1. Utilise the Roof Space
Converting the loft can open up the possibility of creating your dream master suite. Whether you’re working on a traditional or contemporary project, dedicating an entire floor to a master suite, away from the hustle and bustle of family life, can be an excellent idea.
In this conversion (seen above) – where a 300-year-old barn has been transformed into a home – placing the master suite within the roof space has allowed for the room to benefit from lofty vaulted ceilings complete with beautiful exposed beams. An en suite positioned behind a dividing wall completes this luxurious master suite.
2. Mix Up Materials
Consider introducing texture to your master suite — for instance, using a cladding material to create a feature wall. In this project by SAOTA, timber cladding acts as an effective backdrop for the bed, with timber also used as a platform floor — zoning the sleeping space in the open plan bedroom. Whether you choose timber, stone, metal, brick or even shuttered concrete, you can achieve a unique master suite with wow factor.
3. Double Up
For grand schemes where space is in abundance, double up on luxury by specifying dual fittings in your master en suite. Here, double ‘his and hers’ basins mean you’re not having to fight for the sink during the morning rush. Dual towel radiators, either side of the bath tub, bring additional symmetry to the scheme.
4. Add Accent Lighting
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary to retreat to at the end of a long day, and to that end, should be as relaxing as possible. While adding tactile, soft textures will add comfort, introducing mood lighting can also make a real difference to the feel of the room.
This scheme, designed by John Cullen Lighting, features layered lighting — uplights within the floor provide a subtle glow, while table lamps, well-placed downlights and LED reading lights installed within the headboard of the bed all add to the relaxed atmosphere. Rotary dimmers or a preset mood control is essential to achieving the right mood throughout the morning and evening hours.
5. Capture Views Beyond
Where standard windows can’t be included, or if you simply fancy dropping additional light down into the centre of the room, adding a rooflight into your master suite can help naturally illuminate the space. In this project by Hudson Architects, a rooflight above the bed brings in plenty of natural light and offers a great way to stargaze at night (do remember to include an integral blind – preferably controlled by remote control – to ensure a good night’s sleep).
6. Include a Juliet Balcony
Where you have the opportunity to include a larger expanse of glazing in the bedroom, including a Juliet balcony will allow you to opt for full-height glazed doors that will not only bring in plenty of natural light, but can be thrown open in the summer months for natural ventilation. They also create a great focal point for the external façade. This project in Wiltshire, complete with Juliet balcony, allows the homeowner to benefit from picturesque countryside views from the bed.
7. Think Carefully About Glazing
Whether you want to frame a certain vista, or you’re after natural light while maintaining a degree of privacy, glazing needs careful planning. Linear picture windows can be a great idea — here, the master suite features internal picture windows either side of the bed that look down onto the double-height living space. Privacy is retained while the two windows borrow light from the spaces beyond.
8. Add Visual Interest
Master bedrooms need not be boring. Consider introducing architectural flair into your master suite — this cantilevered bed (designed by Juma Architects) is a fine example. Supported by steels set within the rear wall, the bed appears to float. Framed in timber, it also provides a contrast with the minimalist backdrop of the room.
9. Consider Built-in Storage
Bedrooms often serve as more than a space in which to sleep. They’re typically multipurpose spaces, used for storage, dressing — and in some cases, they double as workspaces, too. Built-in storage can be an ideal means of making the most of every inch of space. In this room, built-in furniture (the Esker range from Kindred) enhances the architectural features of this Georgian townhouse by utilising the alcoves from floor to ceiling.
10. Go Open Plan
Often commonplace in swanky hotel suites, the open plan en suite bedroom is making its way into our homes, as this project in Gloucestershire demonstrates. For those after a little privacy, position the toilet in its own room. A screen in front of the bath here also offers privacy as well as acting as a subtle room divide to zone the open plan space.
11. Walk Into Your Wardrobe
High on the wishlist of many a self builder and home improver, the walk-in wardrobe or dressing room is becoming a staple of the master suite. For those renovating and limited on available space, you could opt for built-in wardrobes or borrow space from an adjacent room. However, when building from scratch you have the opportunity to include a fully kitted out walk-in wardrobe/dressing room as part of your master suite.
Think hanging rails for clothes, tiers of shoes, drawers, dressing table, tie hooks, a centre island for storage, and even a mirrored wall — the sky is the limit. This dressing room in a barn conversion in West Sussex is a prime example.
12. Give Thought to Window Dressings
Give consideration to the window dressings in your bedroom or en suite — not all rooms need to have curtains. Whether you go for expensive timbers or cheaper MDF alternatives, shutters can be an ideal solution for traditional and contemporary schemes alike. In this Oxfordshire home, shutters in the en suite allow the natural light in, while the adjustable slats offer privacy from the neighbouring properties.
Image credits: Jeremy Phillips; Rory Corrigan; Hudson Architects; Brett Charles; Eric Orme; Nick Springett; Nick Yarsley; Simon Maxwell; X2