Create a cozy and quiet master suite
Having a cozy nest that creates an escape from the kids, if not the world, is still a high priority with today's homeowners.
"One of the top things people are asking us to do is to insulate the interior master bedroom and bathroom walls to separate the suite from the rest of the house. It's a privacy thing," said Bruce Meller, president of Home Forge Remodeling firm. The added insulation can even extend to the floors to keep any noise from the master moving outward.
"It's a little bit in both directions," Meller said. "The parents don't want to hear the kids, and at the same time, don't want the kids to hear them."
"Since the concept of the two-story family room went away, rec rooms have moved upstairs, and that's made the idea of a private space in the owners' suite more popular," said Itanza Johnson of John Wieland Homes. "It gives Mom a place where she can be on the same level when the kids are in the rec room, but she can watch TV or pay bills with a little more privacy."
At the same time, homeowners are tired of the cavernous, poorly lit master. To make the space more functional, they're adding more lighting than in the past.
"Having more lighting also lets you create the mood you want by turning them off or on or dimming them," Meller said.
Along with the sleeping and sitting areas, the master bathroom has undergone an attitude change in the past few years. While many are still spacious, they're not quite as ostentatious, with owners opting for a more scaled-back but sophisticated look.
And the first thing they say they don't want is that monster jetted tub. Jetted baths are being replaced by soaking tubs that may be shorter or narrower but are definitely deeper. The smaller tubs have an added bonus: more deck space around them for plants, candles or baskets of towels.
Some owners are adding heat elements that keep the bath water a constant temperature without draining the water heater. And while a spa tub can cost about $5,000, a soaking tub with a heating element may be $2,000.
Another component of the master getting a modern update is the closet. While storage systems are still popular, more owners are opting for open shelves over detailed cabinetry in the walk-in closet or dressing room as well as in the bathroom.
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