The most intimate place in one’s home is the bedroom. It’s where we dress, undress, chat, sleep, read, dream, and can become one with our partner—mind, body, and spirit. It doesn’t matter if you live in a studio apartment or a seaside villa, with a little creativity you can carve out a “sacred space” that exudes beauty and light and envelopes you in a vibe of romance. Here’s some inspiration for making the perfect love sanctuary, on any budget.

Matthew Lynn, New York City-based interior designer and founder of Matthew Lynn Interiors, sheds some light on easy yet meaningful tweaks to achieve a blissful bedroom experience. “White sheets. There’s nothing better than hotel sex,” he laughs, “so why not try to recreate this every day?” Lynn also says, “Lighting is everything. Dimmers, dimmers, dimmers…they set the mood. Plus everyone looks better with a filter.” Lynn believes it’s important to make the bedroom feel personal. “Keep a photograph of the two of you framed on your nightstand for whenever you need a reminder of the good times.”

For Los Angeles based visual merchandiser and stylist, Matthew Cunneen, a love nest should look attractive, feel seductive, and also be comforting space in order to maximize both your waking and resting hours. He likes:

1. Soft and inviting bedding. Whether you prefer gentle neutral tones in earthy fabrics like linen and cotton or big, bold colors and brocades, it’s how they’re layered that makes the bed appealing. Coordinated bedding and lots of pillows (but not too many, because there needs to be plenty of room for you and your partner!) add up to a look that invites rest and romance.


2. Indirect lighting. Overhead fixtures can cast a harsh light. Use table and floor lamps to spotlight areas of your room that require more brightness.  Shades in dark colors or fabrics keep the bedroom light dim and sexy.  Wall sconces with adjustable arms are great for reading in bed at night in order to control the area of illumination.


3. A comfortable seat, such as club chair.  You don’t have to read your favorite book only in bed—curl up in a comfy chair instead.  Or sit and chat while your partner is dressing.  Having a chair makes another space for intimate interaction—but be vigilant.  Many people end up using it a spot to dump laundry or towels, try to keep it clear!


4. Candles. Scent is a transporter. We all have different opinions about what smells good, so find something that you both respond to (and hunting for a luscious fragrance together can be sexy in itself). The candles don’t have to be high end, but it’s best to stick with natural waxes like bee and soy.


5.  Extra pillows. Throw pillows are a decorator’s secret weapon.  They can be used on the bed or moved around the room to create a makeshift space for daydreaming on the floor or by a window.


6.  Art. When decorating the walls of your nest, stick to calm and serene paintings, photographs, or prints. Choose subjects that don’t attract too much attention but are soothing and evocative, like a land or seascape.


7.  Sheer curtains. Light and airy fabrics provide privacy while still allowing the sunshine in.


8. Chandeliers. Chandeliers add whimsy and charm to any space and suggest a time when people’s lives moved at a slower pace.  Add a dimmer switch so the lighting is useful but can easily be changed to set the mood.


9. Rugs. A high pile rug, like a shag, feels lush and plush under your feet and instantly makes any room cozier.


10. The Bed. And don’t forget the bed itself. When you are ready to graduate from that futon on the floor, an upholstered headboard or warm- or light-colored wood are your best choices. Cool materials like metals can make a room feel cold and institutional while dark wood looks heavy.