Suite Surrender

It’s the ideal escape: a well-appointed master suite with all the comfort and elegance of a living room. In this case, more really is more.

Though they go together like a horse and carriage, master bedrooms and master baths need imagination and occasional refreshment, like any other marriage. The bedroom used to be thought of as just a sleeping (and lovemaking) space where you stored your clothes. The bathroom was small and purely functional.
Thankfully times have changed, and the master suite has undergone a dramatic transformation. Now, in an era of packed schedules and too many social obligations, creating a haven has taken on new importance; it may be the only place many of us have all to ourselves. Whenever we can, we steal away to these therapeutic sanctuaries to attend to our well-being.

“The focus is on creating a sumptuous getaway, a personal retreat that’s safe and warm,” says New Jersey interior designer Jules Duffy. It’s a liberating process. “The design of the master suite doesn’t have to reflect the rest of the house,” she explains. “Rather, it should be personal and express the essence of who you are.”

The Bedroom
As you plan your suite, first consider how you’ll use the bedroom, Duffy says. You’ll sleep here, obviously, but is this a place where you’ll also read, watch TV, exercise? Since the main draw is the bed, dressing it should be as much fun as dressing yourself. Use duvets, comforters, and sheets made from sumptuous silks and 1,000-plus thread-count cottons that drape as elegantly as gowns. Trendy or classic, comfort is the key. “I always encourage my clients to purchase the best bed linens their money can buy,” says Duffy.

Warm, neutral colors are especially relaxing. Forego jarring patterns to maintain a quiet, dreamy ambience. Lighting should come from low-wattage bulbs or be equipped with dimmers. Keep fresh flowers on the nightstand for a touch of romance.

The Bathroom
We want it to do more than just get the job done. We want it to look great, to make us feel good, to simplify—and elevate—our daily rituals. A tall order? Not necessarily. You want a space that is attractive yet still functional. Do you want a bright, sunny room to jump-start your morning, or a cozy evening respite? Before you start choosing products, Duffy says, consider your tastes and habits. If you prefer showers to baths, skip the oversized soaking tub. You’ll appreciate the cost savings and you’ll regain square footage. Incorporate state-of-the-art add-ons that fit your lifestyle such as multiple showerheads, heated towel bars, a steam shower, and in-floor radiant heat. Opt for sleek, solid surfaces, and don’t skimp on lighting. Include plenty of storage space for toiletries and clean linens, hidden to reduce clutter.

You’ll know you’ve done well if you find yourself wondering: Why ever leave?

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