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The Master Retreat

150 150 Nisha Muire

The master bedroom in Toronto is the one place in new homes that has grown more than any other. In the past master bedrooms were slightly larger than the children’s bedrooms and had a slightly larger closet as well. Over time this principal bedroom in a house has steadily increased in size while the closet went from a single to a double and then to a walk-in, and now, to actual dressing rooms adjoining the master. The same transformation holds true for the ensuite. The master ensuite began life as a powder room and progressed in scope and function to deluxe, spa-like spaces fitted with everything needed to fully and entirely unwind and pamper yourself.

Master bedrooms today are more like entire suites. The most ambitious in design often take up an entire level or wing of a floor and they include sitting rooms, a sleeping chamber, dressing rooms with walk-in closets and ensuites. At the very minimum, master bedrooms will include a walk-in closet and an ensuite.

The phenomenon of a master suite is relatively new starting to appear in the mid-nineties and growing through the end of the century into what we find in today’s most luxurious homes. In fact, a large majority of homebuyers will cite a master suite as a necessity when looking for a new home. The only people with whom master suites are still relatively not so important are middle-class families with more than two children – in their case, they prefer having an extra bedroom over the master suite.

If your home currently doesn’t have a master with a walk-in closet or ensuite and you are looking to upgrade to one, the scope of the project will depend on the space on your floor. If you have three extra bedrooms, then you can feasibly turn one of those bedrooms into an ensuite with a walk-in. However, this should only be done if the market in your neighbourhood will return your investment when you sell. Naturally, this will not be a consideration if you plan on living in your home long-term.

If you don’t have extra space that you can use, then consider building an extension or building out over an attached garage. Obviously such ambitious projects will come with certain costs that might be more than you anticipate.

However, as we move into a new way of thinking about home and larger numbers of people are moving towards smaller, more sustainable dwellings, the phenomenon of the grand master suite might be on its way out. Only time will tell.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire