A boudoir is a private space, typically a salon or sitting area, in a furnished residence, intended for dressing, relaxing and sleeping. It is almost exclusively referred to a room of which belongs to a woman, but, with gendered societal expectations slowly dissolving, the use of this space does not need to be restricted in this way.
History of the boudoir
The term evolved from ‘bouder’, a French verb which means ‘sulk’ or ‘pout’. The first known use of the word was from 1700’s, first appearing in a poem from 1726, while not appearing in dictionaries until the 1940s. Originally, the space would be one used when the woman needed to withdraw and spend time alone - particularly during emotional times and experiences. The boudoir was considered an equivalent of the male cabinet.
This room was mostly found in grand houses, forming a private suite for women (or a ‘lady’) of the upper-class. The space usually sat between the dining room and the bedroom. The use of the room would later evolve to being a drawing or a living room, for spending time with love interests and for other recreational activities, such as embroidery.
In modern interiors, the term is widely used to denote a part of a bedroom that would be considered particularly ornate; dressing tables, ottomans, seating areas, room dividers and other storages and decor may be featured in such spaces.
A boudoir, in past and present, will predominantly be designed with a cosy, warm atmosphere - the interior should reflect on and accord with the tastes, habits and practicalities of its primary habitant. The space should be well-tailored and provide maximal comfort; a place for de-stressing and enjoyment.
At 1st Option, we have an exclusive selection of properties that have beautiful boudoir spaces. Some of our favourites include Leonards House, Mapesbury Road and, for a more traditionally-masculine touch, Great James Street.