06/05/2015 08:57 am ET | Updated Jun 08, 2015

8 Simple Steps For A Much More Romantic Bedroom

Forget the rose petals -- these decorating ideas will give your room year-round sex appeal.

By Candace Braun Davison

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    Red may be the unofficial color of love, but in your bedroom, it can be a libido-killer: A Travelodge study of 2,000 people found that those whose rooms were red had sex the least often, whereas those who decorated in caramel tones had it the most. If you're interested in putting this survey's results to the test, try Benjamin Moore's Roxbury Caramel, Behr's Burnt Almond or, for a more subtle take, Sherwin-Williams's Smokey Topaz.
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    Creating the ambience in a room depends on four factors: light, color, temperature (think 68-75 degrees) and scent, says Marcus Mueller, general manager of Solage Calistoga, voted one of the most romantic hotels in the world by Fodor's Travel. When it comes to lighting, the key is to create a soft glow throughout the whole room rather than relying on the standard overhead-light-and-bedside-lamps combo. Mueller recommends recessed lights set to a dimmer, which illuminate the room more evenly. If you already have bedside lamps, consider painting the inside of the lampshades a pale pink, which will give your skin a rosy glow—no spray tan necessary.
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    Tack this on to Arianna Huffington's list of reasons to keep your cell phone out of your bedroom entirely: A study found that nearly half delayed sex because they were too busy checking messages and playing Candy Crush. Others reported hurrying sex so they could respond to a text. (Admittedly, it's a small study -- only 30 people -- but it's worth considering).
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    All it takes is the smell of your perfume to remind your partner of you, so why not infuse it in the bedroom? Carolyn Westbrook, author of A Romance with French Living, sprinkles a powdered version of her signature scent -- Chanel No. 5 -- on her sheets while making the bed. Choosing your favorite fragrance may pay off better than testing out the "it" scent, anyway—depending on what study you choose, the sexiest smell could be musky, vanilla-y or hedione.
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    French style has long been touted for its romantic appeal, and Westbrook says it all comes down to their attention to detail. "There's a richness to it," she explains. While many people focus on the bed itself, you can't ignore the other fabrics in the room, particularly the curtains. She recommends a double-shirred style -- look for fabric that's twice as wide as your curtain rods and that extends all the way to the floor to get that lush, luxurious look.
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    One of the key reasons Calistoga Solage was named one of the most romantic hotels is that the resort is designed to take your mind off your day-to-day worries, Mueller says. You can do the same at home by maintaining a simple rule: If it could be found in an office, hide it from sight after work hours. That may mean moving your desk to another room, or putting your printer on a rolling cart that can slide into the closet when it's not in use, like the bloggers at Yellow Brick Home did.
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    You've heard that anything over 400 thread-count sheets aren't worth splurging on. Westbrook suggests investing in a down-filled mattress topper instead, which gives your bed that plush, can't-wait-to-sink-into-it feeling. She finishes the look with a trio of box pillows, with a few euro shams propped at an angle, so they look diamond-shaped, and one or two junior box pillows in the front.
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    Your playlist already includes the song from your first date, first dance and first time you both shouted "I love this song!" when listening to the radio, but if you're looking to add to your lineup, you can't go wrong with an homage to Swayze. Men and women both chose "anything from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack" as the most romantic song to listen to, according to Spotify's Science Behind the Song survey.