What constitutes a master suite, and how to transform a room into one? If you are looking to make the step and convert a bedroom into the idyllic master suite, there are a few steps called the U4C’s you could take to achieve that dream setup you’ve always wanted.

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By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

What exactly is a master suite?

A master suite or primary suite is defined as a significant – often the largest – bedroom in the house. It comprises its own private en suite and, occasionally, other luxurious amenities such as a balcony. The room is the most sought after in an entire house and usually hosts its own inside doorknob with a lock in addition to being with a better layout and expanded floor space.

We've adopted and upgraded the U4C's rule which stands for Utilise space + Consider ambience + Coordinate palettes + Calculate feng shui + Cater for practicality when designing bedrooms and especially master suites.

Homeowners looking to expand their current homes optimally and looking for a compact and concise run-through of the pros and cons of the dos and don’ts of transforming a bedroom into a master suite with a luxury hotel feeling.

Master suite sketch with bathroom and closet

Why is it called master bedroom?

The master bedroom gets its name due to being the largest, most private bedroom in the house. It is considered the “master” suite that belongs to the heads of the household.

Historically, the master bedroom was reserved for the man and wife who owned the home.

The master had the most space, best amenities, and was separated from other family member’s rooms.

Today, the master bedroom typically contains the master bath and walk-in closet.

It serves as a private retreat for the primary occupants. The term highlights its status as the most desirable and prestigious bedroom within the home. 

Here are a few historical theories on the origin of the term:

  • It derives from the term “master of the house”, referring to the male head of household who often occupied this room. This points to patriarchal notions equating men with mastery and authority.
  • It may come from estate homes where the master had his own private bedroom separate from the many bedrooms for children and servants. This highlights historical class divides.
  • Some link it to slave plantations where the plantation owner or overseer occupied the “master bedroom”. This has racist connotations.
  • More benignly, it may simply denote the largest and nicest bedroom in the house. But the hierarchical implications of “master” remain.

While not as common today, sometimes secondary bedrooms are called “guest rooms” which also denoted the master’s superior role. The master bedroom’s setup, location, and luxurious details set it apart as the “master”.

Origin of master bedroom

The “Master bedroom” concept originated from wealthier homes as the most prominent bedroom for the owners of the estate. It denoted higher class status on increasingly larger and more private accommodations. The terminology persists today often simply signifying the largest bedroom space.

The term “master bedroom” originated in the late 19th and early 20th century from luxury home designs that included a large, private “master’s bedroom” as the main bedroom for the heads of the household. Today it’s commonly used in property listings to signify the presence of a large, primary bedroom space or multiple bedrooms.

Some key origins and history:

  • Early Use – One of the earliest documented uses was in a 1926 Sears catalog describing a 4-bedroom floorplan with a “master’s bedroom” as the largest room. This suggested wealth and status.
  • Servant Culture Influence – In large estates, the term denoted the bedroom belonging to the “master” and “mistress” of the house. It was the grandest space separate from numerous smaller servants’ quarters.
  • Home Building Evolution – As home sizes and middle class expectations grew through the mid-1900s, builders marketed larger “master” bedrooms” to suggest luxury living for buyers moving up.
  • Socioeconomic Status Symbol – The terminology carried over even as servant culture faded, retaining connotations of privilege, prestige and prime private space for the heads of household.

From a room to a master suite layout

If your bedroom is situated next door to an existing bathroom, taking out the joining wall is a common option.

However, if this is the sole bathroom on your property, other methods might be preferred to avoid wash-time traffic.

Master suite layout renovation sketch

A second example might be to fit a bath or shower onto the same wall as your current bathroom and connect to plumbing that way.

Master suite layout - bathroom renovation sketch

Property owners might also consider occupying an adjacent room or perhaps a section of an adjoining room. Of course, this means you have now lost part of a room, but if you have ample space, it can provide excellent results and add value to your property.

It is essential also to note that reducing a floorplan from four to three bedrooms could deduct the value. This will be dependant on potential buyers.

Another possibility could be to utilise the existing attic space, which might provide plenty of opportunity for that parental haven as it is already separate from the living space. Although this route may require more engineering, it will usually be a much cheaper option than outdoor extensions.

Extensions such as this, which increase the home’s ground space, require materials, engineering, and additional permits, making it a more expensive task. Especially if your contractors are not the right ones.

In this article, we’ve laid out how to recognize a bad contractor and how to deal with them.

If your purpose is a sale, potential buyers will have the chance to see the newly added space as a benefit compared to the rest of the houses nearby.

It would be necessary to lay further foundations, add to existing electrical circuits and expand in place heating and ventilation systems. But, if you are looking for long-term comfort over a return on investment, you might consider the time and expenses well spent.

Can you convert two bedrooms into master suite

It is possible to convert two existing bedrooms into a master suite, this is the most common renovation in Central Europe and some parts of Asia. Here are some tips on how to approach this:

  • Knock down the wall between the two rooms to create one large space. Make sure there are no structural elements that can’t be removed.
  • Create an entryway to the new master suite by adding doors, a small hallway, or arched entry. Add moldings for a grand entrance.
  • Consider making one space the sleeping area and the second space a sitting room or office area. Or just have one oversized sleeping space.
  • Add amenities like a walk-in closet and master bathroom if not already present. Knock out walls if needed to create the bathroom.
  • Upgrade the flooring to hardwoods or high-end carpeting to denote it as a master suite.
  • Add luxury touches like crown molding, chandeliers, custom windows and furniture. Details like a fireplace or coffered ceiling can add elegance.
  • Relocate the door to provide more privacy away from other bedrooms. Soundproof walls if possible.
  • Ensure the new master has the best views and exterior access to a deck or balcony.

With some strategic renovations, two ordinary bedrooms can be transformed into an extraordinary master retreat. The key is making the space private, grand and ultra-comfortable as the main suite.

What Are The Features of a Master Suite?

At a time, master suites were thought to belong only to the most affluent residencies. But today, the concept of home improvement is becoming increasingly accessible.

Of course, the exact features of a master suite will entirely depend on the homeowner’s lifestyle, but below are some amenities to showcase the range of possibilities.

  • Sitting area – this can allow you to relax before bed without blurring the lines of sleep hygiene

  • Walk-in wardrobe – increases the pleasure of the dressing: space and organisation allow an easy experience.

  • Office space – a peaceful space to focus, away from the rest of the house.
  • Private balcony – again, a space to wind down and relax or wake up in the morning, away from the sleeping space.

  • Fireplace – adds to the room’s ambience – cosiness, warmth.

  • Lobby or vestibule – this area separates the outside from the tranquillity of your room.

  • En suite bathroom – has own private bathroom is agreeably one of the most desired luxuries.

  • Bar – this is considered a high-end luxury. It can be used for winding down, relaxing or having fun with friends.

Luxury, or, as often referred to, ‘executive’ master suites, can range from 27.8 sqm (299sqft) to 55.7 sqm (599sqft) and are built to provide maximum privacy.


Firstly, it is essential to note that the inclusion of a walk-in wardrobe will eliminate the need for any other freestanding storage pieces such as shoe racks, drawers and any different types of dresser units.

This extra space means you can now afford a much more serene environment and really focus on the feng-shui of the room – to be discussed further in my last paragraph.

A helpful tip to remember when laying out your room is not to line every wall with furniture pieces. The extra space allows the suite to breathe, and your vibrations will benefit.

Common furniture pieces to involve in a master suite include, but are not limited to:

But once again, this is dependant on the tastes and requirements of the individual.


If your room happens to boast some original and characterful wooden flooring, then this should be celebrated. Unfortunately, however, these floorings can tend to be colder than others, leaving large, heat-trapping rugs as their ideal choice of adornment.

It is a popular and rewarding decision to alternate the floor coverings in various parts of your suite.

For example, a raised level for your freestanding bath will help separate the functions of a room, and a textured rug at footballing areas, such as bedsides, will provide that cosy morning welcome.

At more hardwearing footfall areas, such as doorways or heavy traffic pathways, you might want to opt for a more hardwearing finish.


Of course, the palette and mood of a suite will entirely depend on the homeowner’s personal tastes and desires, but certain research-based recommendations offer an insightful eye.
Some common bed textiles include:

Fabric furnishing also stretches to wall decoration; although most commonly dressed with wallpaper or paint, textiles such as tapestry hangings and textured wallpapers can bear great stylistic effects.

One might choose these in accordance with an existing bedstead or other furniture upholstery, or perhaps curtains and blinds.

When it comes to windows, the dressing should add to the comfort of a room and not take away from it; roman blinds can boast luxurious styles, whereas other types of blinds might have a slightly less relaxed feel. In this case, additional swathes of fabric might well accessorise and frame for the desired effect.


As well as considering fabrics, flooring and furniture, choosing the perfect lighting for your master suite will really help bring each element together and contribute significantly toward the room’s ambience. Bulb choice will generally impact the level of light output and efficiency and aesthetics.

Specific bulbs are better suited to certain areas. We have included a list of compatible examples below:

In the example of overhead, recess spotlights, general task use such as reading or writing is augmented. If your suite contains artworks, detailed wallpapers or fabrics, then try to generalize the lighting, as you don’t want to create visual chaos.

Reveal – regular or halogen will complement these with neodymium glass that filters out any yellow rays. Blinds and voiles will also control lighting.

As we know, lifestyle is forever progressing- specifically, the combination of practicality and comfort and the purpose of a bedroom has long since developed from a mere sleeping place to a consciously curated sanctuary; space must be flexible and suit all modes/functions.

Dimmable lights have a significant impact in relation to this and can be included in layouts such as wall-mounted sconces or regular overhead fixings.

Handy bedside lighting is also convenient for the nighttime reader, and these come in many forms- regular freestanding table lamps, mounted swing-arms or, as previously mentioned, overhead recess spotlighting.

When it comes to considering your bathroom lighting, the ambience will be of equal, if not more, importance.

A few crucial tips to consider are as follows:


When decorating your master suite, the composition should be considered as though the room were an artwork of its own, a masterpiece, if you will.

The rule of three is common amongst interior designers, and although there are exceptions to the rule, it is generally considered a great suit to follow.

Indoor plants are a fruitful addition to any room, providing suitable conditions. Any living plant life will instantly increase the vibrancy of space and possibly the aroma, too.

Rule of three (symmetry) / Photo: Ressi.co.uk

Symmetry is a very simple but effective key to embrace when it comes to the actual artwork. For example, the centre pointed single works or diptych and triptych pieces will all provide a beautiful balance, and the same goes for mirrors.

Symmetry is an aesthetic that effortlessly harmonises and provides a peaceful appearance combined with the elegance of structural balance. This balance could also work through to the likes of matching nightstands, lamps and cushions.

In this article, we’ve listed out the cost of hiring interior designers in case you’re not the DIY type do to your master suite.

Feng Shui

According to research, the Feng Shui of a master suite should be taken seriously, as their unusual floorplans can often lead to issues with energy pathways. For example, if a suite hosts an outside door that leads directly into the bedroom, excess chi can be introduced, creating problems within relationships.

If a pathway connects the main door to an exterior door, this will host a path of energy running from the bottom of the bed, affecting career challenges.

Suppose there is an opening in the room that leads directly to a bath area. In that case, wet energy can interfere with sleeping and drain the occupant of physical and relationship-based wellbeing.

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When it comes to Feng Shui, the bed’s position is the single most vital element of the room, providing the basis for strength, success and health – it must be against a free wall including no doorways. And if the above issues arise, solutions can be used to improve.

In an open bathroom area, you should hang a curtain as a visual wall. This will help separate the functionalities and stabilise health.


For good fortune, a crystal sphere should be hung in the middle of the room. Centre cures are also helpful with recurring issues. Wind chimes can regulate the energy flow in and out and retain energy and life in the room. To achieve this, hang a wind chime at the exterior door.

Luxury Master Suite Floor Plans Examples

Shown below are three separate examples of master suite floor plans.


This first-floor plan comprises the usual master suite layout; a large bedroom, bathroom complete with full bath and separate shower, and a walk-in closet – dimensions are as shown.

As you can see, this provides a successful Feng Shui and separate doorways for each room for convenience. The layout also boasts a large window, allowing the space to receive plentiful natural light and pleasant views.

master suite floor plan example 2

This second-floor plan includes the same amenities as floor plan one but in a slightly
different layout; the primary bedroom has occupied most of the entire footprint, with less than half of the bathroom and walk-in closet.

These two amenities are distributed in roughly a 2:3 ratio, as you can see.

The bathroom comprises a large, walk-in shower with a seat, toilet and sink. The door is placed on a diagonal wall with a closet door adjacent- both leading into a small area that can be curtained off for extra separation and sleep hygiene.


This third master suite example displays a slightly different primary suite layout, with the bedroom also including one sitting area – for dining or relaxation purposes.

The bed is situated against a clean wall in a commanding position, which practices good Feng Shui, and a closed-door separates the bathroom. However, there is a walk-in closet, one large bay window behind the bed and floor to ceiling window behind the sitting area to provide plenty of natural light.

Master Suite Takeaway (The U4C's rule)

I will conclude this piece by leaving you with a clear and concise understanding of what precisely a master suite is, how different spaces can be transformed into one and what it takes to execute such projects in a way that achieves optimum results.

But, do remember that this is your master suite and should always be tailored to suit specific tastes/requirements, so thorough research and a broad assessment of space and how it can be utilised is advised. With these things considered, you will allow creative visions to be born.

Finally, I have summarised the key takeaway points that drivers the rule of U4C’s:

  • Utilise space
  • Consider ambience
  • Coordinate palettes
  • Calculate correct Feng Shui
  • Cater for practicality