8 Ways to Configure the Owners' Suite of Your Dream Home
You're working on or searching for plans for a home. In fact, it’s your dream home. You’ve carved out space for the guest suite and playroom. The kitchen design is so detailed you can close your eyes and practically see next Thanksgiving unfolding before you. Now it’s time to develop space in your house for the master suite, or owners' suite as it's often called, espeically to differentiate the primary suite if a home has two or more "master" bedroom suites in its floor plan.
Don’t lump your plans for this space into the general “bedroom planning” category. Design yourself the luxury suite you deserve! Here are eight ideas to make your master the height of style, comfort, and beauty.
This master bedroom in the owners' suite of a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath luxury European style home screams "owner." The oversize room has a sitting area, fireplace (not visible here), desk area, and luxurious master bath, with its entrance to the right in photo (House Plan # 106-1167).
1. Main Floor Master
How popular is the first floor owners’ suite these days? Very. A big appeal for first-floor suites is that there are (obviously) no stairs. This layout helps people who plan their house as a "forever" home, intending to live in the house as they grow older. Concerns about aging and accessibility aren’t just for the homeowners themselves – it’s a multi-generational demand, as many buyers are looking to house parents or in-laws in the future.
The placement also allows for some distance away from other bedrooms. Young couples see a different set of benefits. They can occupy the first floor, leaving the second-floor set-up for visitors. When the owners don’t have overnight guests, they can choose not to heat or light that portion of the house, saving on energy costs.
Very popular these days, master bedrooms like this (top) are planned for the first, or mian, floor. The floor plan shows the master suite situated to the right: the master bedroom, with its tray ceiling; his and her walk-in closets; and a large master bathroom with separate his and her sinks, an oversize shower behind the barhtub, and a separate toilet room, or water closet. In addtition, the suite is separated from the other bedrooms for more privacy – more on this later in the article (House Plan #198-1001).
2. Second Floor Suite
The kitchen and living room usually get dibs on the first floor’s best square footage. There might not be enough space to accommodate the type of entertainment space and the master bedroom you’ve been dreaming about. Luckily, a second-floor master suite can have that spacious layout if you don't mind climbing stairs to get to your retreat.
The second floor in a 2-story home had been the traditional spot for the owners' suite until a few decoades ago, when aging in place began to really take hold. And as a bonus, the second floor is where you are bound to have the best view overlooking the property!
Believe it or not, the tradtional location for an owners' suite – and bedrooms in general – is on the second floor of a 2-story home. This upper-level floor plan (top) of a 2-story, 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath Craftsman style home is a good example of such a layout. The master bedroom (middle) and master bath (bottom) – and walk-in closet – located on the right side of the floor plan are grouped with the other bedrooms on the second floor. If climbing stairs doesn't bother you, this can be an effective – and private – home layout: living and entertainment areas downstairs and sleeping (personal) areas upstairs (House Plan #109-1191).
3. Split-Bedroom Layout
In a split bedroom layout, a home’s master bedroom is located well away from the other bedrooms, instead of being nestled together with them. Placing the master suite on the other end of the house, or on a different floor from the other rooms altogether, offers many advantages. Split bedroom houses are often laid out in a manner that eliminates the need for hallways, which provides more usable square footage in a home. Also, when considering the resale value, this is an excellent set-up because it gives more flexibility to the layout. While it’s placement makes the suite feel like a getaway, and there is undoubtedly more privacy, the split bedroom layout does keep children and guests separated.
This floor plan of a 3-bedroom, 2-bath Craftsman-inspired Traditional 1-story home provides a good idea what a split-bedroom layout is all about. The master suite is on the left; the other two bedrooms are on the right; and the living/entertaining area is in the middle, separating the two "private" spaces (House Plan #142-1075).
4. Sitting Area
You can pack a punch in your master suite by creating another space that is just for you! A sitting area in your bedroom is the perfect place to relax, curl up, and read a book, or enjoy a hot cup of coffee before the morning mayhem. No matter the size of your bedroom, creating at least a small reading area will give the suit more personality and function.
Even if you think your space is too small to accommodate a whole seating area, experts will help you create a workable solution – perhaps a cozy window seat and bookshelves? An expert builder can help you dream up solutions on any scale, and with any budget!
Top: This sumptuous sitting area in the master bedroom of a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath luxury European style home includes a gas fireplace (House Plan #153-1897). Bottom: You don't need a lot of square footage for a useful bedroom sitting area, though. This master bedroom in a 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath luxury Country style home has a cozy space by the window – with a chaise longue – for reading, relaxing, or enjoying the wooded view. The bedroom also includes a fireplace (see below) opposite the bed (House Plan #165-1051).
In the dark of winter, coming home to a roaring fireplace in the master bedroom is something from a dream. Imagine cuddling up in bed with the warmth and the glow of a fire to keep your room cozy – whenever you want. Well, it’s your dream home you’re building, so give yourself that fireplace. The only question is, gas or wood?
Gas is a popular choice because it's hassle-free. Gas fireplaces have a glass cover, which is an essential safety feature, especially for a family with kids and pets. Additionally, gas fireplaces can use the existing fuel in your home for heat. However, even with the convenience of gas, there is nothing that can beat an authentic wood-burning stove. You can burn different types of wood and create different size fires every night of the week in winter, spring, and autumn. You can also place a decorative grate around the fire to keep the embers inside the fireplace.
A fireplace doesn’t only add function but is a great way to add a unique style to your room. Using materials like exposed brick or reclaimed wood create a built-in focal point for the room’s design. It even creates architectural details – like a chimney – on the exterior.
This master bedroom (top) in a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath luxury European style home has a large space off the left of the bed (bottom) that includes a stunning fireplace and quiet sitting area. If you can splurge on space like this, you'll be living like royalty (House Plan #106-1293)!
6. Private Deck
Maybe you’re thinking about expanding the master suite outward. A private deck is a solution. It’s a place you can relax and enjoy a calm morning, quiet afternoon, or romantic evening. The design provides full-length doors leading outside, which will naturally keep the room light and bright.
The doors can be propped open to let in a cool, gentle breeze during the warm months. The architectural details of the deck itself can also provide a beautiful focal point for the external facade of the house.
Top: Looking out on a lake in the distance, this master bedroom in a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Framhouse style home has double glass doors that open onto a private deck that measures 18 x 6 ft. (House Plan #165-1090). Middle and Bottom: This floor plan (middle) of a 3-bedroom, 2-bath Cabin style vacation home (bottom) shows a large deck surrounding the second-floor master suite. (The other bedrooms are downstairs.) You can see the doors and deck railing in the upper left portion of the bottom photo (House Plan #160-1009).
7. The Bathroom: Luxury or His-and-Hers?
The master bathroom has the potential to be the ultimate retreat. If designed well, you’ll feel as though you’re showering at an all-inclusive resort every day. If you have plans to sell the house in the future, an exquisite master bathroom is alluring – and can seriously increase the value of your home. Shower and bath trends have shifted, so think large rain showers, multiple jets or showerheads on the shower walls, and softer lighting – all of which are luxurious, user-friendly, and energy-efficient.
Most people opt for a his-and-her vanity, which is an excellent choice. Others go the whole nine yards and hop on the his-and-her bathroom trend. Separate bathrooms are the ultimate luxury that gives each half of the couple his or her private retreat. Two bathrooms may mean smaller spaces, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Also, size is of little concern when it’s a bathroom that's all your own. It’s not for everyone, but definitely an option worth considering.
Top: The large glass shower in this master bath in a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Craftsman-influenced Ranch style home has a rain shower and multiple showerheads on the wall for a spa-like experience (House Plan #106-1281). Upper Middle: Another take on a modern shower: this handsome walk-in with no door is situated at the base of the tub (House Plan #106-1313). Lower Middle: This master bath in an exquisite 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-half-bath luxury home splits the vanities with the soaking tub to give each person in the couple individual prep space (House Plan #161-1076). Bottom: Here's another take on split his and her vanities. One vanity is visible with a mirror over it; the other vanity is on the opposite wall (not visible). But here's a twist: The area to the left in the photo is a wet bar complete with refreshment refrigerator, taking luxurious indugence to another level (House Plan #195-1005).
8. The Closet: Enormous Walk-In or His and Hers?
Bedrooms often serve as more than a place to unwind and sleep. They are typically multipurpose spaces used for storage and dressing. Some people opt (or settle) for his-and-her reach-in closets, which can be integrated into the suite with sliding or fold-out doors. But say you’re looking for something bigger. The walk-in closet or dressing room is becoming a stable of a dream home suite. Building from scratch, you don’t have to renovate and “borrow” space from an adjacent room. You can quickly make it a reality by adding it to the building plans.
Some people go even further and create walk-in closets, one for him and one for her. Here's your chance to have the luxury walk-in or walk-ins you thought were possible only in the movies. Set aside a large chunk of square footage, and start thinking of custom rails and shoe racks to fill your wildest storage dreams.
Top: This walk-in closet in a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath luxury Mediterranean style home is ready to be filled! The built-in shelving, hanging poles, drawers, dividers, and wall mirror make storing and organizing clothes and accessories a breeze. And the dressing aea with the full-length mirror ensures that you will be ready and presentable in no time (House Plan #195-1005)! Bottom: For a step up in luxury, design your suite with his and her walk-in closets like this suite in a 4-bedroom, 3-bath Country style home (top right in floor plan, House Plan #141-1060).
The owners’ suite is arguably the most important room in the house. Make it comfortable. Make it luxurious. Make it a space that is truly yours.