Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Master Suite (10 of 11): The Water Closet

. . . because, face it, it sounds better than toilet.  The saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” is, in part, reference to this.  In ancient Roman times, the toilet was a series of holes on a bench placed at the perimeter of the main public square and exposed for all to see.  Several feet below this bench was a running stream that carried the waste away to streams and rivers.  In front of this bench was a trough of flowing water which contained several sponges on sticks you used to clean yourself when you were done with business.  In the home, a seat with a hole and similar sponge in a bucket was placed next to the main cooking area.  Water for cleaning was then dumped down the hole to wash away any waste.  To think this was the most advanced civilization in the world at the time.  Thankfully we have progressed a bit since then, although the concept of sitting over a hole has not changed much, at least there is privacy and it is not part of the kitchen!

Now, many master suites have a separate room designated for the water closet.  And gaining popularity is the bidet.  (Although I still prefer the good ole reliable TP).  No matter your preference it is nice to have a separate area to do your business and if you enjoy a hearty bowl of chili – be sure you have a powerful fan and perhaps a few layers of insulation to muffle the sound!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Master Suite (9 of 11): The Vanity

In ages past the bathroom was only thought of as a place to clean yourself up and relieve "internal pressure".    To some it held the bar of soap mom used to clean a dirty mouth – yuck!  (Fond memories)  With today’s spa like master suites the vanity counter has also transformed from a vessel to wash your hands to a vital necessity in getting ready for every event.  Whether it is preparing for usual daily activities or preparing for the sophisticated holiday gala.

If you are a simple person with simple needs then perhaps the single bowl vanity will work for you.  If you like to spend some time getting ready for special events or if you and your spouse battle the bathroom at the same time then a double bowl vanity will likely suite your needs better.  But if you are one who likes to pamper yourself then a grooming station would be your best solution.

The grooming station should be furnished with a plush stool and framed with a large mirror behind a spacious cosmetics display.  This, naturally, should be positioned away from his simple vanity with token mirror (to compliment your station of course).  You should not have to witness him trimming his nose hairs while you capture your natural radiance!

The spa needn't be something you visit occasionally.  Bring it home and give yourself the pampering you so richly deserve every day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Master Suite (8 of 11): Tub vs Shower

The great debate – Do you have both a tub and a shower in your Master Suite?  In the previous post we discussed the 5-piece bath which includes both.  For some this is necessary.  One person loves taking showers.  Having multiple heads with various settings provides the perfect start to the day.  For others, the large soaker tub with its relaxing, massaging jets and in-line heater, is essential to wash away the cares of the day.  The answer to the debate is to plan the fixtures that are just right for you.  If you are concerned about the future sale of your home then perhaps you should have both.  From my experience and working with many different clients from various backgrounds and routines – the tub is starting to play a minor role in the Master Suite.  About 75% of the clients I have worked with prefer not having a tub in the Master Suite.  (Why would I want to sit in a pool of my own filth? – Ew!)  The other 25% are very insistent that they have a separate tub – even if they only use it sporadically.  (How can I read a book in the shower?  Stupid soggy pages!)  So how do you like to wash away the stresses of daily life?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Master Suite (7 of 11): The 5-Piece Bath

Convenience has played a huge role in the development of the modern bath.  This epitome of this evolution has been termed the ‘5-piece bath’.  It can easily be inferred from this creative title that there are five key elements to the modern master bath.  These elements are two vanities, a water closet (or toilet for those who are not offended by the common term), the tub and the shower.  Notice that the tub and the shower are listed separately.  This is for a few reasons.  First – the tub should be better than that for any standard bathroom.  This should epitomize luxury.  It should be larger and deeper and for most people it should include jets.  [A side not with jets – If you want to be happy with your tub for all the years you own it, the jets should circulate through an in-line heater so your water doesn’t get cold too fast, and the pipes (or tubing) should be rigid and sloped for positive drainage.  Do not get a tub with corrugate tubing.  The water will collect in the ribs and mold so you get a cloud of green mold pumped into your tub when you turn on your jets – now back to our regular programming.]  The next reason the tub and shower are separated is because the shower has so many options for shower heads.  A truly luxurious shower has shower heads on all the walls which can be adjusted and manipulated to give therapeutic massage thus optimizing relaxation.

The dual vanities have gone through an evolution process of their own.  Naturally this is so each homeowner can have a sink all to themselves.  (So now you are responsible for cleaning up your own toothpaste splatters and whisker clippings.)  When more space is available, separating the two vanities to opposite sides of the bathroom and providing her with a grooming station/make-up counter will make life in the morning a little more enjoyable in the mornings.  With no bumping elbows she can avoid stabbing herself in the eye with the eye-liner and he can avoid nicking himself with the razor.  Life is good and the drive to work is a little more enjoyable!

So to keep harmony and bliss in your life – make the 5-piece bath part of your Master Suite.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Master Suite (6 of 11): The Dressing Chamber

With increasing space and his and hers closets (as discussed in a previous post) the amenities of the Master Suite have improved and become almost standard.  One generation thinks it to be frivolous – the next a necessity.  One of these potential standards is the dressing chamber.  Past generations felt a sense of extravagance to have separate closets or a spacious closet which could be used, not just to store your clothes, but for changing as well with enough room for a comfortable chair and perhaps an island and ornate light fixtures.  To introduce a room simply for changing may seem overkill but once you become accustomed to it it becomes one of those spaces you never thought would be so useful.  And once you find yourself in the throes of prom or hosting a wedding for your first daughter you will be glad you had this extra space to capture treasured memories.  And it’s just fun to change in a luxurious space as you get ready for that special occasion . . . or to start laundry!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Master Suite (5 of 11): The Closet(s)

The morning routine is a sacred thing.  For some, any variation in this routine will result in cascade of catastrophic events.  Every step is vital.  And when the bedroom is shared – ones morning rituals can have a devastating effect on the other.  Does that bathroom light disturb the deep, blissful slumber on the one in bed as you cross the bedroom to the closet?  Do you find yourself hampered by an attack with a downy projectile encased in a white pillow case?  These hazards can be avoided with strategic planning forethought.

Who knew a closet could be the source of so much hostility?  There are several design strategies when planning your Master Suite which will result in a harmonious and serene greeting to each day.  Some have found that a closet which is accessed directly from the master bath is a perfect solution since the bathroom door can remain closed during all morning preparations, avoiding that cruel flash of light to the one still slumbering as the door is flung open.  For others who prefer to keep these areas separate – all is not lost.  In a previous post we discussed the virtues of transition spaces to the Master Suite.  Providing an entry vestibule or a gallery is a perfect solution.  All areas of the Master Suite can be accessed through this transition space and one need not pass through the bedroom at any time during their vital morning rituals.  All parties are happy and start the day perfectly peaceful – IF HE WOULD ONLY PICK UP HIS DIRTY SOCKS ONCE IN A WHILE!

This could be a real challenge to marital bliss as well and is a deal breaker for some couples.  He doesn’t want to see her stockings draped over every surface and she doesn’t want to pick up his sweaty gym bag every day!  Thus the dual closet was born.  In the very early days of separate closets equal space was provided for each partner.  It was soon realized that this was a folly which needed immediate resolution because she took both closets and he had to dress in the guest room down the hall where his clothes were hung.  Although there is no hard and fast rule to apply to his and her closets – it is common knowledge that she needs much more space than he does and there must be enough room for all of her shoes.  This is where I let her tell me what she needs and I plan at least ten percent more.  He is usually fine with whatever she gives him – after all he is still wearing the same underwear he had since college.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Master Suite (4 of 11): The Master Deck

Some of the most breathtaking moments are leaning on a picturesque railing watching the sun set in warm autumn hues.  The crickets have started their serenade and a cool, gentle breeze playfully lifts your hair in a whimsical dance.  The silhouettes of birds float across the paling sky.  It’s the perfect end to a perfect day!  You start to think that nothing could possibly ruin such a tranquil moment – and then – MOMMMMM! She won’t stop breathing my air! – Now you close your eyes trying desperately to recapture those few peaceful moments.  But the moment has passed and you have to get everyone ready for bed and through the tub until you can finally escape to your Master Suite, wishing you could just step out your door and inhale that cool night air while gazing at the twilit sky sprinkled with a dusting of stars – but alas all you have is a window which just doesn’t feel the same when gazing through a screen!  If only you could have a private deck accessed from the Master Suite!

Never fear!  The trends Gods have heard you plea!  Along with the sitting room (as discussed in a previous post) the private deck (or patio if you’re Master Suite at grade) is waiting to become a part of your home.  Some have incorporated the Master Deck into the main deck providing a somewhat private transition such as a walkway or elevated section.  Others have secluded the Master Deck entirely from all other spaces making it a private retreat to be enjoyed by the homeowner only (Sometimes you really do need to get away from it all).  Whatever your preference the Master Deck is a welcome addition to every home and something you will enjoy in any stage of life.