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Main Level Living

Main-level master bedrooms are one hot design trend. Indeed, home owners and architects alike are eschewing the golden rule of public areas downstairs and private bedrooms upstairs, and they’re mixing up these spaces with wild abandon.

The decision to make room for the master suite on the main level isn’t random. It’s part of the latest evolution in home design. It’s called universal design and is based on designing a home that’s just easier to use—for all ages, genders, sizes and abilities. An essential component of this equal-opportunity concept is one-story living.

While this new allocation of square footage creates a more accessible living space, there are some challenges in terms of what to do with the remaining gap upstairs and how to make way for another room downstairs. And, of course, you now have a very private room sharing walls with and opening up to the most public gathering areas. So you and your design team need to balance accessibility with privacy.

Fill in the Gap
The master suite is a sizable room, so moving it from the upper level leaves a pretty big gap upstairs. Or not. One solution is to keep a master bedroom on the second floor, in addition to building one downstairs. These become flexible spaces that can serve as a guest room or office depending on what your lifestyle dictates.

Another option that’s tried and true is to fill part of the leftover gap with a smaller bonus room or a loft that overlooks a two-story great room.

Move Over, Bacon

On the main level, the design issue is the opposite. You’re introducing yet another room to the floorplan, and the great room, kitchen and dining room are nudging elbows to make way for it.

You have two options here. Either shave off square footage of the existing rooms to carve out a spot for the master bedroom that fits within the original footprint—or create a completely separate wing for the master bedroom.

To read the full story on main-level living, check out the July 2005 issue of Log Home Living.


Cindy Thiede photo