Valentine's Day Special: 12 Ways Remodeling Your House Can Lead to Romance
A dozens arguments for why improving your home can also improve your relationship
Forget New Agey romance rehab (we saw how well that went for Vince Vaughn in Couples Retreat). If you really want to rev up your sex life, think remodel. Tackling even a minor domicile makeover can spark erotic notions, amp libidos, and bring you closer. Here, 12 ways to his/her heart (among other organs) that are built into most any remodel.
The local news is over, and you and your mate are relaxed and reclined—the perfect time and place to broach the subject of a project. Sharing fantasies about your ideal abode is sure to deepen your bond—and who knows where that kind of closeness will lead on a typical Tuesday night? Even the language you use will be rife with double entendres: Master suite! Play area! Bonus room!
If the bedroom is the act, the bath is both foreplay and post-romp cuddle. There's even a website dedicated to the proposition: TheSexyBathroom.com. Incurable romantics may yearn for a deep claw-foot tub and Victorian vanity; hedonists may get hot for heated floors and Jacuzzi; and you show-offs out there may get your kicks from an all-glass shower enclosure and lots of mirrors. Even fix-ups like new fixtures and window treatments can turn a blah bath into a sweet spot.
Men just can't keep their hands off a woman busy cooking; for the ladies, it's a good bet a dish-washing guy will put them in the mood. So keep these other erogenous zones in mind as you plan your redo: A kitchen island can be more conducive to a quickie—a quickie meal, that is—than a basic countertop. That cozy breakfast nook might just be made for getting close. A butler's pantry? Just plain lascivious, with or without the French maid get-up.
For redo-conscious couples, internet porn takes on a whole new meaning. Snuggle up side by side and ogle away at, say, SinksGallery.com, where you'll find five pages devoted to wall-hung styles alone. Sinks aren't your kink? Slaver over architectural salvage at HistoricHouseparts.com. Remodel erotica is such a turn-on for redo-minded couples, the Victoria's Secret catalog will be so much packing material.
You need more storage space—and so does your love life. Let's be real: There's not much a woman won't do for additional closets; the very idea of custom-built shoe racks will dilate her pupils and send her straight into swoon mode. Not that men are immune to pack-rat syndrome—and nothing squelches desire like having your cherished comic-book collection burned in the barbecue pit because someone decides there's no room for it.
A boring boudoir dampens intimacy, but jazz things up in there and you'll recapture that "first time" feeling. Paint can set the scene for provocative encounters: Choose colors that arouse the mind (studies have shown a red-romance link) and enhance the skin tone (flattering shades include eggplant, soft rose, and teal blue). Lighting also delivers: Dimmers put "the mood" at your fingertips, but even new lampshades can soften the glow. Pushing out the bedroom walls might allow for that king-sized bed you've hankered for—and more nighttime gymnastics.
Or lumber yard, hardware store, plumbing supply. Trawling fluorescent-lit aisles while maneuvering a giant buggy may not sound tantilizing, but once you two start shopping for materials, your senses will be all a-tingle. Hey, feel the grain of this wood, babe! Whoa, run your hands over the curve of this gooseneck spout!
Inevitably you'll call in some kind of pro. Hook up with a contractor, architect, or designer, and even if you ultimately choose to DIY, seeing your project through professional eyes will help solidify your plans, make you feel more secure about the job, and hop up your happiness quotient. And who's to say there isn't something a little exciting about inviting a stranger into your private space and the intimacies of your everyday life?
Demo is dir-r-r-r-ty. While other aspects of your project will be painstakingly precise, busting stuff up lets you go wild, flexing muscles and displaying your animal nature. When a guy demos, it shows his other half what a beast he is. When a woman whacks away with a sledgehammer, she gets in touch with her wanton warrior princess. When the sweaty work is done, time for a shower.
It's been a long day with the band saw, paint roller, whatever—the time has come to cash in. If you did the work solo and your other half comes home to see something actually accomplished, you'll get major props, so milk your hard labor for everything it's worth. Request a massage—a real one, not some squeeze-squeeze, pat-pat over the clothes—the full Monty, on the bed, with lotion and that nice aromatherapy candle burning. Of course, if you both hit the wall on the project, you'll have to settle for "I'll do you if you do me"—still a win-win. Bonus tip: Never knock yourself out to the point you'd rather be put in traction than reap these rewards!
Everyone harbors a bit of a costume fetish, so captivate your mate with the appropriate attire. The most important aspect of contractor couture is the jam-packed tool belt, crucial to revealing that irresistible expanse of backside. As to the outfit itself: Ladies, reference classic Pamela Anderson as the Tool Time Girl on Home Improvement. Fellas, see Bob the Builder—really, the right gear inspires confidence, and confidence is sexy.
You know what they say: Big screen, big inspiration from your favorite adult-audiences entertainment. Cushy couches, deep-pile carpet, abundant pillows and throws, wood-burning hearth—sure, they're cliches. That's because they reliably seal the deal. Don't forget a wet bar to help loosen inhibitions. And soundproofing your pleasure pit may be smart so neighbors won't get a thrill. Bonus tip: Consider adding a motion-sensor alarm on the stairs in case the kids sleepwalk.