Launch Slideshow

Master Bedrooms

Master Bedrooms

  • The bedroom. All interior millwork is oak with translucent acrylic inserts.

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    The bedroom. All interior millwork is oak with translucent acrylic inserts.

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    Elliott Kaufman

    2011 CHDA
    Custom Home of the Year
    House in an Olive Grove, Geyserville, Calif.
    Cooper Joseph Studio, New York City

    Architect Wendy Joseph of Cooper Joseph Studio captured views and maintained privacy in this cozy bedroom with fixed horizontal glazing that suits the gaze from the adjacent built-in bed. The far wall is all glass and connects to a small balcony jutting out over the olive groves on the property. Those two carefully curated windows offer close-up and distant views of the surrounding countryside.
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    600

    David Wakely Photography

    2010 CHDA
    Private Residence, Sebastopol, Calif.
    Merit Award: Custom Home / Less Than 3,000 Square Feet
    Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, San Francisco

    The master bedroom opens onto a deck connecting it to a stand of redwood trees.
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    600

    David Wakely Photography

    2010 CHDA
    Private Residence, Sebastopol, Calif.
    Merit Award: Custom Home / Less Than 3,000 Square Feet
    Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, San Francisco

    By pulling the decks to the sides of the house, architects Mary Griffin and Eric Haesloop were able to free up the long, glass rear façade—including one wall of the bedroom—to take in mountain vistas.
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    Brian Vanden Brink

    2010 CHDA
    Sugar Mill, Chilmark, Mass.
    Merit Award: Custom Home / 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet

    This corner master suite sits on its hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and coastal ponds with banks of divided light windows opening it up to far-off vistas and sea breezes.
  • Etched glass "storefronts" allow the three bedrooms to borrow light from the corridor.

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    Etched glass "storefronts" allow the three bedrooms to borrow light from the corridor.

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    Alan Karchmer / Sandra Benedum

    Custom Home, September-October 2010
    Bridge Player
    Schwartz/Silver Architects, Boston

    The glass and steel "bridge" corridor in this western Massachusetts summer home descends three sets of folded-steel stairs that pass this bedroom, and provide a mountain-and-valley panorama that stretches into New York state. Etched glass "storefronts" allow the bedroom to borrow light from the corridor without compromising the sense of security.
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    600

    Bruce Damonte

    2009 CHDA
    Laidley Street Residence, San Francisco
    Grand Award: Custom Home / 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet
    Zack / de Vito Architecture, San Francisco

    The home belongs to Lise de Vito and Jim Zack, who run an architecture firm as well as a construction company. A translucent window wall provides postcard views of San Francisco that serve as the master bedroom's main decoration and a source of natural light.
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    Michael Perlmutter

    residential architect, July 2008
    K + B Studio: Rock Harbor
    Helin & Co Architects, Helsinki, Finland

    The design goals for the master suite consisted of producing a free-flowing bedroom with floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking the Baltic Sea. A built-in headboard cum dresser anchors the bed in the airy albeit compact room while the curved glass wall acts as the bed's footboard. The site's dramatic views are reflected in twin mirrors above the sinks just behind the bed, creating the illusion of additional space.
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    Richard Barnes

    2008 RADA
    Tehama Grasshopper, San Francisco
    Renovation / Grand
    Fougeron Architecture, San Francisco

    Faced with a square concrete warehouse and only one wall of north-facing windows, architect Anne Fougeron, worked magic by adding a grasshopper-like penthouse bedroom that alights on the building's surface, opening the entire loft to the sun.
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    Richard Barnes

    2008 RADA
    Tehama Grasshopper, San Francisco
    Renovation / Grand
    Fougeron Architecture, San Francisco

    The diaphanous master suite sits at the top of the stairs and features a bent window that scoops light deep into the living areas below and affords the bedroom's occupants rooftop scenes of the surrounding city.

Homeowners want master bedrooms that are havens of relaxation and serenity, and architects try to give their clients those sensations through simple design and uncluttered, welcoming spaces. If there’s an opportunity to include a stunning view it can amplify the spirit of escape in the room. Incorporating a panoramic vista also creates spaciousness without increasing square footage.

Establishing a balance of protection and openness in the master bedroom is another crucial design objective, and a compact space with a big view can accomplish that effect. So despite the bedroom’s primary purpose being slumber, translucent glass walls or banks of windows typically adorn the space. It’s up to the architect to give the homeowners all the benefits of natural light and an inspiring scene to start and end each day while also generating privacy and a safe atmosphere. Focusing the outdoor connection along one wall and keeping the rest of the room’s enclosure solid often is the solution.

The accompanying slideshow presents examples of some transformative master bedrooms with walls of glass framing skylines, oceans, and wooded panoramas.