The big bedroom as we know it is drifting off into the sunset.
Those rooms - just a tad larger than any other bedroom in the house - are being replaced by master suites where occupants do more than just sleep.
While everybody was admiring the latest and greatest kitchen designs, designers and builders have quietly transformed the bedroom into a hardworking place of refuge.
Master suites have their own category at the upcoming Canadian Home Builders' Association's annual CARE awards.
They even have segmented the category by size, one for suites under 500 square feet and one for those over 500.
Today, we look at the five finalists in the former segment.
"Master suites have become one of the most stylish and creative rooms in the house," says Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria branch of the Canadian Home Builders' Association.
"Our members have created interesting works that reflect the personalities of the owners of these houses."
He points out bedrooms have become increasingly multi-functional. While it has always been the place where most people spend a third of their lives resting, it is also where most people dress and get ready for the day.
But these days the master suite can also be a place to eat breakfast, do laundry, watch a movie or simply enjoy the sunset.
Palladian Development's Robison RenoQualicum project stands out from the more common modern/contemporary designs with a clean white palate with the look and feel evocative of a sea or lakeside cottage.
"The look was intentional," says Michelle Bates, project manager for Palladian Development of Nanaimo.
"The client used colour and material to evoke a 'cottagey' feeling. It's a relaxed, comfortable, open, clean and not competing design."
She says the renovation of the one-bedroom-plusden home was undertaken with the goal of making the homeowner feel like "a queen in her own home."
The master bedroom features an overheight ceiling finished with tongue-and-groove wood panelling.
Double French doors lead into the room with transoms above them and the room's windows. They contribute to bringing added light into the room.
A chandelier adds a formal air of elegance to the otherwise country look.
The antique brass bed was a gift from the owner's grandfather and she had it powder-coated to match the surroundings.
All the closets are builtin and the hardware are oil-rubbed to create an aged look.
Meanderings is a project created by Ines Hanl, principal of The Sky is the Limit Interior Design of Victoria. The master suite in this project is a part of a whole house design by Hanl, winner of several design awards.
"Meanderings describes the whole project," says Hanl. "It is meant to be a stylized undulation of how a river would run. It is meant to be a 'flowy' and soft emotive that runs through the house."
Throughout the house there is a play between metallic and natural fibres. But Hanl says she chose not to incorporate any metallics in the master suite because she deemed them too "cold" for use in a bedroom.
The headboard features a covering of faux leather and coconut-fibre materials. The carpeting and the wall have subtle striations to give the room visual interest. It is set off by a pale mauve colour.
Not seen in the picture is a walk-through, walk-in closet that leads to the room's ensuite bathroom. Also not seen are the builtins such as a fireplace, television and bench.
The five finalists in the Best Master Suite under 500-square-feet category:
- Falcon Heights Contracting - Falcon House;
- Hazlewood Holdings - Rockwood Heights;
- Mirage Fine Homes - Ferguson Waterfront;
- Palladian Developments - Robison Reno - Qualicum;
- The Sky Is The Limit - Meanderings.
The winner will be announced Sept. 14 at the Canadian Home Builders' Association's CARE (Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence) Awards gala at the Fairmont Empress hotel. For more information, go to chbavictoria.com.
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