These days, the master bedroom is as much a soul-restoring sanctuary from our crazy-busy life as it is a place to sleep. If you’re planning your perfect parents’ retreat, our eight steps to a magical master suite will help.
Pick a great bed
You’ll spend roughly a third of your day in bed – more if you like to use it as a de facto home office or a place to curl up with a book – so it makes sense to have a brilliant bed. The simple rule is to buy the best quality you can afford, and if you have enough room, go large (queen at a minimum); sometimes you just need your own space, particularly on hot nights. Whether your style preference runs to minimalist modern, fairyland four-poster or somewhere in between, do choose a quality mattress. It should have the right mix of comfort and support and, especially for a master suite, be designed to suit couples; those from Koala offer zero partner disturbance – a boon if your other half tosses and turns half the night or often comes to bed later than you.
Colours such as neutrals, greys, blues and greens are essentially restful hues, perfect for bedroom walls where a quiet backdrop will help to enhance relaxation, but don’t think you have to go pale and uninteresting. Deeper shades such as gunmetal grey, indigo and even mocha can create a cocooning effect, with the added bonus that crisp white linen will pop beautifully against the dark walls, adding a layer of sophistication. For extra interest, consider wallpaper; the current trend for overblown florals and exotic foliage in rich colours looks wonderful in a bedroom.
Love your linen
Perhaps the most important purchase after the bed is the linen you’ll sleep in. Forget about thread count, which can produce sheets like cardboard, and instead go for hand-feel and a texture that suits you. Fabrics derived from natural processes such as linen, cotton and Tencel (made from sustainably grown gumtree pulp, so there’s an eco message there too), or a mix such as Kóala’s sheets that combine Tencel and French linen, have breathable qualities that can help preserve a more ambient body temperature for a better night’s sleep. Colourwise, classic white or a neutral shade for your sheets will let you play up the drama on the duvet cover or bedspread.
Find the right furniture
An uncluttered space helps add to the sense of calm in the master bedroom, but beyond the bed, a few key pieces of furniture are important. Bedside tables – just the right size for a book, a reading lamp and a cuppa – are a given. A comfortable armchair or sofa makes a lovely spot to retreat to for quiet time during the day, while an ottoman, placed at the end of the bed, can be the ideal mix of form and function: a lidded box with a padded seat can tuck away extra blankets and pillows and also provide extra seating or simply a place to put on your shoes. A dressing table adds to a boudoir feel and is a great place to store small items such as make-up and jewellery.
Add an ensuite
No master suite is complete without a private bathroom. It’s a luxury addition that has been inspired by the best hotels, so think ‘pamper zone’ and whatever that means to you, be it a statement bath, a generous power shower or top-to-toe marble finishes. With two sharing the zone, a vanity with twin basins and matching mirrors is worth considering, and as with all good bathroom design, the toilet is best tucked away – it should certainly not be the first thing you see when you enter the room. If you’d like an ensuite open to the bedroom, think about banishing the loo altogether to another part of the house and opting for a simple basin-and-bath combination.
Source: Three Birds Renovation
Clear the clutter
Stuff is the enemy of serenity, so clever storage is a must. The perfect partner to the master suite is a walk-in wardrobe. Kitted out in bespoke storage, it can deliver a place for everything, from laundry baskets to shoe shelves and tie racks and, like a butler’s pantry for a kitchen, you can close the door on mess and keep your main zone clear. If you’re pushed for space, built-in cabinetry is the next best thing, and with customisable offerings available from the likes of Ikea and Kaboodle, a tailored option can be surprisingly affordable.
Let there be light
Few people rise with the dawn and go to bed with the sun, so tailored lighting solutions are important. For windows, look for block-out blinds or curtains, or a combination of the two, to make your sleepzone as dark as possible. Bedrooms don’t need to be over-illuminated, so avoid downlights except in walk-in wardrobes or dressing areas – these need to be well lit so you can see if the colour of your top goes with your skirt. For the main room, consider a mix of a central fitting such as a glamorous chandelier or pendant, and bedside lights that deliver task illumination for reading. If space is tight, pendants that hang either side of the bed and on separate switches will free up room on the bedside table.
Take the soft option
Timber flooring is beautiful, but for warmth and comfort underfoot in the bedroom, opt for carpet or, at the very least, a substantial rug, preferably woven from pure wool or a high-percentage wool mix. Shag pile carpet has a cosiness that your toes will love, while cut pile, although less forgiving when it comes to showing vacuuming and foot marks, is wonderfully soft and has five-star looks.
About the writer
Jane Parbury spent several years devising, crafting and editing the features in Home Beautiful magazine, both in print and online, before making a South Coast sea change and embarking on a freelance career. With wide experience as an editor and content producer for homes and lifestyle publications both in Australia and the UK, she lives and breathes all things interiors.