Super Master Suite [Text]
4 steps to a super master suite
When you build an addition to make space in your home for the master bedroom of your dreams, focus on four key elements: location, size, closets and the bathroom.
A good design is key to a happy ending when it comes to creating an oasis that is both functional and fabulous.
Here are four concerns to explore with your designer/builder before the project begins:
1. Get into the zone. A house has zones, ranging from public (the living room) to semi-private (the kitchen and den) to private (the master bedroom). If you’re adding a master suite to your home, plan for privacy.
You’ll soon regret your choice if you locate your sprawling new bedroom/bathroom so its door opens into your busy family room or is too close to the home’s front entrance. Instead, set it apart from the busier areas in your home by creating a transition between your space and the family space.
For example, build a small sitting room between the master suite and the next-closest room. Create an anteroom just big enough to pass through on the way to a new bedroom/bathroom suite. Anyone headed for the master suite has to transition from house to addition by walking through this area.
In one home, JEB Design/Build built an addition next to the kitchen. We located the bedroom at the end of a 12-foot back hallway that starts with double doors at the edge of the kitchen, meanders past a powder room and a laundry room, and ends at the new suite. So someone who stands in the kitchen sees the hallway door, not the private space at the end of the hall.
2. Size matters. If you’re investing in an addition so you can have a bigger, more private master bedroom, get all of the extra space you need. Determine how much that is by deciding what you want to put in the room.
Tell your builder/designer how you intend to use the room so the windows will be in the right spot, the closets will be roomy enough and the floor plan will allow you to comfortably walk around the furniture.
3. Splurge on the closet. Building a new closet gives you one of life’s very rare opportunities to get everything you want. Every accessory, configuration, size, finish and convenience you can imagine–and then some. There are numerous options available for a closet organization system or from a designer/builder who can create a custom space just for your clothes.
If you and your spouse want separate closets, now is the time to make that happen. Or perhaps you will share a closet but want it to double as a dressing room that’s semi-detached from the sleeping area so a partner who’s getting dressed for work in the morning won’t wake one who’s still dozing. Islands in the center of the closet are popular with people who travel because they prop up a suitcase for easy access while packing. You can install storage rods that reach the ceiling and pull down when they’re needed to save space or shelves that pull out when you’re using them, and then and tuck into the wall when you’re not.
4. Compartmentalize the bathroom. If you go with a big enough bathroom, you can have a separate tub and shower, or a small, separate room with a door for the toilet. You can have his-and-her sinks and plenty of storage space for toiletries and extra towels.
Work with a design professional to arrange where the tub, toilet and sinks will sit; you’ll get disarray if you treat your fixtures like a paper bag full of nuts and bolts that you can just shake up and pour out into the room. A poorly planned room can result in a lack of privacy and the inability for two people to use it at once, and you might find yourself bumping into furniture and fixtures that always seem to be in your way. Plus, you probably don’t want the toilet to be the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom.
A caution: Don’t get too attached to the bathroom designs you discover in glossy magazine ads. They are created to showcase a specific product–a toilet or a faucet, for instance–not to serve as a well-functioning bathroom that suits the lifestyle of busy homeowners.
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