Sex up your home decor with cues from Toronto’s sultriest hotels

Colin and Justin - Home Decor - Header
Self-proclaimed Scottish love gurus Colin & Justin know a thing or two about getting in the mood. This soaker tub draped in red beckons — can you resist?

As a romantic couple of 29 years (yeah, we know, you thought we were in our very early 30s, right?), home designers across three continents and Harlequin romance novel cover models (Canada’s answer to Fabio on a buy one get one free basis?), we know precisely how to imbue your home with the love factor. And take it from us: when it comes to sexing up the style quotient chez vous, you needn’t look far.

Colin and Justin - Harlequin
Read ’em and weep. The utterly romantic Colin & Justin, who posed for Harlequin romance novel covers in 2009.

Toronto’s chic hotel fraternity, as we see it, has raced to the forefront of the international scene, so prepare to be inspired by these outposts to establish your own palace of seduction. It’s a no-brainer: creating a sexy boudoir will give you a confidence boost which will make all the difference when it comes to getting back to your place for that quick, ahem, “coffee.”

First rule of bedroom service? Order. A tidy and smartly dressed lair is essential, so ensure yours is up to scratch. Nip into Homesense and bag some plain linens, a pair of sexy bedside lamps and some empty wall-embellishing artwork to elicit a huge difference.

Full steam ahead. The open concept shower / bedroom at the Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square.
Full steam ahead — the open concept shower/bedroom at the Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square. (Photo courtesy of Le Germain Hotel  Maple Leaf Square)

To evidence the foregoing, prowl the website of Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. Leafing the virtual pages, you’ll espy Frette linens, voluminous duvets, sophisticated black and white athletic photography and shower cubicles with naughty clear glass walls that allow a voyeuristic peek from adjoining bedrooms. Aye, just a few of the sexy ideas that could very well help your Valentine’s night become “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Colin and Justin - Valentines Day - Drake
A saucy snapshot of the, ahem, “extensive” room service menu at The Drake. (Photo courtesy of The Drake)

Where romance is concerned, our mantra, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail”, will stand you in solid stead. Isn’t being prepared, after all, what it’s all about? This notion goes next level at The Drake, especially if you’re dreaming of a particularly romantic encounter. The oh-so-cool hostelry’s room service menu, indeed, reads like a racy Anaïs Nin novel, one that would have even the most fervent reformed smoker reaching for a cigarette.

Feeling the love vibe yet? We’ve got so much more. Setting the scene is crucial to romantic success and the eponymous Shangri-La Suite at Shangri-La delivers all this and more in its dynamically appointed accommodation. The project’s climactic moment hits a high note at the Moon Gate entrance — a timber clad, cylindrical portal (like some hedonistic peep hole at a futuristic Burlesque show), which views seductively towards a tempting, statuesque four poster.

This way to love heaven. The moon gate entrance to the bedroom in the Shangri-La Suite, Toronto.
This way to love heaven — the moon gate entrance to the bedroom in the Shangri-La Suite in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Toronto)

Consider the alluring portal as designer foreplay, and be inspired to surprise your amour with a great love token. Tiffany, for the record, works well for sex, (sorry, for either sex) whilst a purring, chill out soundtrack (try Special Night Mix 2017 by Drop G) would send everyone into aural heaven.

Bathing — and showering — too, should never be overlooked. Bubbling, tumbling waters go hand in (wet) hand with seduction, so ready yourself for a little spa-at-home indulgence as Valentine’s Day looms. The luxuriously appointed bathroom in the Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons, Toronto provides a veritable wash of inspiration. We love the centre soaker tub and its open aspect.

Awash with romance. The bathroom in the Presidential Suit at The Four Seasons, Toronto.
Awash with romance — the bathroom in the Presidential Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto)

The moon gate entrance to the bedroom in the Shangri-La Suite in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Toronto)

Study the image, then freshen your own bathroom with new towels, soaps and deliciously oily tinctures and don’t forget matters olfactory: flickering, scented candles will sex up the vibe. Floral lovers should try Tuberose Rouge, whereas those predisposed to smokier, late-night scents will love Feu de Bois — both by Diptique at Holt Renfrew.

Sexy Up Your Bedroom 101 — five simple tips to sweeten your nest

  1. Ditch clutter and lose the dirty laundry. By straightening your bedroom, you and your partner will be disburdened of impending job reminders. You’ll instantly feel more relaxed and raunchy.
  2. To lighten your emotional load, remove multi-functions. Purge that less than sexy computer desk (or ironing board) and make the bed your focal point — unless of course you look like Victoria’s Secret angel Stella Maxwell (current squeeze of actress Kristen Stewart) and are planning a spot of steaming whilst wearing your finest lingerie. Domestic role play? Just don’t get your fingers — or other extremities — burned.
  3. Dim the lights. Ensure overhead illumination is variable (an affordable dimmer switch from Home Depot could well prove to be your best-ever sexual precursor) or use table lamps with soft shades to create flattering illumination. Seriously: if all you can offer is a fumble in the dark, you’ll end up sleeping alone this Valentine’s Day.
  4. Dress for success. If your bed currently sports a Maple Leafs duvet or Moffats quilt set, then maybe it’s time to swap it all out for something eminently more romantic. Spend on comfort and luxury and opt for high-thread-count cotton sheets, a goose-down duvet and plump, feather-filled pillows. Add some stylish cushions and a coordinating throw, and presto — it will seem like you know more than a thing or two about getting it right in the bedroom.
  5. Spritz bed linens, chairs and nighttime attire with fragrance to create a sense of calm whilst setting the scene for seduction. Nothing gets a room — or its occupants — in the mood quite like a spray of Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather. Having last year interviewed the illustrious Mr. Ford at the Toronto International Film Festival, we can attest that the man (and everything for which he stands) is as sexy as the aforementioned scent.

As final inspiration, take a look at this high-impact Toronto bedroom and bathroom, both of which we pulled kicking and screaming from their previous form. In short, we transformed the boring, beige rooms into a hedonistic and thoroughly indulgent suite, draped in dramatic fabrics and French wallpaper.

Colin and Justin - Before and After
If wild horses and cuddly toys float your boat, then this dated bedroom (top left) will probably appeal — however there’s nothing quite as romantic as a four poster bed, especially in a room dressed head to toe with toile de jouy wall coverings and fabrics. This bland bathroom (bottom left) needed a pick-me-up — voila! This bathing beauty features double doors that open onto a dramatic scarlet fabric-draped soaker tub. We added a clear curtain at the rear to protect against water splash. (Photos courtesy of Colin & Justin)

And how about that bathroom? Inspired by a trip to The Moulin Rouge in Paris — the world’s undeniable love capital — it positively oozes sexual friction.

So Valentine verve? You got this! Adding the (se)X factor with hot home decor and cool design will amp up the love quotient, the feel-good factor and the lives of everyone concerned. Now doesn’t that sound like the start of a great affair?


Colin and Justin are keynote speakers at this weekend’s GTA Home and Reno Show, which runs Friday Feb. 17 to Monday Feb 20th. They’ll be appearing at 1 p.m. hosting their “Sexing Up The Suburbs’ property seminar. A meet and greet photo opportunity will follow. Save $5 on regular adult tickets purchased online with promo code: GTA. Find out more at www.gtahomeandrenoshow.com.

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