We just finished a project in Springfield, Missouri called Boudoir Boudoir. It’s the first phase in the renovation of a traditional Tudor-style home—two wardrobes joined by a shared bathroom. The project offers a contemporary take on a room with a fascinating history.
A boudoir is, at face value, a lady’s private dressing room, but the term is loaded with meaning. It comes from the Old French verb bouder, meaning “to pout” or “to sulk,” and so a boudoir was a space for a woman to beautify herself, improve her mood, and emerge out of an otherwise sullen state. Glamourized through 18th century romantic novels and popular lore, the boudoir became a symbol of female sexuality and male desire.
And for good reason. These were opulent, luxurious rooms designed to please the senses and radiate beauty. Their scents, textures and sinuous lines were singularly feminine, in form and in aesthetic. They were places for steamy rendezvous and private romances. Anne Troutman, in her essay Modernist Boudoir and the Erotics of Space, beautifully describes the boudoir as “a whisper of space in an increasingly intimate conversation of rooms.”