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Sensual Decor

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It is believed that decorating a house in a traditional or formal manner can have a stifling effect on the love lives of the people who live in them. Sensuality in design is something that is scarcely broached as a subject by designers or homeowners. But don't we all deserve environments that benefit and promote good and healthy behaviors? So here's the truth — and some suggestions.

Is it possible for a room to be sexy? Of course it can. Let's begin by selecting free-form furnishings. Avoid furniture with structured shapes, such as square arms and extremely upright backs, in favor of softer and rounded edges. Subliminally, these soft organic shapes suggest the human physique and immediately convey a welcoming message, especially if it is comfortable. You'll never look at a couch the same way again.

Fabrics also offer a tactile experience that everyone can enjoy. Soft fabrics such as chenille, velvet and supple leathers are recommended for upholstery. These upholstery fabrics are available in solid colors and vibrant prints. In terms of bedroom linens, the thought used to be that satin was the preferred sensual material because of its shimmering sheen. However, the impractical maintenance has made this trend somewhat outdated. Cottons, linen and new microfiber fabrics are now available in interesting colors and prints

Window treatments and canopies made from gauzy or sheer fabrics create a romantic feeling and help soften the architecture of the room. Light colors such as white and beige are great for drapery, if needed. These almost transparent fabrics are reminiscent of veils and lingerie, and they trigger fantasy in the occupant's mind.

Lighting plays a great role in creating spaces that are conducive to intimacy.

Needless to say, dimmers are a must and can be retrofitted to most lamps with very little cost. Crystal chandeliers capture light and reflect it around the room in wonderful patterns and shadows. Similarly, the flicker of candlelight historically has been present in most romantic dinners. Its dance can transform and ease most stressful situations. A candlelit bathroom or bedroom makes for a special occasion every time.

Earth colors such as sienna, cinnabar red, rust and dark shades of brown are best for walls. Of course, this doesn't mean other color pairings shouldn't be used. The above-mentioned colors work best to bring warmth to the room. They are complementary to the variety of flesh tones, and who doesn't want to look their best in the buff?

Artwork can be a great vehicle for the power of suggestion. Sketches and photographs of nudes and nature are the most natural selection for your walls. A bucolic landscape or a family portrait just won't do. Because of each person's interpretive interaction, abstract art is also a great choice for a sensual decor.

Mirrors have always added magic to rooms. Reflections of light and bodies are sensual and, to some, an aphrodisiac. The key is to be subtle in the placement of your mirrors so your room doesn't look like a "No-Tell Motel."

Take joy in incorporating some of these ideas into your decor, and thoroughly enjoy the company of your significant other.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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