudoir,” images and descriptions of O.T.T. opulence, glamour, sensuality, intimacy and privacy, dark chocolate, red roses and the like come to mind. You get taken away to scenes from the movies “Moulin Rouge” and “Marie Antoinette”.
So, let’s take a closer look at how to create this decadent private romantic bedroom style, the sensuality of which will seduce all who enter into that chamber.
To achieve an effective boudoir style, lavish layering is essential. In order to add depth to the room, you would include various layers of textures, objects and tones – all of these add further character and dimension.
The Traditional Boudoir
A more “classical” boudoir would be along the Versailles / Moulin Rouge style, with the textures being found in plush, deep velvet fabrics, patterned and plain mixed together; rich silk fabrics (on the lampshades, scatters cushions and bed throws), not forgetting that deep pile damask wallpaper and toiles (non-negotiable). Remember – glamour is key.
The furniture – very much along the lines of the Louis XV style. It can be a chair in the corner, a deep-buttoned headboard, bedside pedestals and ottomans. This style has the slightly curved legs, otherwise known as “cabriole”. The finish on these pieces, either the ever popular gold gilt, dark stained wood or paint. Sheer decadence and opulence.
The last layers will be the accessories, decadent mirrors with ornate frames, glass, silver & mirrored ornaments, lamp bases, vases and all manner of collectables. Then of course, there are the candles – in varying sizes and colours. Naturally, fragranced candles will enhance your sensual ambience. Take the time to group your accessories together – clusters of small mirrors, prints and pictures and any of the above. Oh – never forget that trendy crystal chandelier!
The floor covering should the deep piled rugs, preferably of along the shaggy style. Your feet should feel embraced by the pile of the rug.
To create that intimate space for the classic style look at applying the deep red colour, rich burgundy, pink, purple, royal blue, grey and gold. For a more masculine touch work with black, silver, white and purple.
The French Country Boudoir
If you find the strong textures and tones of the classic boudoir style to overwhelming you can always opt for the ever popular fresh French Country Style. The sensuality and intimacy of this boudoir style is to be found in the romantic softness. The fabrics by contrast are soft, flimsy voiles, natural linens and silks alike, complimented by some country floral patterns.
The same French furniture style is used, but the finish is different. Paint techniqued to look slightly distressed or aged – tones of off-whites, very pale yellows and soft French blues and greys are ever popular.
The bed would be dressed with linen that draws you into its freshness, using neutral tones as complimentary. To add depth, introduce any soft colour with a faded appearance. Add a glimpse of glamour with a sensuous throw and scatter cushions, with a hint of “glitz”.
Maintain the natural essence of this style on the floor, applying natural textured rugs that are sensual in their ruggedness.
Go out there, style and create your prefect boudoir – achievable even on a budget – just shop around and let it evolve.