A log home can be a sanctuary in and of itself, with its off-the-beaten-path locale and quiet surroundings. But sometimes, you need an even more secluded space to truly relax. Enter the master suite.
To create the space, you must first define it. "Typically, a master suite is a space that has its own master bathroom," says Matt Franklin, lead architect at PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes/Mountain Architects. "That’s the technical difference. In a more general sense, it’s a nice master bedroom that’s comfortable — not too cramped — with bonus amenities and a bathroom beyond the basic 5-by-8-foot setup."
Such upscale bathrooms may include features such as dual vanities and walk-in closets with ample shelving for storage, as well as both walk-in showers and Jacuzzi soaking tubs, and a separate toilet room. Higher-quality finishing materials also are on the rise. "We’re starting to see more stone in the bath and bedrooms than we have before," Franklin notes. "People are including things like stone on wall surfaces in these rooms and granite countertops in the bathroom."
Upgraded technologies are frequent in the bedroom as well. "We’re seeing a lot of requests for a fireplace and the ability to have a television that goes along with that," Frnaklin says. Dual-sided fireplaces that connect the bedroom to the bathroom also are a nice touch. "In general, people are figuring out within their budgets where to spend their money," he notes. "The master suite is one of those areas people are really focused on. Although the secondary bedrooms are nice, they&rsquo’re using traditional materials that don’t cost as much. They’re spending the effort on the master suite, where they’re going to get the most pleasure from it."
Functional, Yet Relaxing
The focus on the master suite as a sanctuary also has reversed previous design trends. "Five to 10 years ago, including home offices was a big trend," Franklin notes. "Now people are seeing that as business and don’t want it to be associated with this space. They want the master suite to be relaxing."
Another space being used less frequently is the sitting room. "People are catching on that it can be wasted space, like a formal living room in the main home," Franklin says. That’s not to say sitting rooms are completely out of style, though. A large focus on upgrading master closet space lends itself well to the inclusion of such areas, as well as other comfort items. "A lot of windows are being brought into closets for natural light," he notes. "So are benches and sitting areas to make that experience more pleasurable and substantial than it has been in the past."
Make It Work
This space isn’t just about fancy fixtures, though. To get the most out of your master suite, appropriate planning is a must. Think about how you will use that space, as well as its placement. "Pay attention to how the sun is working on that space," Franklin explains. "If you’re a morning person, east-facing doors and windows that let in sunlight might be great. If you’re not, they might be the bane of your existence.
Really get yourself into that space, and think about its use," he says.
Gone are the days of using a lone, centrally located ceiling fixture to illuminate an entire bedroom. Master suites today should incorporate a variety of lighting to accompany the myriad activities that take place in that space. "The ability to have flexibility in where the light is located and the intensity of the light is important for a good space," says Franklin. "You want lighting that can set different moods and scenes, such as dimmer switches so you don’t just flip on a switch and have one blazing light." Modifying the brightness can create a more task-oriented lighting scheme as well, he adds: "Different lights can be used for reading in bed as opposed to getting dressed in the morning."