Traditional bedrooms transformed into getaway spaces - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Traditional bedrooms transformed into getaway spaces

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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2006 7:38 am | Updated: 3:16 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

When interior designer Brenda Agee wanted to redo the master bedroom of the Scottsdale home she shares with husband Bill (and puppy Chardonnay), she wasn’t just thinking of getting some new sheets and curtains. “I wanted it to be a total suite,” says Agee.

One year and a few knocked-down walls later, the Agees’ nearly $180,000 renovation took the couple’s ho-hum bedroom from ordinary to extraordinary — Las Vegas style.

“I call it ‘The Bellagio,’ but I think it’s even better than theirs,” says Agee proudly, talking about the luxurious all-suite hotel on The Strip.

Bedrooms are one thing, but as hotels like The Bellagio know, the world of master suites is a whole other. More and more, homeowners are forgoing the traditional idea of a master bedroom as simply a place to lay one’s head at night, and transforming it into their own private getaway where they can converse, read, bathe, work out — even make a cocktail — without ever leaving the room.


“We’re putting in a wet bar and a minifridge where people can make drinks so they never have to go downstairs,” says architect Patrick McGlone, who designed the master suites in T.W. Lewis’ model homes at The Willows in Gilbert. “It provides another level of luxury and convenience, and sets up a suite theme.”

And in suites, much more is done than just sleeping, says interior designer Lou Corey of Luxury Concepts by Design in Scottsdale, who adds with a laugh, “but I’m not talking about anything scandalous. People want to have a sanctuary, a place they can go and really relax.”

Stackable washer and dryer sets are being added to master closets — as are drawered islands in the center — and coffee bars are springing up in between the bedroom and bathroom. Home offices and gyms are even being tacked on to master suites because, as Corey explains, in a kid-filled house, keeping all the adult areas together is convenient.

In McGlone’s master suite model, the bathroom is situated between the bedroom and expansive home gym to provide some noise buffering in case one person is an early riser. And, placing it within the master suite might just make it easier to motivate yourself to get up and use it in the morning.

“The exercise area is something that can be utilized early in the morning,” says McGlone, “and then you can just go take a shower without having to traverse through the entire house.” Homeowners could also use this third part of the master suite as a massage area or a quiet meditation area.


The Agees get quiet meditation time just outside their master suite on a small private cabana she designed. “This is where we have our cocktails,” says Brenda Agee.

Picturing her ultimate master suite was easy for the homeowner, who’s also president and head designer for Elan Interiors, a design firm in Scottsdale. Knowing that most people don’t go big enough when it comes to filling up their rooms, Agee made sure to pay attention to scale.

“The smaller the space,” she says, “the more furniture you can put in it, and not many people know that.”

In the bedroom, a grandiose 37-inch-high bed (the petite designer requires a small footstool to get into bed at night) is flanked on all sides by just as grand accessories — an upholstered bench, a ceiling-high screen, and a custom-made oversized chair and ottoman. Agee says using large furnishings in a modestsized room makes the room appear larger, not cluttered as some people might expect.

After knocking down the wall separating the bedroom from the master bath, a dark copper-colored tile snail shower is the suite’s focal point now (it’s in the main line of sight as you walk through the suite’s double doors). Agee added granite countertops in the bathroom, a walk-in closet that rivals Hollywood stars’ closets, and a foyer table between the bedroom and bathroom with an oversized silk flower arrangement — inspired, of course, by an upscale hotel suite. And the designer couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome, which, she says, evokes a sense of calm and serenity now.

“It’s turned out exactly as I wanted.”


Elan Interiors

7020 E. First Avenue Scottsdale (480) 970-8282

The Willows at Power Ranch

Germann West of Power Road Gilbert (480) 963-3791

Luxury Concepts by Design

Scottsdale (480) 767-1853

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