A romantic sounding French word that has been easily adopted worldwide, especially in the States, to describe a woman’s bedroom, dressing room, or private sitting room. It is somewhere in which to be feminine, where furnishings can, and should be, that bit softer, fluffier, and frillier than in any other room.
The direct translation is ‘the sulking room’. Sulking might have once held an ulterior meaning, for boudoirs are to be enjoyed, boasting delicate, lightly gilded and beautiful painted furnishings used for toilette, wardrobe, fun, relaxation and girl talk.
Fabrics for boudoir furnishings can be indulgent and femininely charged, off limits for boys of any age with footballs, Lego bricks, sandal buckles or gardening trousers. A fancy for exquisitely woven or decorated textiles can be indulged in the boudoir, such as lace, broderie anglaise, spotted muslins, soft silks and satins, frills and flounces, organdie, organza and all the other dreamy lightweight silks and cottons that we have to be careful with in practical, hardwearing rooms.
Creating feminine boudoirs is a fun project as the materials, workmanship, detail and cut can be, and should be as fine as any couture, standing up to just as much critique and inspection, but also as much fun. The upholstery too can be more relaxed than for other more her use rooms, with soft fabrics, deep buttoning, drapery and intricate details. For boudoir design inspiration, look to couture, jewellery and millinery.