Designing a restful retreat
February 04, 2021
Relax, rest, recuperate – the master bedroom is the retreat all homeowners need to recover from the everyday bustle, so it is essential that it should look and feel like a place where one can find rejuvenation.
A good chunk of our lives is spent sleeping so it only makes sense that our bedrooms look and feel as intimate, comfortable and pleasing to the eyes. It takes even more importance these days when – heaven forbid – one gets sick and needs to isolate in the bedroom.
Whatever the case, the master bedroom provides the respite and privacy the homeowner needs. The retreat from the everyday grind that provides rest for our tired bodies and souls.
Notice the attention lavished on the room the next time that you visit a showhome and you will see the invariable hook of inspired design aimed at eliciting an emotional response. A response so powerful that we want to have it for our own bedrooms.
We talk to a couple of Edmonton’s most distinguished builders - Milestone Builder Group and Coventry Homes - on how they approach designing master bedrooms in their showhomes and find out what is essential to complete a stylish, serene look.
Milestone Builder Group shocked the industry last year by sweeping the local, provincial and national awards and their opinion on any home design is valuable. Coventry Homes has been the go-to homebuilder in Edmonton for the past 40 years and is a multiple award winner itself, their showhomes – especially the ones with the Oilers Fan Cave features – are some of the most eye-catching homes around.
Carla Weinmeyer, Creative Director at Milestone Builder Group, thinks of the master bedroom as a place of escape, where one can “take a deep breath.”
“What better feeling is there than checking in at your destination, walking into that impeccable hotel suite, and plunking your day of travels on that comfy bed. Why should that experience only be reserved for holidays?” she asks.
Becky Simcoe, showhome designer at Coventry Homes, has similarly a warm regard for the master bedroom and its importance in our lives.
“I believe that creating a space to recharge and relax is essential in designing your master bedroom. Everyone has a different idea as to what makes a space serene or comforting. Thinking about what types of items bring you comfort and what it is you like to see and feel when you wake up and when you go to sleep, is a good place to start,” she says.
Liven it up with linen
Besides choosing the bed, dressers and furniture to suit your taste, Weinmeyer and Simcoe agree that linens play an important role in establishing the soft, intimate look of the bedroom.
Weinmeyer says linens and fabric play an important role in softening the look of the room and give it a tasteful, restful look. “A restful atmosphere must be simplistic. A room with too much going on activates our senses when we want to chill them out,” she tells Edmonton New Home + Condo Guide. “The challenge with simplicity is it can quickly become dull. The trick here is layering various textures and patterns: mixing velvets, shiny satins, nubby knits, leathers and luxurious faux furs. The more textural elements, the better!”
Simcoe says patterns in fabrics bring fun to the equation. “If you are aiming to achieve a serene overall look in your bedroom, going with neutral linen like drapery fabric is always a good choice. If you prefer more visual interest, choosing a fabric with some pattern is also fun!”
She does advice to consider window coverings to go with your lifestyle. “This is important based on your needs and your work/life schedule. Consider a black out shade if you have a shift worker using the space or if you prefer natural light, a light filtering roller shade is an option. There is also your classic slat blinds. Playing with natural light and how it enters the room is always key in creating and achieving ambience in your bedroom oasis.”
Simcoe also observes that bedding should be comfortable and inviting. “I like to add some colour and texture with a few decorative pillows and throw blankets. These are easy to change out as the seasons turn or your tastes change and can really have an impact on the overall feel and tone of the room.”
Weinmeyer says the best way to add visual interest in the bedroom design is through light fixtures, which she considers acts like jewelry in complementing an outfit.
“One of the best ways to add interest in a master bedroom is with fabulous light fixtures. They’re your room’s jewellery and really add the finishing touch. Whether it’s a chandelier over the bed or pendant lights over the nightstands, the space appears unfinished without great lighting,’ she says.
Simcoe says adding a feature wall also can break the monotony. “The headboard wall is usually the best place to invest in this type of wall treatment as it has the most impact. Some finishes to consider installing on a headboard wall would be feature paint, wallpaper, shiplap, brick, or even vinyl plank or hardwood flooring. Yes! Flooring can be used on walls! You can also create some drama by installing certain materials in different patterns such as chevron or a herringbone pattern. “
She also says wall decals are something to consider in the design of the bedroom. ”If you are looking for something less long term, consider using wall decals. There are some beautiful products available today that look just like wallpaper but are user friendly and can be installed yourself and removed when you are ready for a change”
Art pieces and mirrors are also a good way to accent the room, she adds. “Adding a beautiful floor mirror is both functional and acts as a statement piece of art. I also like to enlarge one or two favorite photos. Framing and hanging these in the space will enhance the room and make the space that much more personable.”
Sleep on this
For Weinmeyer, creating a hotel-inspired master bedroom is easy, but the important thing is to be neat and tidy.
“First off, declutter. If it doesn’t need to be there, it shouldn’t be, and less is more when it comes to accessories. Add floor to ceiling draperies, and lots of them — you want these to look full, and please make sure they graze the floor; keep the cropped look reserved for your summer pants!”
She also says to layer pillows in different shapes and sizes to add visual interest. “If the texture compels you to touch them, they are perfect. Lastly, I’m a firm believer in memory foam mattress toppers (they are heavenly) and a good set of bamboo sheets which feel like butter. You spend nearly a third of your lives in bed, so go on; you deserve to be wrapped in comfort!”
Simcoe says she would would invest in simple, neutral, classic bedroom furniture. “Changing up bedding and décor will quickly, easily, and affordably give you a fresh look when you are ready for a change. Adding simple touches such as candles, diffusers, plants, or even fresh flowers, will help create that space you can’t wait to be in!”
About Pepper Rodriguez
Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.