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home>>family>>home & decor 2>>the master suite

The Master Suite -- Creating an Oasis of Luxury and Comfort


(ARA) - The trend in the designing of new homes and remodeling projects today is to surround the occupant in comfort and convenience. This is no more evident than in the master suite. The master suite is the place where the homeowner can design an oasis of comfort and luxury.

For some, this can be accomplished with the creation of a romantic, Old World-inspired getaway in which to relax and unwind from their hectic schedules. For others, when creating their personal haven, the dream is accomplished with a more sleek, high-tech European style of decorating. In either case, amenities will abound, and no matter what your decorating preference, here are some popular ways to pamper yourself.

When creating either a romantic or high-tech atmosphere, an eclectic combination of furniture pieces will create a personal refuge or escape. It's nice to include pieces with special meaning or history, if possible. Of course, the romantic bedroom must include luxurious pillows, throws, duvets and other accessories to help create an atmosphere reminiscent of a villa in Tuscany or manor house in Wales. A chandelier over the bed or over each nightstand is an option for an elegant and unique lighting alternative. Additional lighting might come from a palladium window with a beautiful view.

No matter what you add for accents, the combination of opulent, classic details is key in developing an Old World theme. Voluminous plants and ferns add to the romantic feel of the room. Artwork, in beautiful gilded frames, completes the look of the perfect romantic escape.

But the high tech devotee might tap the European trend of combining an eclectic blend of sleek, contemporary styles, mixing and matching stained wood with glass and metal. The high-tech bedroom suite will stress functionality and have less ornamentation. The bed will likely be a platform, decorated with simple tailored pillows and no fussy ornamentation. Colors will be monochrome, in tweed or geometric patterns that blend easily.

The room might be lighted with commercial-style fixtures and sconces such as aimable halogens and pharmacy styles. Additional lighting will be from skylights above. Windows will be plain and uncurtained or with the most minimal addition of a cornice over shades. The placement of a simple flower (tulip or calla lily) in a plain cylinder vase on the dresser or a few branches of dried curly willow in a simple pot will provide a nice foil to an otherwise angular room. Artwork will be minimal, such as a large, unframed, abstract oil painting over the bed and the addition of a few simply matted black-and-white photos in plain frames around the room.

No matter which style is to your liking, no master suite is complete without a large master bathroom. It might begin with a shared shower with steam bath and specialty shower fixtures (rows of body sprays, waterfall showerheads, thermostatically controlled valves to provide the exact, constant water temperature, or additional handheld shower heads). To this, we would need to add a two person whirlpool or soaking tub, separate his and her toilet areas and, of course, a bidet for the lady.

Now we move to dual vanities (which can be placed at different heights to accommodate different statures) and medicine cabinets that are deep, are lighted from within and contain power outlets for electrical gadgets. The mirrors are heated so they don't steam up. Floors are limestone or marble and are radiant heated for comfort.

Usually, the master bedroom and master bathroom are on the same heating zone. To solve the dilemma of a cool bedroom for sleeping and a warm bathroom to visit in the middle of the night or early morning, you could add one of the uniquely useful towel radiators, once found only in luxury European hotels, but now readily available in the United States. It will not only warm and dry the towels but will create an additional heat zone, so you can have a warm bathroom whenever you want.

For example, the Zehnder towel radiator is an electric, self-contained unit that can simply be mounted on the wall and plugged into an outlet or hardwired directly into a junction box. There is no need to connect to the central heating system and it will heat the bathroom, year round, even when the central heating system is not in use. The unit comes with an infrared programmable controller that allows 8 heat settings and 7-day programming of the heat. That way, it can be pre-programmed to warm the bathroom before you retire in the evening, before you wake up in the morning or throughout the night.

"There is no finer luxury than getting out of the bath on a cold winter morning and wrapping yourself in a warm towel," says Paula Bush of Zehnder America. "And the Zehnder uses so little electricity, you can hardly call it a luxury at all."

Whether you are designing your dream home, remodeling your present home or just adding a few touches to update your current surroundings, choose your style and the amenities you can't live without, then surge ahead. There is no time like the present to make your master suite the most comfortable and luxurious retreat you can create.

For more information on Zehnder's towel radiators, call (888) 778-6701 or see them online at www.zehnderamerica.com.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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