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Master bedroom: a calm retreat

The master bedroom has evolved into far more than a place where you hit the pillow and grab a few hours of sleep each night. Today, it's almost a misnomer to call these modern, multi-functional rooms bedrooms.

 

If you're looking to renovate, expand or build a new master bedroom, think 'master suite' instead. Don't just create a cozy room meant for sleeping, because in recent years it really has turned into so much more.

The growing trend of making the master suite one of your immediate family's choice gathering spots stems from a flagging economy and the fact that more people are choosing to enjoy leisure time at home instead of out on the town. And believe it or not, many are choosing to spend it in the master bedroom.

 

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The master bedroom has increasingly become a restful retreat within your larger home - a place where you can spend the day, if you wish, with all the comforts of a traditional family room. The trend is to combine comfort with convenient amenities in an atmosphere that is peaceful and relaxing.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to look to sumptuous hotel suites for your design inspiration. Plush, comfortable and full of luxuries - big and small - hotel suites offer plenty of ideas you can mimic. You say you like coffee first thing in the morning? Why go down to the kitchen? Install a coffee bar, complete with an espresso maker, coffee grinder and a mini refrigerator to store milk for those extra-foam lattes.

Don't expect to lounge on the bed with your cappuccino in hand. Reserve space in your design for an ample sitting area where you can put a sofa, comfortable reading chairs and even a state-of-the-art entertainment system for movie nights and lazy Sundays. You might also want to include shelves for Mom's prized collection of romantic old movies so she can watch them in the comfort of her bedroom haven.

You can picture it already, can't you? First, however, you must set the stage for this oasis, using a serene palette of colour and textures to accent the space and create a true sense of retreat. The first consideration? Paint and the colour it provides. Your choice of paint will create the canvas that complements and highlights all of the room's other design features.

Another palette working its way into the contemporary master suite is one that revolves around technology - which also reflects the modern amenities that are incorporated into these living spaces. Soft neutrals and greys complement the true serenity of a master suite and the reflective alone time you appreciate when you're away from today's sometimes overwhelming abundance of technology and instant communication.

Nothing ties a room together better than luxurious design elements like custom-made fabric headboards and coordinating bedding in silks, Egyptian cottons and other natural fibres. Think mix-and-match when it comes to furniture - eclecticism rules in 2011. The quirky mix of old and new - makes it perfectly fine to blend a contemporary platform bed with an ornate, Victorian dresser. The style is flea market meets high-end, and it looks great.

Life moves at a rapid-fire pace these days, and a master suite is one place where you can get away from the hustling pace and just take a deep breath. When creating your sanctuary within your home, take time to consider all the design options so you can have a space where you can escape from responsibilities, deadlines and outside noise and simply just relax.