GIRLS, has your sex life hit a low? Your filthy bedroom and its dull decor could have something to do with it, says Asiphe Ndlela, a sex and relationships expert.
Ndlela says psychologically especially women are affected by the state of the bedroom because they feel connected to the home in a personal way. She says they often see the home as an extension of their personalities and style. This can affect their libidos and sexual stimulation.
"The colours, wall decorations, furniture, pictures and so on, are all selected based on what they want others to know about them."
Ndlela says because bedrooms have a strong association with intimacy and romance, they should not contribute to fatigue and irritability. She says the biggest mistake many women make is treating the bedroom as a storeroom for clutter.
"The bedroom should be a place where love and romance are cultivated, encouraged and celebrated. This is the one room where you and your man can enjoy, so special attention should be paid to it."
She says women often use their best decor for the lounge or kitchen, which guests are most likely to frequent, and send the leftovers to the bedroom. But the heart of your home lies within the relationship between man and woman, so the bedroom should be a priority.
She says a beautiful bedroom only provides half the romance. She advises women to have a good attitude.
"If you give your spouse the cold shoulder or use the bedroom to manipulate to get what you want, it will not be the warm place of love that it was meant to be.
"Work to make your time in the bedroom a time of building up your relationship emotionally. Avoid getting into conflicts before bedtime and make efforts to communicate in loving ways," she says.
Shaun Theron, a decor expert who specialises in bedrooms, advises women to include as many of the senses as possible when decorating their bedrooms.
"Most people consider the colour scheme and nothing else. But if you truly want to achieve romance it is best to incorporate all five senses," she advises.
She says the most important sense is the sense of smell.
"Human emotions are strongly moved by smells. I always encourage couples to try to incorporate scented candles, potpourri or essential oils, sprinkled on the bedding, into their plans. Spray linen and clothing with refreshing scents.
"Linen spray is a quick and easy way to keep sheets smelling fresh, and the soothing fragrances can calm a stressed loved one.
"In the same way, body sprays can also keep you smelling fresh and even sweeten your time together. Choose a scent that has significance to both you and your spouse," Theron says.
Sense of touch
Theron says touch, in the sense of decorating your bedroom, refers mostly to the textures of bedding.
"Choose a comforter and blankets with an appealing texture as well as appropriate colour. Avoid scratchy laces. Velvets, silks and satins are good choices. Decorative pillows give you a chance to indulge in a symphony of textures.
"For the sheets, choose silk or satin for romance. But good 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets are very classy and popular."
Sound is another area that can spoil romance.
"Consider a water fountain or a gently blowing fan. A CD player is also a good choice, with the latest romantic songs. Take out the TV.
"Spending time in front of the television keeps the attention off of your lives and onto the shadows of life. Before you know it, your time together before bed slips away through the world of media."
Choose colours that soothe. The bedroom colour scheme is as important as the decorations. The reason is that colours have a way of connecting with emotions.
Sharon Hanby-Robie and Deb Strubel,authors of Beautiful Places, Spiritual Spaces, advise people to decorate their homes with the colours their family love.
"It doesn't matter what the latest trends are or what the fashion gurus think. What does matter is that you love your home and that your choices make sense for you and your family," the authors say.
"If you don't know what colours and styles you like, start looking through home magazines and catalogues. Tear out the pages that have colours and designs you are drawn to. Soon, you will begin to see a pattern develop, and you can use these ideas to decorate your own bedroom," they advise.
Use decorations to remind you of special memories. Use your dried flowers from one of your first dates, wedding and honeymoon pictures and so on.
"Looking at these tokens of the past, you can be continually reminded of how your love blossoms and grows over the years.
Nothing gives a romantic ambiance like candlelight, so find several fragrances and colours that you and your partner love and make it a habit of burning them.
Put away clutter
Nothing is a turn-off like a cluttered bedroom. If you want a romantic bedroom, clutter must go somewhere else.