By Christine Cooney, The House Designers Staff Writer
Whether you are designing your dream home, remodeling your present home or just adding a few touches to update your current floor plan, you'll want to choose the style and amenities you can't live without. A big design trend is creating spaces that surround the homeowner in comfort and convenience. This is eviden t in today's master suite, which has grown larger in order to accommodate and pamper both sexes.
Selecting a design that satisfies the tastes and needs of both men and women can be a challenge. Typically, women win the battle over the interior design choices throughout most of the home, but in the bedroom men tend to stand their ground. The master suite is a haven for both sexes and should be equally inviting to both.
Start with evaluating the size of your master suite; this will tell you how much furniture and accessories your bedroom will realistically accommodate. It is definitely a good idea to find a design that features his and hers walk-in closets, so you can ensure equal space for your personal items.
Women will usually take up a lot of dresser space with perfumes, jewelry and grooming items so to even things out, a jewelry/storage cabinet or drawer should help keep the dresser top clear. If you can fit a vanity into your bedroom space comfortably then that would be a good solution.
Men need a spot to empty pockets of coins and keys and other odds and ends at the end of the day. They also need to have easy access to these things when needed. Simple coin trays and/or dresser top storage items can hide a myriad of trinkets with style. A separate tall boy just for socks, ties and underwear might be a welcoming accessory.
No master suite is complete without a large master bathroom. Our designers recommend you start by creating a shared spa shower with steam bath and specialty shower fixtures like rows of body sprays, waterfall showerheads, thermostatically controlled valves to provide the exact, constant water temperature and additional handheld shower heads. Then add a two-person whirlpool or soaking tub and separate his and her commode areas if you can, including private bidets if space allows.
Other ‘must have’ design elements to make sharing your bath space relaxing and efficient are dual vanities featuring deep medicine cabinets that are lighted and have power outlets for electrical gadgets. Heated mirrors are a nice touch as they won’t steam up, especially nice if one of you is grooming while the other is showering. You can easily keep things toasty by adding radiant flooring and towel racks to your bath.
Think about the various home activities you like to do — reading in a comfy lounge chair or sofa, enjoying breakfast on the patio, exercising in a private gym, watching TV in bed or making a drink at the wet bar. These are all items that you and your partner need to discuss, but certainly worth considering if you want to create a retreat that reminds you of your favorite 5-star hotel.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about creating the perfect master suite for you and your partner. However, before you begin to design your master suite make sure that you and your partner commit to doing ALL the product selection together. That means everything — from the shower to the bedding to the toothbrush holder.