Design — 02 February 2013
Sensuous design ideas for the bedroom



Bedrooms have become sanctuaries – havens to escape the pressures of life and the demands of our children.

In South Florida, master bedrooms can be more than 500 square feet – the size of an efficiency apartment. They are designed with morning kitchens so we can make coffee and toast without leaving the room, chaises for reading, and upholstered headboards to comfortably watch large flat-screen televisions.

Check out the varying styles of five designers who captured the ideal sensuous bedrooms to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day.

Designer: James Goodman

Photographer: Dan Forer

Comfort in a sensuous bedroom is not limited to the thread count of your sheets or the quality of your mattress, according to James Goodman. Think seeing as well as feeling.

“It has to be relaxing,” Goodman says. “It should have visual comfort. When you’re in bed you should have something to look at in case the two of you aren’t talking. If you look at a blank ceiling, how dull is that?” Ceilings in his clients’ beachfront condo in Boca Raton are the antithesis of dull. The tray ceiling has coffered detail painted blue in the bedroom and white in the adjacent dressing area. Both are accented with up lighting in the cove molding. Goodman faced a challenge because it was an older condo with only an 8-foot-3-inch ceiling. The solution was SpacePak, a small-duct, high-velocity central air-conditioning system that could fit in the seven-inch soffit. No air-conditioning vents are visible; all returns are hidden in the drapery pockets.

The clients, a mature married couple with grandchildren, were looking for a traditional style. Goodman gave them an eclectic mix of traditional, such as the Regency-style desk from Thomasville’s Ernest Hemingway Collection; and a tropical style stacking chest from Lane Venture’s Excursions Collection.

“These pieces are relatively inexpensive,” he says. “Any designer knows how to spend a lot of money. I don’t buy things according to the name. I select on what it costs and what it looks like. I spend a lot of time in consignment galleries and buy a lot of my accessories there.”

The walls are covered in grass cloth, which has made a comeback from its heyday in the 1970s. The floors are hand-scraped wood with Berber area rugs to define the spaces. Draperies are simple cotton with a mattress-ticking stripe.

“I like to look at the interaction of a couple in the bedroom,” Goodman says. “We are making a set for your life and who you are.”

Canthus, 850 SW 19th Ave., Boca Raton,


Designer: Patricia Kukes

Photographer: Robert Brantley

Patricia Kukes envisions a sensuous bedroom as glamorous and elegant with luxurious materials.

“It is not hard edged,” she says. “It is romantic, soft edged and inviting with soft colors.”

The colors she used in a single-family home at Frenchman’s Creek Beach and Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens are whites, pale blues and green. Walls are pale blue with cream trim.

“They were a relatively new marriage, and they wanted their bedroom to be sensuous and romantic,” Kukes says. “The wife was more involved than the husband. She wanted the room to be somewhat feminine without being ridiculous, nothing over the top and somewhat understated.”

The French bed, with carved frame and ball-foot front legs, is upholstered with raffia. A transitional Oscar de la Renta Trellis Dining Chair is pulled up to a clean-lined modern desk. Sheers with a dotted Swiss motif can be closed during the day for privacy. The draperies are silk cabana stripe. The area rug is a pale French Aubusson. A separate seating area features two matching chairs, a table for drinks and a round ottoman. The clear Crowder Design chandelier is a takeoff on Murano glass.

“It is easier not to mix styles,’ says Kukes, “but it is more interesting and current to do it.”

Kukes + Simons Interiors, 131 NW 13th St. # 37,
Boca Raton, 561-391-7980,

Designer: Steven Zelman

Photographer: Barry Grossman


teven Zelman sees one word as the key to a sensuous bedroom – comfort.

“Comfort is relative to the client,” he says. “If someone is very TV oriented, they need a comfortable headboard with big pillows. Someone more cosmopolitan wants clean lines.”

Zelman’s client, a single man from Philadelphia, wanted both. Walls were knocked down to expand the master bedroom to 520 square feet in his penthouse condo on Sunny Isles Beach. The L-shaped room contains a comfortable leather chaise where he can enjoy a drink and watch television, or with the push of a button the television swings out to watch from the bed.

The palette is neutral. Sheer curtains have a brown silk band on the bottom to echo the walnut floor. During the day, blackout shades can be drawn to watch television, and at night the sheers can be shut to have city lights twinkle through them.

“It makes it more romantic when you shut the shades and still have the light,” Zelman says.

The most unique aspect of the room is the custom bed with a 54-inch-high tufted and crushed velvet headboard against a wall of 3-D panels made of composite material. The same material is used on the wall behind the television to tie the room together.

Another sensuous aspect is the wall and ceiling treatments, which are done in light silver Venetian stucco. The sliding-glass door is etched glass from Bartels. When opened, the glass in front of the wall makes the opening appear as if it is 12 feet wide, Zelman says.

Lichi-Zelman Style Interiors, 3430 N. Andrews Ave. Extension, Pompano Beach, 954-726-0899,


Designer: Jack Fhillips

Photographer: Robert Brantley

Jack Fhillips says the focus in a sensuous bedroom should be the bed. Above all, a sensuous bedroom should not look like a hotel room, which he rejects as an “over-used trend.”

His clients wanted interiors that fit the country French exterior of their home on Palm Beach Island and their bedroom to be pretty and soft.

Fhillips says the best place to start is buying the best linens you can afford. His choice? Pratesi. The sheets don’t have to match the bed covering, but he prefers coordinating shams and accent pillows. And he loves unusual beds such as this metal bed with a gatepost finish.

“I love interesting beds, and they are getting harder to find,” he says. “The whole industry is heading toward upholstered headboards. To me, an upholstered headboard is the last resort.”

This room has a feminine feel because of the bed skirt and ruffled shams, but it has male appeal with the brown and beige colors and the hunting toile motif on accent pillows. A comfortable chaise with side table make a welcoming place to read or relax.

“To me, this bedroom is a great place to come after a long hard day and curl up under the duvet and have a cup of tea and a wonderful book and hope there is someone curling up next to you,” Fhillips says. “I think for the most part bedrooms should be so soft that they barely make a dent in the eye. They should have beautiful things that flow and nothing that shocks or jars.”

Jack Fhillips Design, 2611 Mercer Ave., West Palm Beach,


Designer: Eloise Kubli

Photographer: Kim Sargent

For Eloise Kubli, it’s the layering of finishes such as silks, velvet, shimmery glass and metal that gives a bedroom a luxurious, sensuous feeling.

Her clients, who married later in life, requested a bedroom that was serene, peaceful and relaxing for their home at Plantation’s Hawks Landing. It was originally a spec home and the clients liked her work and hired her.

Kubli covered the walls and ceiling with LusterStone, a decorative architectural troweled coating from Faux Effects in light blue. When the lights are low or candles light the room, the finish shimmers. Tray ceilings have recessed lighting on a dimmer above the crown molding.

“It is step down from Venetian Plaster and gives it the same kind of look,” Kubli says. “It has a very romantic, very sexy finish that I love to use in the bedroom and bathroom. It gives a feeling of serenity.”

The 575-square-foot bedroom has a separate seating area and a morning kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, coffee pot and sink.

The custom king-sized bed in maple features a headboard and footboard upholstered in tufted velvet. The bedding is silk and velvet in neutral tones with accent pillows in leopard print, which is echoed in the leopard throw in the seating area.

Copper leaf stools sit on top of the clients’ shag rug. Embroidered silk draperies give added texture and subtle detail with a circular pattern. The mirrored demi-lune table provides additional shimmer.

“I get a little bit of a French Art Deco feeling in this room,” Kubli says. “My client grew up in Paris. I had recently come back from a continuing-education trip in France and got inspired by the trip.”

Collective Construction & Design, 102 NW 100th Ave., Plantation, 954-733-8282,

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