Multiple Master Suites: Comfort, Luxury, and Convenience
A sign of wealth centuries ago, the concept of multiple master bedroom suites – which was usually practiced by the aristocracy and the landed gentry – is permeating the architectural and design world of the 21st century. In fact, dual bedroom suites are among the hottest amenities in new homes.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the interest and demand for two separate suites has been growing steadily. While the trend may be more prevalent in luxury homes, three- and four-bedroom homes often have enough square footage to feature multiple bedrooms with ensuite – or connected – bathroom facilities.
Join us as we explore the benefits of the multiple master, or primary, bedroom suite design – where everybody is a winner when it comes to privacy, flexibility, and function.
This amazing 1.5-story, four-bedroom Farmhouse style home is full of charm and appeal both on the exterior and interior. An inviting covered front porch welcomes everyone into the home. Inside the open-floor-designed home are a Great Room, family room, dining area, and kitchen. The master bedroom suite – with its private access to the covered patio – has a master bathroom and walk-in closet. On the other side of the house is a bedroom/study with a full bathroom and walk-in closet. On the second level are two more bedrooms – essentially mini-suites – each with its full bathroom and walk-in closet (see below) (Plan #161-1124).
The Multiple Master Suite (MMS) House Plan
An analysis by the NAHB Economics and Policy Group, published in What Home Buyers Really Want, 2019 Edition, showed that the number of homebuyers looking for two master – or primary and secondary – bedroom suites rose from 25% to 40% between 2003 and 2018. For a family with evolving needs and lifestyle changes, a home design with multiple master suites makes the most sense. This usually means that the home will include two separate and large master bedrooms with their own ensuite bathrooms – usually located at opposite sides of the house or on different floors. In some instances, homeowners can choose a design that features a spacious and luxurious primary suite and one or two or more secondary bedrooms that are essentially mini-suites with their own bathrooms and walk-in closets.
Top: The main floor plan of a four-bedroom Farmhouse style home shows a split bedroom design – with the primary master suite on one side of the house and a secondary bedroom (which could also be an office) on the opposite end. Bottom: The floor plan for the upper level illustrates bedrooms 3 and 4, mini-suites with their own bathrooms and walk-in closets (Plan #161-1124).
I Want My MMS
What’s driving the upward trend of multiple master suites? Mainly the flexibility, comfort, and privacy they provide for a variety of living situations.
Extended Families. Consider the rise of multigenerational households in recent years – in which families share space with parents, grandparents, and adult children. An analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center showed that in 2016, a record 64 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof.
Baby Boomers. There are many baby boomers who prefer separate spaces to avoid the other person’s snoring and get a better night’s sleep.
Joint Ownership. There are also friends who want to purchase a home jointly and want to maintain their own privacy within one roof.
Working Couples. These days it’s not hard to imagine young affluent couples who have different work schedules desiring their own space to avoid disturbing each other.
Social Families. Don’t forget families who often entertain overnight guests and relatives – and those whose grown children visit often or have even returned home.
Think of the logistics and how a spacious extra master bedroom suite – or a mini-suite – can accommodate all of these living conditions. A separate private space also allows family members – even husbands and wives – to design or personalize their suites according to their styles and decorative accent and color preferences.
Top: This charming two-story, 5,130-square-foot Cottage home comes with six bedrooms – and a potential for two more in the unfinished basement. Middle: The residence has an open floor plan and features a split bedroom layout with two bedroom suites on the opposite ends of the main level. The primary master suite is next to the Great, or Grand, Room, and the secondary one, really a mini-suite, is just off the kitchen and pantry. Bottom: Two more master suites with walk-in closets are located on the upper level, with two additional bedrooms on the left sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom (Plan #198-1066).
What can you expect to see in these bedroom suites? Because today’s bedroom – especially a master suite – is not just for sleeping, there are many amenities and add-ons that can truly transform the space into an oasis and an ideal getaway area in the home.
This plush master bathroom in a well-designed 1.5-story Contemporary home includes an oversize shower, double sinks, and an accent piece on the vanity. The room’s occupant can luxuriate in the stand-alone tub and enjoy a drink from the bottle of wine and glasses on side table. The home has an open floor plan, a spacious outdoor living area, five bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 3,275 square feet of comfortable space (Plan #202-1019).
We all know about the huge master bathrooms seen in architecture and design magazines and websites, with oversize showers and free-standing tubs, double vanities, large mirrors, dressing and make-up areas, backsplashes, and accent walls. But there are other trendy design features that homeowners would like to include in their suites.
Isn’t it more comfortable to walk into a bedroom and be able to sit in a separate space – instead of on the edge of the bed? Today, most luxury primary bedroom suites include additional seating: a perfect spot for reading and winding down.
The homeowners can enjoy a good read – or sit back and relax – in the privacy of the separate sitting area in this elegant master suite of a two-story, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath European style home (Plan #161-1077).
Wouldn’t it be lovely if the sitting area in your master suite had sliding doors that opened to a private deck or balcony? Picture yourself on that deck or balcony watching the sunrise or sunset, enjoying a breezy day, or just taking in the surroundings. So keep this in mind when designing your suite.
Look at this cozy master suite in a 1.5-story, three-bedroom, 3.5-bath European style home with the French doors that open into a private deck. The 3,480-square-foot home includes a second master suite on the upper level (Plan #198-1032).
It’s your private sanctuary. If it has the square footage, you should feel free to dedicate a corner – furnished with a simple desk and chair – to working on light office projects, personal tasks (sorting mail, writing letters, keeping a journal, paying bills), and some arts and crafts hobbies.
Top: How would you like to write letters and do small personal tasks at the ornate secretary in this master suite of a grand three-story, seven-bedroom French Country chateau style home? This particular suite has a lot of amenities that most buyers want in their master bedroom: sitting area, patio, desk/workspace, and fireplace (Plan #180-1034). Bottom: In this very well-appointed master suite in a magnificent two-story luxury house plan, there is an actual sitting room – not just a small area or corner – with a desk and chairs for some light office work and other tasks. The amazing home has six bedrooms, five baths, a theater room, a library, and other amenities (Plan #106-1171).
This is a no-brainer when it comes to features to include in your dream master bedroom suite. A fireplace is not only functional but also a decorative feature that adds character to the space. Besides, a fireplace will keep the suite cozy, warm, and comfortable on cold nights – in addition to the modern heating in the home.
There’s nothing like a fireplace to add character and warmth to a room – especially in this master suite of a two-story, five-bedroom Prairie style luxury home with a total area of 5876 square feet. In addition to the main floor master, the spectacular home has three other bedroom suites, each with its own full bath and walk-in closet (Plan #205-1019).
TV Viewing Area
You might have a dedicated media room or a theater room, but sometimes you may prefer to watch a movie or TV program from the comfort of your bedroom. Set up some couches or settees in the suite where you can recline comfortably and enjoy your favorite movies, cooking shows, or home improvement and sports programs.
For your viewing comfort: This very spacious master suite in a spectacular two-story, five-bedroom, 6.5-bath European style home includes a viewing area where the occupant can relax, sit back, and watch favorite programs in private. Throw in several cushions on the two settees, and you’re all set! The home includes three other suites on the upper level – complete with their own bathrooms and walk-in closets (Plan #193-1125).
How many times do you wake up in the middle of the night thirsty – and craving a glass of water? Save yourself a trip to the kitchen by installing small appliances in the master suite. Today, most homeowners keep mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffee bars in the master bedroom suite for the ultimate in convenience and leisure.
You may not be able to have an enormous rotating closet like Cher Horowitz’s in Clueless – but most master suites these days include huge walk-in closets that you can design with both practical and luxury features. However, modern technology has not yet come up with an app that allows you to browse through tops and bottoms before settling on a look for the day.
That being said, consider some of the fixtures you can install in your walk-in closet. Open shelves for shoes, purses, scarves, and other accessories, and compartments to hang dresses, shirts, skirts, pants, and jackets are a given. How about other pieces, like an island for additional storage, a dressing table, chair, full length mirror, and a hamper for laundry?
Top: It’s not Cher Horowitz’s Clueless closet, but look at this amazing, well-organized, and well-lit space in a five-bedroom European style home. Check out the chandelier, the many compartments and open shelves for shoes, purses, and clothes – plus an island for counter space and drawers for extra storage. Bottom: Another view of the spectacular walk-in closet shows upper cabinets, a full-length mirror, and a dressing table with a good-size mirror and chair (Plan #193-1125).
MMS Pros & Cons
As with every house plan and major feature, there are pros and cons to consider before making a definite decision about multiple master suites. Let’s look at the benefits and disadvantages.
In-law space. In some homes, the extra bedroom suite replaces or enhances the in-law suite. If it’s on the main level, the space is ideal for elderly parents, who will have their own private space, and living in the same house is convenient for the adult children caring for them.
Privacy. Multiple primary/secondary suites provide a practical and more efficient solution for two friends to buy a property together – and still maintain their space and privacy.
Peace of mind – and sleep. Everybody needs a good night’s sleep and rest – and not necessarily on the couch. More than one bedroom suite makes it easier to avoid the loud snoring and disruptive habits of another person; and allows people with different schedules to get their needed rest.
Personal expression. You can add your own personal touch to the space – and make it truly your own private sanctuary/getaway place within the home.
Great resale value because of the added feature.
Higher cost of the home. Multiple master suites mean more square footage. The bigger the space, the higher the price tag, especially with upgrades in the bathrooms and closets.
Less communal/family space. Two or more bedroom suites take up considerable space, which means families may have to live with smaller living rooms and kitchens.
Isolation of young children. In the push for more privacy, some parents may end putting too much space between them and their children – especially if they don’t want their children in that huge suite.
Not ideal for a renovation or remodel. The ideal scenario for two or more master bedroom suites is a new build – unless you have extra square footage or flex space in the existing home. If you have less than 3,000 to 3,500 square feet in your current home, it will be tough to create two large primary bedroom suites. One solution may be to create a second suite that’s a scaled down version of the first one – but still with its private bathroom and smaller walk-in closet.
Consider all the design options and features. Think thoroughly about each aspect of the plan and style you have in mind. And most importantly, work with an experienced and proven design professional and builder.