Creating a Cozy 'Love Nest'

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so you might be thinking about creating a romantic retreat in your bedroom. Interior designer Leslie Hart-Davidson from Hart-Davidson Designs is here to help us with ideas to add create a special love nest.

When looking at magazines or Pinterest for images of beautiful, romantic bedrooms, often you'll find a luxurious bedspread, gobs of tailored toss pillows, lovely artwork, a roaring fireplace, and an immaculate setting free of clutter.

In reality, what we often find in our bedroom is an unmade bed with the pillows thrown on the floor, dirty exercise clothes thrown over a chair, unfolded laundry in a basket, a dog bed, and possibly the kids hanging out watching tv. That is the furthest thing from a romantic retreat, so here are some things to keep in mind to achieve a love nest not only on Valentine's Day, but every day of the year:

• Many of the magazine pictures of romantic retreats feature a fireplace, so consider adding a freestanding electric unit if your budget doesn't allow for the real deal. Tons of options for realistic flame and heating options are available online and in big box stores. Styles range from traditional mantels to corner units to bookcase or tv stands, so it will be relatively easy to find a model that will fit with your décor.

• Wall color can dramatically improve your "mood" in the bedroom, so consider painting to improve the ambience of your love nest. Keep in mind that WARM colors like red, orange and yellow will make the room feel cozy, and COOL colors like blue, green and violet will make the space feel bigger. The greater the saturation and depth of the color, the more dramatic the effect will be. If you're a bit of a color coward, consider changing only the headboard wall-that way you won't see it when you're in bed.

• Seating is incredibly important in your love nest. If you want to watch tv or read in your retreat, consider using a loveseat or chair-and-a-half style to promote cuddling with your significant other. A storage ottoman that can be moved to a corner when not in use is perfect for the chair scenario.
• Comfortable bedding is critical to your quality of sleep, so consider investing in high-quality sheets. Thread counts of 400+ are preferable, as is Egyptian cotton. Sheet sets are mainly imported, so the regulation of terms isn't standardized and some packages can be misleading. Remember two things when purchasing sheets:
1. FEEL THEM. Even if the package says 1000 thread count, the quality of fiber could be jenky. If it doesn't feel soft, don't let the number sway you. Move on.
2. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Don't expect the 800 thread count "Egyptian cotton" sheets you picked up for $20 at the Women's Expo to last very long. They're inexpensive for a reason.

• Set some ground rules with your kids and pets if they tend to congregate in your bedroom to watch tv. Consider setting a time limit for visits or a "no kids after 8pm" rule to establish privacy.
• If the kids are still reluctant to go, try recreating that cozy feeling in a different space in the home to entice them to spend more time away from your love nest so you can regain the privacy you need.

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