Eight trends shaping the owner’s suite
En suite laundry facilities, dual bedrooms and snoring rooms are taking the owner’s suite to the next level of luxe
Bedrooms have long been a neglected part of home design. After all, they’re rarely on public display. That’s changing and radically. Builders now recognize that homeowners want their private spaces to be thoughtfully designed areas that enhance the quality of their overall life, not just from a style perspective but from a practical one as well. Here are eight of today’s big trends.
Over time, bounding up and down a flight of stairs isn’t the delight it was at age 7. That’s especially true for people with back issues, joint pain or any of the other physical indignities of aging. A ground-floor master suite grows increasingly attractive as the idea of aging in place becomes more common, and as more households accommodate older parents and elderly visitors. Even if the bulk of a home’s bedrooms are on a second floor, builders are increasingly placing at least one bedroom, which is often the master, on the ground floor.
In 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that a third of people looking at luxury properties — homes priced at $2 million or more — were interested in the idea of two master bedrooms. That’s not necessarily the sign of an unhappy marriage, but of different sleeping patterns and work schedules. One spouse might be a read-until-2 A.M. type, the other an early bird who’s up at the crack of dawn. The Better Sleep Council has found that a third of adult Americans say their partner’s sleep problems disrupt their own sleep. Additionally, one bedroom might contain a home office, while the other includes an expanded dressing room. They often share a joint master bath. Twin master suites aren’t only for incompatible sleepers. For people who need a flexible layout for elderly parents, visiting children, or lots of houseguests, an extra master can come in extra handy. And this could be just the beginning: One luxury Toll Brothers development in Florida has homes with three master bedrooms.
If two full master suites seem extreme, some couples are opting for a less expansive but equally practical solution: the snoring room. Usually situated off the master, this well-insulated alcove doesn’t take up a huge amount of space, but gives the snorer a comfy spot to retreat. It’s sometimes closed off by soundproof French doors, creating a sense of spaciousness in the master suite while still serving its purpose.
Why drag a load of laundry through the house when you can have a washer and dryer within a sock-throw of your bed? For years now, many ski homes have had additional laundry facilities, almost a necessity given the loads of clothes, towels, and bed linens generated by a houseful of guests. Nowadays locating a second washer and drying off the master bedroom, or directly in the master closet, is even more convenient. Clothes go directly from the hamper into the washer, and you’ve got ample space for folding and putting things away.
You don’t have to be a clotheshorse to appreciate the wonders of a well-crafted walk-in closet. In addition to adjustable shelves and hanging bars, high-end master closets feature wall storage for shoes and bags, and velvet-lined drawers for sunglasses and watches. The most lavish are literal dressing rooms, with custom components that might include a dressing table with power stations and seating, 360-degree full-length mirrors, wine fridges and wall safes for protecting valuable items. Chandeliers, artwork and display lighting are enhancements that turn a closet into a happy space.
Baths that go beyond
The thing that often makes a master suite truly masterful is the bath. The latest bathroom study from Houzz reports that while style and beauty are a top priority in bathroom remodels, the most significant design changes allow for an aging household member. One-third of baby boomers remove the master bathtub and focus on enhancing showers with low curbs, seats, grab bars and nonslip floors. Other premium features include dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks and built-in vanities. Additional upgrades include heated floors and towel warmers, TVs embedded in vanity mirrors, and showers with digital controls, chromotherapy and music speakers.
While the most important job of a master suite is providing a comfortable place to sleep, it increasingly serves as a place for private relaxation. That’s becoming ever clearer as the size of new homes continues to shrink and the master does double-duty. A cushioned window seat with a peaceful view, an armchair in a cozy nook or a decadent chaise lounge straight out of a Hollywood movie all turn the master into an intimate library — just add task lighting and a bookshelf. And when you put a fireplace in the picture, you’ve got the ultimate retreat, as well as the room’s focal feature.
Over the last decade, designers have touted master suites that look and feel like luxury hotel rooms. But experts say today’s most compelling designs are going in a gentler direction. Basic improvements include eliminating a TV, installing fewer electrical outlets, and bringing in touches of the natural world, such as plants and warm textures. Industrial design, with its sharp edges and exposed workings, can feel cold and harsh. Plush fabrics and high-quality linens make the master suite a welcoming cocoon at the end of the day.
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