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posted: 12/29/2015 6:00 AM

Today's master bath suites have it all

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  • This Asian-inspired master bath suite was designed by Insignia Kitchen and Bath for Bill and Laura Frey of Inverness. A free-standing tub with access to natural lighting is conveniently located between a makeup vanity on the right and a walk-in shower area with a sliding door to the left.

    This Asian-inspired master bath suite was designed by Insignia Kitchen and Bath for Bill and Laura Frey of Inverness. A free-standing tub with access to natural lighting is conveniently located between a makeup vanity on the right and a walk-in shower area with a sliding door to the left.
    Courtesy of Insignia Kitchen and Bath

  • The Freys' master suite was designed to make the room efficient as well as luxurious. The cabinets and storage areas were organized into individual sections and the heated floors make it comfortable year-round.

    The Freys' master suite was designed to make the room efficient as well as luxurious. The cabinets and storage areas were organized into individual sections and the heated floors make it comfortable year-round.
    Courtesy of Insignia Kitchen and Bath

  • Designers at Insignia Kitchen and Bath worked closely with homeowners Bill and Laura Frey of Inverness to design the master bath suite of their dreams.

    Designers at Insignia Kitchen and Bath worked closely with homeowners Bill and Laura Frey of Inverness to design the master bath suite of their dreams.
    Courtesy of Insignia Kitchen and Bath

  • The rainfall showerhead in this walk-in shower is a favorite feature of homeowner Bill Frey.

    The rainfall showerhead in this walk-in shower is a favorite feature of homeowner Bill Frey.
    Courtesy of Insignia Kitchen and Bath

  • Natural lighting combines with wall sconces and a chandelier for illumination and elegance in the Freys' master bath suite designed by Insignia Kitchen and Bath of Barrington.

    Natural lighting combines with wall sconces and a chandelier for illumination and elegance in the Freys' master bath suite designed by Insignia Kitchen and Bath of Barrington.
    Courtesy of Insignia Kitchen and Bath

 
By David Lewis
Special to the Daily Herald

One of the most desired rooms in newly built homes and in additions to existing homes is the master bath suite.

A master bath suite is defined as a bathroom that is directly connected to a master bedroom. The master bath suite provides privacy because it is never accessed through common areas like kitchens or hallways. Prominent since the 1950s, but especially popular in today's modern homes, the master bath suite has truly come of age.

Terry Kenney, president of the Chicago-Midwest Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, believes the master bath suite is a necessity for busy couples.

"The master bath suite provides efficient use of a bathroom/closet space by providing all the necessary storage for clothing, shoes, linens and personal grooming items in one room, separate from the bedroom. Some homeowners have installed under-counter refrigeration and a coffee maker. If space allows, laundry facilities or exercise areas are included, too. The master bath suite is a room that is determined by the homeowner's personal lifestyle," she said.

Kenney notes that baby boomers appreciate the convenience of a master bath suite as they grow older. "For the boomers, accessibility and universal design elements have become very important. A master bath suite is perfect for these elements, such as a curbless walk-in shower, handheld showerheads, nonslip flooring, and high-mounted, easily-accessed cabinetry with handle-style drawer pulls that make it easier for people with age-related issues to bathe and dress comfortably. It makes aging in place a luxury and not a burden, and allows homeowners to remain in their homes much longer," said Kenney.

A master bath suite is a blessing for couples who have diverse schedules. Early risers can get ready for their day without interrupting the sleep of the other person. For couples that have identical schedules, having the benefit of the organized space makes the morning routine go smoothly. Walk-in closets, organizers for shoes and accessories, dual sinks and medicine cabinets, Bluetooth speakers in shower heads and silent exhaust fans are just a few items that enhance a master bath suite. If the space is large enough, it is common to include furniture such as armoires and highboy dressers, or wall-mounted cabinetry. The advantage is the master bedroom is opened up because there is no large furniture to take up valuable floor space.

Sheryl Wardlow, a designer with Insignia Kitchen and Bath in Barrington (www.insigniainspirations.com), says master baths are no longer just a sink, Jacuzzi tub and a shower stall.

"I am seeing a growing trend toward incorporating furniture-style cabinetry that is accessorized for organization. It is the little details in a master bath, such as electrical outlets in drawers and medicine cabinets, grooming stations in pullout cabinetry, towel warmers and task and ambient lighting that our clients most request and appreciate."

Jennifer Boznos is also a designer with Insignia Kitchen and Bath. She says there are two distinct concepts for planning a stunning master bath suite. The first is a monochromatic palette, and the second is a contrasting color palette.

"When considering a monochromatic palette, it is key to consider the textures. When considering a contrasting color palette, be certain to have dark, medium and light elements in the space," Boznos says.

"Homeowners want to escape the stress of daily life. To help relieve that stress, master bath suites often incorporate spa-style showers with multiple shower heads, free-standing bath tubs, makeup and dressing areas, seating, and storage that maximizes the room's linear footage," she adds.

Bill and Laura Frey of Inverness are the owners of this Asian-inspired master bath suite that was designed by Insignia. The Freys worked closely with the designer to choose products, materials and colors for the room.

Bill Frey travels extensively for business and appreciates the modern features found in high-end hotel baths. He wanted the same for his own master bath suite. His favorite features? "I like the rainfall shower head and body sprays, and Laura likes the free-standing tub and makeup vanity," said Bill.

"Our goals in planning the room with the designer were to make the space beautiful as well as functional. The new cabinets and storage areas were organized into individual sections to make the room more efficient. The chandelier and wall sconces provide illumination and add a touch of elegance. The heated floors keep the room comfortable year-round. Now, the room is fully updated and will provide many years of service."

There's no doubt that the remodeling of an existing master bath suite, or the addition of a new master bath suite, will make homeowners' lives much sweeter.

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