By Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr.
Many say that the kitchen is “the heart of the home.” Builders pay a great deal of attention to detail in the kitchen. Buyers also spend tons of money in the kitchen and in other gathering and welcoming areas such as the family room and entryway. The style in these areas sets the tone for the entire house and they serve as the epicenter of the home. The kitchen and family room are where everyone congregates. These areas are used for eating, gathering, doing homework and entertaining. Recently, the demand for elaborate and inviting entertainment areas such as theater rooms, outdoor living spaces, courtyards, bars and game rooms has grown. These spaces are built with the comfortability of guests in mind.
But after the gathering is over and everyone has gone home, the dishes are done and the family room is tidy again, where do the owners retreat? The owners retreat to the master suite, which is typically the only space designed specifically for the homeowner. The master bedroom and bath are the most personal spaces to the owners and they should be built with a major focus on relaxation and rejuvenation. According to Troy George, Raleigh Division President for CalAtlantic Homes, “We are focused on making the most of the spaces where people spend the majority of their time.” Let’s talk about some of the new and upcoming design trends in master suites and some of the features local builders are adding to their floor plans.
Join me on the first floor
Many buyers are searching for floor plans that offer accessible master suites that have no steps to enter. A floor plan with a master suite on the main level helps the homeowner ease into growing older. Having a master bedroom on the main floor may eliminate any issues that a person may have with repeatedly traveling up and down a set of stairs. Although a main floor master bedroom was once considered a feature associated with empty nesters, the trend is increasing in popularity with younger buyers.
“There has been a huge demand for master down,” states Julianne McCollum, marketing strategy consultant for Holding Village’s developer Reader & Partners. Families with children still in the home even like the idea of a first floor master bedroom as it accommodates the lifestyle of a busy family while allowing parents a quiet retreat on the main floor, away from the children’s bedrooms and play room. Another benefit of having a main floor master with guest suites on the upper level is the option to save energy by not heating and cooling the upper levels until guests are expected. Dual master suite homes are also becoming popular. Having a second master bedroom and bath welcomes and provides a comfortable stay for extended families and long term guests.
Walls of fun
More fun and fashionable wall coverings are on the rise. Builders such as John Wieland Homes are encountering buyers who love paint but also have a desire for more creative dressings for walls. According to McCollum, “Builders are having fun playing with creative wall coverings.” We all know that wallpaper has made a huge comeback and it has been vastly improved with a less problematic installation and removal that no longer does damage to walls. Now it’s time to spice it up a bit. This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper! Wallpaper just doesn’t seem like paper anymore. More bold, chic patterns are being used. Additionally, textured wallpaper that mimics leather and faux animal prints such as crocodile skin is a growing trend.
Also, anyone who watches HGTV can tell you that shiplap is definitely in high demand. However, the distressed and shabby chic look of shiplap is being replaced by more formal finishes such glossy paint or deep, rich stain, for a more refined and sophisticated look in the master bedroom. Builders are also adding shiplap, wallpaper and other coverings to vaulted ceilings. The unique and creative wall coverings are also being used to inset deeply coffered ceilings in owner’s suites.
Plan your escape
No need to visit a spa when you can bring the relaxation home with a spa-inspired master bath. The bathroom isn’t just for function; it is a place to escape to also. The spa and resort inspired master bathroom is a hot trend that will only get more steamy as builders add more luxury features such as oversized walk-in shower rooms. The centerpiece of the spa bath has now become the shower, although the stand alone tub trend is still in high demand. Showers with frameless heavy-glass enclosures have a designer appearance and deliver a spa-like extravagance to the master bath. “With the addition of the oversized showers, builders are having to become more creative with the configuration of the master bath,” says McCollum. “One of our models even has a his and hers shower entrance.”
The days of one shower head are over. Buyers are opting for multiple shower heads to serve different functions. Installing multiple shower heads allows the user a choice of which type of water stream they desire based on their needs or mood. Also, shower heads are being installed at different or adjustable heights to accommodate different users’ needs. Of course no steam shower would be complete without a shower seat. Troy George noted that several CalAtlantic model homes are featuring spacious showers with bench seating. The built-in or drop-down shower seat is an innovative new trend that will definitely have owners singing in the shower. To top it off many shower seats offer a heating feature as well. Narrow subway tiles and tiny mosaics have been a key trend in master baths for a few years and the demand for those styles will stand; however, the desire for larger tile with a more seamless appearance is becoming prevalent as well. Dual vanities have been a master bathroom staple for many years. Recently, builders have continued with the his and hers vanity trend but have installed the separate vanities on opposing walls in the master bathroom.
Home design trends do come and go and although things don’t change as fast as technology or fashion, when a theme is no longer considered popular or trendy in home design, the space can be deemed “dated” by buyers. While it feels great to be “on trend” with home décor, it is important that buyers customize their build based on what works for their family and to also keep resale value in mind. Choose trends wisely and go for a timeless, long lasting style.
Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr., also known as ‘Mr. Inkredible’ is known for his use of bright, bold patterns and colors in home decor. Ricardo owns DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC, an interior design company based in Durham, NC. Many of Ricardo’s custom fabric headboards and interior projects can be seen on his website at www.designinkredible.com and also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @designinkredible.