The Suite Life: Must-Haves for the Ultimate Retreat

Primary suite with tray ceilings and fireplace

Primary suites are a place to recharge and focus on self-care. They can be located on the first or second floor and the design can be anything from modern to traditional.  But, according to Normandy Designer Ashley Noethe, all of the really great ensuites have these five things in common…

Walk-In Closet and Storage– Clutter has been known to cause stress and anxiety. That is why setting up your bedroom and bathroom with proper storage is important.

“In most cases, a room is unorganized because there’s not enough storage,” said Ashley. “A walk-in closet, hooks, bins, and drawers give you the ability to properly put things away – ensuring that your space is a clutter-free zone.”

Home addition created a new primary bathroom and bedroom

Luxury Shower and Soaker Tub– Forget your standard bathtub and shower combination. We’re turning primary bathrooms into full-blown spas.

“We’re making primary bathrooms much larger and incorporating luxurious showers and bathtubs,” said Ashley. “We’re talking walk-in showers with the works –steam, body sprays, and rain showerheads. There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bath, so we’re also including free-standing soaking tubs.”

Cozy Seating Area– A seating area with couches, window seats, or plush chairs makes the space more of a retreat – providing a spot to sit and read, or watch television.

“Your bedroom isn’t just for sleeping,” said Ashley. “Adding some seating offers a place to sit and relax in the room.”

primary bedroom in the new additionMultiple Layers of Light– Lighting might not seem glamorous, but it can make your space much cozier. In addition to lamps, you can also consider recessed lighting and decorative lighting like chandeliers. Putting your lighting on a dimmer also helps set the mood. You can keep things bright, or lower the lighting when relaxing in the evening.

Primary bathroom with separate bathtub, shower, and water closet“Your primary bedroom and bath should have several layers of lighting, including lamps, ceiling, and decorative,” said Ashley. “This enhances the design and ambiance.”

At the end of the day, you should come home to a personalized space that has whatever you need to relax and unwind.

“Your primary suite should be an escape,” said Ashley. “Your design should be all about comfort and incorporating things that make you happy.”

“This means different things to different people, so think about what you really need” added Ashley. “Anything goes.”

If you are thinking of updating your bedroom and bathroom into a sumptuous suite retreat or contemplating another remodeling project, you can set up a time with Ashley to talk about the possibilities. You can also learn more about additions, kitchens, or other remodeling projects by signing up for our newsletter. Check out the photo gallery or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for even more home tips and inspiration.

primary suite with layered lighting and bench at foot of bed  seated makeup table in traditional bathroomPrimary bedroom with ensuite bath

Vanity Table Tricks to Put Your Best Face Forward

Think about your morning beauty routine…
Are makeup and hair products cluttering your bathroom countertops? Are you leaning over the sink to apply your mascara? Do you wish you had better lighting?  If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we know just what you need… a vanity table. And, according to Normandy Designer Laura Barber, AKBD, there are five things your vanity table needs in order to be luxurious, well-organized, and durable.

1. Strategically Placed Mirrors – When you think of a vanity table, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a big, beautiful mirror – but I have to stress that the placement of this mirror is what’s really important. You want to make sure you are at a comfortable height. If you go too high, it won’t be useful. A second, magnifying mirror is also a must. It will help with applying makeup.

2. Specialty Pull-Outs – Many associate pull-outs with kitchen spice racks. But in actuality, there are tons of ways that pull-outs and organizers can be applied to a vanity table. Rev-A-Shelf is a great place to start to gather ideas. They have everything including drawer organizers for cosmetics and pull-outs with adjustable shelving to accommodate taller bottles (think hair spray and lotions). There are also bins for hairdryers and metal bins for curling and flat irons. The beauty of these bins is that they also let you keep everything plugged in.

3. Layers of Lighting – Good lighting is critical for a vanity table. You need to see what you are doing! The best lighting for makeup application is sconces at eye level. It puts just the right amount of light on the side of your face, closely mimicking natural light. You also want can light for overall illumination. Together, these light fixtures will keep things bright and avoid casting any shadows. Lighted mirrors are also great in this kind of setting too.

4. Comfortable Seating – No vanity table is complete without a comfortable, attractive stool or chair. It enhances the look of your space and is enjoyable to spend time in. You can vary the look and color of it to fit in with your bathroom design.

5. Engineered Stone Countertop – Makeup, oils, hair sprays… Many of these products can potentially stain natural stone. That’s why I like to recommend going with an engineered stone, like quartz. It requires little to no maintenance and won’t scratch or stain. It’s also more heat resistant than natural stone – great for appliances like flat irons and curling irons. You won’t have to worry about burning or leaving a mark.

Set up a time with Laura to discuss your primary bathroom remodel, including designing a beautiful and functional makeup table. Or, learn more about the overall remodeling process by registering to attend an upcoming workshop. You can also follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram or visit the Normandy photo gallery for more ideas and inspiration.

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