It seems like we women still like to take control of home décor, and our husbands are often glad to let us take the reins. But we can’t let the power go to our heads, ladies. The bedroom is an oasis, sure – it’s a cliché because it’s true. But that goes for both of you.
Take a look around your bedroom. Do a throw-pillow count. Conduct a hue check. Use a floral detector. Do you think of your bedroom as “mine,” or “ours”? In the wake of Valentine’s Day, let’s make sure we’re not driving our husbands into man-caves by making our shared sanctuary into a lady-orchard. (Wait, what?)
Take the master bedroom quiz and find out whether yours is a his, a hers, or an ours!
What’s on your walls?
(a) Family photos, beaming down at us as if they are so proud to see us … do it.
(b) An oil painting of a peach that looks remarkably like a butt.
(c) Deer antlers.
It can be tempting to have a cluster of photos of your kids, your parents, and everyone else you love right where you can wake up and see them, but it’s also kind of a buzzkill. Beds are for more than sleeping, you know. I think this is why people put family photos in the front hall – so we don’t feel guilty about not having them on our bedside tables. Look for something kinda sexy, moody and evocative, lush and rich. In other words, (b).
How about the color?
(a) Fabulous peachy pink!
(b) Sage green and brown.
(c) Matte black.
Have you caught on yet? I’m putting the most reasonable choices in the (b) slot. Look, I love pink. I mean, I adore it. And I agree that it brightens a room most cheerfully. But it can’t be your main color. One way to get pink into a unisex bedroom is by choosing an off-white that has a pink hue, or warmer whites. Or you can use a sheer pale pink curtain to amp up the light that comes in the window. If it’s pale enough, it’ll register as neutral and complement the bolder browns or oranges he might prefer.
How many throw pillows are there?
(a) A kabillion! Don’t touch them. GET OFF THE BED TILL I CAN CLEAR IT!
(b) There are a couple, but they’re clearly marked, and their shams can go in the washing machine if they happen to be slept on.
(c) The pillows that match the sheets count as throw pillows. The end.
When I broke up with someone after, like, eight years, the first thing I did was go out and buy the pinkest duvet cover I could find. I absolutely loved it: It was a soothing tweedy pattern with satin ribbons running down the middle. It was the perfect place to bring my now-husband for assignations, but once he moved in, my declaration of independence felt forced. I upgraded to a gray-and-white batik pattern that I love just as much. And, uh … actually, I never upgraded the shams. I’m kind of a guy when it comes to pillows.
What’s the flower count?
(a) Cabbage roses. Everrrrrywhere.
(b) There are flowers, but they’re kinda sexy Georgia O’Keefe ones.
(c) There are branches. Big ones. Get it?
Honestly, I adore cabbage roses. But that’s why I had daughters. I actually really love the trees-and-branches trend. If that’s too literal, almost anything by Marimekko treads the thin line between bold and brash, woods and garden.
The best advice I found on this subject came not from an expert in an article but a comment on a forum: Find a theme you both like and build on it. For one couple, it might be an antique look that starts with a piece they found on their honeymoon. For another, a color scheme is enough of a jumping-off point. For me, a silk rug inherited from my grandpa’s store adorns the wall above our headboard, and inspired the rest of the colors in the room – very Armenian of us, believe me.
And of course, the bottom line is this: The more comfortable you make it, the less it matters what your bed looks like. If it feels good, it looks good to anyone.