Think ornate French romantic, sluttish Moulin Rouge or irreproachable English country virgin, and shake your boudoir, baby...
A chandelier will provide an exciting, twinkly light, while wall-lights and table lights cast a softer glow and create suggestive shadows. Simple chandeliers in black or red crystal start at around £40 from Heals (www.heals.co.uk; 020-7636 1666), while Grand Illusions (www.grandillusions.co.uk; 020 8607 9446) sells a very pretty painted wire Fantasie Chandelier, £36, with matching wall sconces, £21.50.
If budget is no problem, Glory Chandeliers (www.glory-chandeliers.com; 020-7633 0696), a family-run business in SE1, can supply antique, handmade Italian chandeliers from £2,000. They also stock a range of modern handmade lights from £275.
At the French specialist Judy Greenwood Antiques (020-7736 6037), the selection begins at around £690.
For a Moulin Rouge feel, look at the sexy black feather shade lamp at £85, and the red beaded flower lamp, £35, at Synergy Styles (www.synergystyles.co.uk, 0800 781 2152), which also sells pretty table lamps starting at £20.For the ultimate in evocative scented candles, Diptyque, in London W11, sells irresistible Feu de Bois candles (below) with an authentic log-fire aroma, £29.50 each.
BEDS AND FURNITURE
A soft, inviting bed is essential, of course - but don't go for the wholesale Mills and Boon-esque fantasy, otherwise your partner might take fright.
For a modern version of the four-poster, try the Conran Shop's Lim Canopy Bed, £2695 (www.conran.com), a simple aluminium frame from which you could drape your own voluptuous fabrics. For a more dramatic variation, check out Conran's Turned Ball Bed, £7,995, made from burned ash and carved into columns of decreasing spheres. Synergy Styles produces a huge range of reproduction French furniture in painted hardwood and wrought iron, including the Bordeaux carved bed, £1,395, and a lovely glazed armoire, £989.
Some prices are very reasonable; their Painted Cream range includes a pretty chest of drawers at £245, and a flowery wall-mirror at £85. For iron beds, Feather and Black (www.featherandblack.com; 01243 380600), incorporating the Iron Bed Company, sell a four-poster, Florence, for £849. Laura Ashley (www.lauraashley.com; 0871 9835 999) has an Old English style painted-metal bed, Somerset, in black or cream, for £550.
Bedlinen must be tactile and soft. One of my favourites is Laura Ashley's Grace, a lovely vintage-style range in soft pink, enhanced with velvet ribbon trims and crocheted lace (£55 for a double duvet cover).
Laura Ashley also has a range of lovely bedspreads, including the fringed and beaded Mia, in ethnic, gypsy shades (£100) and Summer Palace in delicate blue silk, with embroidery of birds and flowers with Swarovski crystals (£300). Designer's Guild (www.designersguild.com; 020-7893 7400) is always a safe bet for bedlinen and has a stunning collection of hot pink florals, including Mandarin, £120, and Samarkand, £85. For a softer look, try the subtly floral Hanami, £65.
CURTAINS AND WALLS
Fine fabrics hung at the windows will provide softly flowing, delicate movement. Choose Laura Ashley's organdie Gracie panel, in embroidered cotton (£35 per 150x240cm panel) or, for a more sexy French look, the black Toile de Jouy-style Lace Panel (£100 per panel).
Cole and Son (www.cole-and-son.com; 020-8442 8844), stock a range sexy reflective foil papers, especially effective when combined with soft lighting (from £140 per roll).
Floral wallpaper is a good bet, too, though it should be used sparingly. Ornamenta (www.ornamenta.co.uk; 020-7591 0077), who also make exquisite, hand-printed wallpapers, produce Springtime Bougainvillea and Springtime Marigold, created from hundreds of dried flower petals.
Think reflections. Judy Greenwood has a collection of rococo-style ornamental mirrors (from £1,450; smaller gilded mirrors from £650). For a selection of ribbon and bead-trimmed cushions (£25), visit Monsoon Home.
For the ultimate romantic flourish, try scattering rose petals on your bed, courtesy of Interpetal (www.interpetal.com), who can supply freeze-dried petals and rosebuds in a choice of 200 colours (from £7.99 per pint).
They're sure to look pretty but might prove annoying if you get down to some serious bedroom action...Reuse content