Room with Many Views

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Many luxurious master bedrooms, like this one designed by Pinneapple House Interiors, have cozy sitting areas.

Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream. Or not.

Master bedrooms, long a shelter for the sleepy, have been reinvented. And while the evolution from the basics that Mom and Dad enjoyed in the 50s to what we bask in now has admittedly been gradual, September 11th was a watershed. On that date when everything changed, so did they. Formerly the sleep site sought hours after lively evenings of dinner and discussion downstairs, the master bedroom is now a sanctuary. A cocoon. A space of our own away from the world.The place we go soon after dinner and simply stay put.

It’s really no wonder when you consider all they contain. Certainly most aren’t just for sleeping anymore. No, at their most basic they’re almost like apartments comprised of lush, spa-like lavatories; large walk-in closets with windows, storage islands and vanity tables; sitting rooms; exercise rooms; and sometimes even offices. The children have their Jack ‘n Jill suites and older daughters their Princess Suites, but the master belongs to Mom and Dad. And while admittance is members only, the members are everyone living in your house. So the more hospitable and visitor-friendly, the better.

Safe at home
“People are cocooning, says Rita Guest, FASID, of Carson Guest Interior Design. Our clients are seeking security, and it’s evident in such requests as security systems and lighting on/off access at bedside.” Tami Dupree of Georgetown Interiors agrees. “Haven is a word that comes to mind. Our clients want the one room that they can retire to at day’s end to be a retreat.”

Interior designer Dede Gilreath, ASID, of Gilreath & Associates says her clients want more from their master suites. “You know, it’s this time we’re living in, she says. When safety and security has been threatened at a very fundamental level, many take on a renewed philosophy of living each day to the fullest, enjoying life and doing some things that perhaps they’ve until now been putting off. Master bedrooms have become cozy, comfortable, over-indulged, luxurious spaces.”

And if you can afford it, the sky is the limit. Homeowners are incorporating lush fabrics like chenille and metallics. “I see a combination of fabric weights, says Gilreath, but overall our clients are seeking heavy and luxurious fabrics as opposed to the chintzes to which we once all gravitated. I think of it as a ‘blanket-wrap’ feeling; a comfort thing.”

Master bedrooms are a space of their own away form the world they can retreat to after dinner and simply stay put.

Colors, she says, are always determined by the client but as a rule of thumb masters are presented in subdued and restful colors born out of a neutral and cool palette. “You know, a client’s preferred colors can often be determined by looking in their closet or checking out the color of their car, Gilreath says. He who chooses a black car in many instances will be drawn to sharp-edged colors. She who gravitates to a light metallic color will often be pleased with a softer look.”

Finally, Gilreath says, residents of master bedrooms want the finest of sheets. Fabrics used in this inner sanctum must look and feel good. Embroidery is a trend seen on the linens currently. “Pillows on pillows, layers on layers…I said it once and it bears repeating — we’re cocooning right now.”

Its all about comfort
In keeping with our cocooning natures and nesting selves, Julie Reynolds, interior designer with Reynolds Interior Design says her clients are also very concerned about making their master suites comfortable. “While I’ve certainly helped create some very luxurious settings, I’m also seeing a return to a cozy, comfortable atmosphere.
She says you can achieve that cozy feeling by using two sets of dust ruffles on the bed’s base, or with two duvet covers on the bed. Use one plumped with a comforter inside and one simply lavishing on top, Reynolds says. The overall effect very womb-like. You just want to sink into the softness!”

And having the space to do the things you like most is also important. “People enjoy reading and want a space dedicated to that in their master, Dupree says. A sitting area is often configured with comfortable, overstuffed chairs, ottomans, even chaise lounges. Lighting there can be turned up for easy reading, but elsewhere it’s muted, controlled by rheostats.” Fireplaces and chandeliers add touches of luxury to a suite of rooms that, for most people, are their private getaway.

The little extras
It’s virtually impossible to speak of the master bedroom without mentioning the master bath, currently a lush, spa-like ambiance replete with candles, heated stone floors, granite countertops, double sinks, commode closets, Jacuzzi bathtubs or Japanese soaking tubs, and steam showers. The accouterments such as plush towels, body oils and lotions complete the picture.

Exercise rooms, offices, closets and separate sitting areas are other extensions of the master that make it the microcosm it is. Certainly it’s understandable that whatever furnishes a room defines itexercise equipment for the physical fitness guru; plush, comfy furniture for couch potato aficionados; upscale office furniture and all the trappings for the entrepreneur seeking excellence at home.

Porches and patios are nice touches helping to bring the outdoors in. “I have a client who’s his and her bathrooms are separated by a private patio with a fountain, Guest says. And speaking of the outdoors, windows are plentiful, window treatments grand artistic statements of elegance. But underneath it all, there are light blocking treatments ensuring sleep’s success.

Stylish in room features include cofee bars, complete with mini-refrigerators and sinks.

Stylish in-room touches include flat screen TVs hung as artwork on walls or encased in consoles at the foot of the bed that can be controlled with the push of a button. Coffee bars are also popular. They can be located behind louvered doors and include a microwave, coffee maker, sink and mini-refrigerator. Waking to the smell of coffee is never so nice as when you know it’s right across the room.

Wardrobe rooms
One of the last great frontiers is the closet. “An area ripe for renovation, properly organized shelves, drawers and built-in bureaus in the closet minimize the need for furniture in the bedroom, says Laurie Lane of Closets & More. Also, once organized, says Lane, islands and vanities can be added. And since some closets are large enough for windows, window seats add ideal storage space for sheets, pillows and comforters.

Shakespeare was right. Because really, if you can’t sleep, just take a steam bath. Read a good book. Watch TV. Listen to music. Or even have a cup of java. After all, it’s your own special spacewhere dreams are made.

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