Make no mistake; the bedroom is your sanctuary. Though it's not in the public eye, its design deserves the same kind of attention you'd lavish on the kitchen or great room. We consulted with four design experts — author Ralph Kylloe, architects Edward Carr and Dennis Lippert and floor plan columnist Katherine Salant — for tips on maximizing space and function in the primary suite.
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1. Lean toward intimacy.
To give a bedroom with vaulted ceilings a cozy feel, add crosstie beams at the 9-foot level. This technique retains openness while giving it a more intimate atmosphere.
2. Expand the dressing room.
“Plan a large, separate dressing area, even if it means sacrificing some space in the main part of the bedroom,” says Katherine Salant. “Keeping those inevitable piles of clothes on the dressing-room floor saves the bedroom from clutter.”
3. Give yourself some privacy.
Edward Carr offers some detailed design advice, when it comes to the primary bedroom: “The entrance should lead to a corridor with the bath on one side and a walk-in closet on the other. At the corridor’s end, install another door that opens to the main area of the bedroom. Being able to close off both ends of this corridor allows one to bathe and dress without disturbing a sleeping spouse.”
4. Prioritize your bathroom space.
Ralph Kylloe says you should think carefully about how you’ll use the primary bedroom area. “Since personal space is so important, especially when you have overnight guests, a primary bath is a must. An extra 3 to 4 feet of wall space lets you include a two-sink vanity,” he says.
5. Put the bedroom in a quiet part of the home.
Dennis Lippert agrees and takes the privacy factor a step further. His advice? “Locate the bedroom far from main activity areas, and don’t place guest bedrooms above or below the primary suite. Build closets along walls that adjoin high-activity areas to reduce noise.”
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