We're suckers for a bit of 1930's glamour. As well as the style, we love the dedication women had in those days to making themselves look and feel gorgeous at every opportunity. So we're on a mission to bring back the hidden heart of all that - the boudoir. Imagine how civilised it would be to have a place dedicated to me-time. The perfect place to pamper. Here are our thoughts on how to bring a little bit of boudoir in to your home, with a 21st century twist. Powder puffs at the ready? Then read on...
A bit of history The original definition of a boudoir is a lady's private room used for bathing and dressing. Over time it expanded to include a bedroom or sitting room where you might retire to read, sew or to entertain intimate acquaintances. Either way, entry is strictly by invitation only. The word 'boudoir' comes from the French verb bouder, which means "to pout" or to "to sulk". We love the idea of retreating to private "sulking room" until the bad mood is over. Those were the days! While those of us not living in a French chateau may struggle to have a whole sitting room at our disposal, we think that creating a little private space with a feel of a boudoir is a lovely idea. Be it a rethink of your ensuite, or turning a little used spare room in to a dressing room - or even just transforming a corner of your bedroom into a space to pamper, preen and pout.
Why we love them As well of the glamour of it all (think Great Gatsby glitz with a dash of Bette Davis attitude) having a space that's just for you means you have the perfect place to prepare yourself for bed. Remove your make up, slip on your robe, draw a deep bath. After your soak, slip on your silk pjs and finish with a beautifully scented face oil. One final check in the mirror to make sure you are hitting 10 on the gorgeous scale and you're done. What better way to guarantee a night of sweet dreams?
Where to start? 9 ideas to bring a bit of boudoir in to your home
1. Art deco style wallpaper Wallpaper is quite the thing right now So you're a bit spoilt for choice. Opt for something with a 30's feel - think swirls, fans, feather and curves. Go for repeat pattern in gold, bronze or silver and a background colour that keeps the feel feminine but has some standout. We think this peacock feather design in turquoise fits the bill perfectly. Available from Osborne & Little
2. The vanity table of your dreams The epicentre of the whole thing of course. There's some nice looking ones in the stores (the mirrored ones work well in smaller spaces). But if you have room, try hunting for a vintage one. Don't worry if the stool is missing - you can swap something else in or recover it if need to. Look for shape and style you love rather than fretting about the colour or the finish - as those things can easily be changed.
3. Add some velvet Boudoirs lend themselves to soft touchable fabrics - think silk, think velvet. These cutie-pie little stools in pastel shades are perfect. Buy a couple - one to sit on and one to rest your foot on (while you paint your toenails of course!) Available in Dusky Tea Rose or Mushroom from Rowen & Wren £186
4. Turn your lotions & potions in to a display Of course you need them all. Don't worry about the stash of bottles and jars you've collected. Just make sure you buy beautiful ones and find a clever way to display them to make them look chic. Try an ornate mirrored tray like this one, or an old style tiered cake-stand if you need to pile them up higher. Hide the more ordinary looking stuff away in drawers or in beautiful boxes.
5. A chaise longue to recline on Whether it's to sit on or just to drape things on, this is surely ultimate indulgence in any boudoir worth its salt. Yes it takes up lots of space. Yes we know they are not very comfortable. And ok they do score zero out of ten on the practical scale. But how glamorous are they? The Chaise Longue Company will custom make you whatever you fancy including small ones to fit in awkward spaces.
6. Or maybe an ottoman No space for the chaise lounge? Then maybe opt for an ottoman instead. Just as glamorous and as happy in the middle of a room as it is round the edges. We thing it's better than a table for a space like this (no sharp edges to snag your stockings on). Shop around for a storage one (perfect for shoes or handbags). See how practical we're being here!
7. Scent your space Boudoirs should delight all the senses so don't forget the aroma. Candles, diffusers, even pot pouri - there's lots to choose from. Our smell is very intuitive so go for something you're drawn to and that helps you relax and feel safe and loved. Remember that the right aroma has the power to change the way you feel. Of course we'd choose one of our new After Dark Pillow Mists every time. Not only are they 100% natural and designed to soothe the soul, they are also dressed for the part. Born for the boudoir. Available in LOVE (with rose, frankincense, palmarosa & ylang ylang) & DREAM (lavender, bergamot, cedarwood & chamomile)
8. Exotic blooms Ideally of course, your boudoir will be overflowing with a regular supply of luxury bouquets bought for you by your mystery admirers. But just incase, it's always good for a girl to have a back up plan. Bringing flowers and greenery into your pamper space makes it come to life. Mix real and fake so you have the best of both worlds without the need to break the budget every week. Just change the real flowers to match the seasons to keep the look fresh. Right now we're thinking orchids, ferns, big blousey hydrangeas... To fake it fabulously check out the range of artificial plants & blooms at abigailahern.com
9. Slip on a gown With all that done, it's time for you to look the part. Slip off your day clothes and get in to some glamorous lounge wear. We're thinking silk pyjamas, beautiful printed gowns. satin slippers.... Treat yourself to something delicious from the clever team at Yolke or, if your budget is a bit more modest, see what Rosie is up to at M&S.
All done? You look gorgeous darling. xx