Home may be where the heart is, but it can also hinder how much you, well, get it on. Turns out that what's under your bed, in your bathroom, or filling your closet can actually , as can dirt and smells. To create a more romantic space, here's what experts say to avoid:
1. Lots of clutter
"It's the equivalent of bad breath, body odor and being a bad kisser," says organizing and lifestyle expert Dana Korey, founder of Away with Clutter. "If a space is messy, it may make a potential partner wonder what else is a mess in the resident's life."
If you're already a couple and the bedroom is filled with unpaid bills, filthy clothes, and half-completed projects, "your mind is screaming, 'Do laundry/pay bills/finish projects,'" says Korey. And if you can't relax, you can't get busy. So and decide what to toss and donate, and where to store what you want to keep.
2. Family photos on your nightstand
You love your parents, siblings and kids, but the thought of them "watching" you in action can damper the mood. "Keep only photos of you and your partner in the bedroom," says , a Feng Shui expert who harmonizes spaces through color, imagery and spatial arrangement.
Manzi suggests adding pics of you two on a favorite vacation. Nature scenes, or artwork with smooth curves and warm colors can also spur feelings of warmth, comfort and sensuality. Also remember that the first thing you see upon entering a room can set the mood, so place these images somewhere attention-grabbing.
3. Too many tech distractions
"Bedrooms aren't meant to be home offices," says lifestyle and brand culture consultant , author of . That means no TVs, no iPads/iPods/iPhones/iAnything — but an alarm clock is just fine. Eisner also recommends moving charging stations to the bathroom or the closet, and silence devices before heading to bed. "All these distractions keep you from tuning into your significant other," adds Korey.
4. A dirty bathroom
Lots can go wrong in this room. Hair in the drain or soap scum can make shower sex unappealing. And don't get us started on unpleasant odors. Try a floral-scented spray or to keep embarrassing stenches at bay.
Dirty clothing everywhere is also not appealing. "I had a client who refused to sleep with her husband because he'd leave his filthy gym clothes on the bathroom counter," says Korey. She suggested he place his workout gear in a decorative urn near the bathroom — which saved that couple's love life. Bottom line, keep your bathroom tidy and fresh-smelling so you can enjoy getting clean and dirty in there.
5. The wrong-size bed
You may opt for a king-size for more space, but it can feel like you and your love are on opposite sides of the world. If you have a big bed, "sleep at least one night a week starting in a tight cuddle," recommends Manzi. And cut down on your decorative accents, too. "A bed overladen with pillows becomes an obstacle to intimacy," says Eisner.
6. Harsh lighting
Unless you prefer making love in the dark, find ways to create a soft glow in the boudoir. "One-hundred-watt lighting can douse a romantic mood," says Eisner. "But dimmers and three-way bulbs shift you from 'not now' to 'right now!'" A non-flammable scarf strewn over a lampshade, a burning fireplace and candles by the bathtub or on the kitchen counter also work.
7. A disheveled bedroom
Ever wonder why hotel lovemaking comes so easily? It's because the rooms are organized and have lovely linens and soft pillows — and nothing that reminds you of anything. Turn your bedroom into an inviting retreat by, yes, cleaning, but also splurging on comfy bedding, cozy pillows and other things that make you want to crawl into bed with your partner. "Tattered, crummy sheets and itchy, old bedding just don't feel nice," says Korey.