Design Ideas

The Restful Retreat

As life’s pace quickens, people are finding it more critical to build time into their lives for rest. But rest has never been a more elusive goal. The lines between work and home are fading, with many people doing substantial portions of their work at home. In fact, nearly everyone brings home some work, the home has lost its status as a sanctuary.

Vacations can be restorative but don’t come often enough to sustain us. We need a place where we can detach ourselves from the tasks of life on a daily basis.

As a result, people are increasingly embracing the concept of the master bedroom suite. Master bedrooms have been around as long as houses, but master bedroom suites are a relatively new concept.

Essentially, a master bedroom suite is a home within a home. It’s a refuge where one can enjoy a space free of the many demands of modern living. It’s an inner sanctum, cut off from the clutching hands of ongoing external responsibilities. It’s a hideout for finding peace.

Master bedroom suites come in many shapes and sizes, as unique as the lives they are designed to insulate. Most are designed to support three aspects of life: daily personal routines, rest and relaxation, and romance.

Most people have one routine they go through every morning and another routine they go through every night. The routines include things like shaving, taking a shower, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and applying make-up. In most households, two people are doing these things simultaneously. Inevitably, this causes friction. Or, at the very least, it requires a couple to choreograph their routines in order to minimize conflict.

For many people, the main reason for a master bedroom suite is to get rid of the friction and the rigid coordination of routines. By duplicating various facilities, each person is free to vary the approach to these routines. If one wants to take a little longer in the shower, it doesn’t cause the other to miss breakfast. If one needs ten more minutes of sleep, he can make up the time by speeding up his own routine without adversely affecting the other. The two most common facilities that are duplicated are sinks and closets. But homeowners are also increasingly duplicating showers, toilets, vanities and dressing areas.

Prior to the construction of a master bedroom suite, it’s not unusual for one partner (usually the man) to keep his clothes in a closet in another room entirely. While most men don’t mind the set-up, it does make for some awkward moments when there are houseguests!

Not only do most master bedroom suites include his and hers closets, they also tend to allow much more closet space per person. In part, this is because today’s wardrobes are more extensive and in part, this is because people don’t want to spend their precious time hunting for clothes. A well-designed closet allows you to scan your options quickly and grab what you need—no more rummaging for your favorite sweater.

In fact, saving time on personal routines is one of the main payoffs of a well-designed master bedroom suite. Saving 10 minutes a day may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, it adds up to more than 60 hours! Who couldn’t use an extra 60 hours?

Many people would like to allocate an extra 60 hours to rest. To create a more restful atmosphere, people are outfitting their master bedrooms with everything from comfortable reading chairs to entertainment systems. Some people go as far as installing a wet-bar or mini-kitchen. Even a simple coffee maker can help stretch out a lazy weekend morning.

For those who would rather clear their minds with some intense exercise, it’s become popular to include a workout room in the suite. That way, when you’re finished with your aerobics or weightlifting, you can hop right into the shower.

Showers are changing, too. Many people are building larger showers with more than one showerhead, affording couples a few more minutes of quality time each day. Even more popular than showers-for-two are tubs-for-two. Indeed, large deep tubs equipped with soothing jets are the crowning jewels of many a master bedroom suite.

With a larger master bedroom, people are opting for larger beds, with king-size beds becoming much more common. On either side of the bed, you’re likely to find separate alarm clocks, phones and reading lights. In the multi-purpose, modern master bedroom suite, lighting becomes more critical in general. To accommodate everything from reading to romance, people are installing several different types of lights that can be used separately or in combination. Bigger windows and skylights are being used to provide showers of natural light from both the sun and the moon.

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