Best New Home-Serene Master Suite

A secluded retreat creates a true sanctuary for the Hiers family.
Robert Martin/ Photography Laurey W. Glenn/ Styling Leigh Anne Montgomery

The most private sector of the house, Wallie and Renee’s master bedroom suite, is located in the first shotgun. Nestled within an existing grove of hardwoods, dogwoods, and live oaks, the homeowners’ retreat gives them a place of their own away from the central living area and their children’s bedrooms.

Do Not Disturb

Containing the same heart-pine ceilings and floors found in the other wings, the master bedroom is layered in soothing earth tones. As sole users of this space, along with the adjacent dressing/shower area and bath, Wallie and Renee installed gypsum drywall walls as a less expensive alternative to wood planks. Pine strips applied to the walls keep the overall surfaces from appearing too bare and expansive under the vaulted ceiling. Wallie also built the bed platform, headboard, and surrounding shelves with leftover pine scraps.

Located behind the headboard wall, the homeowners’ vanity and dressing area remain open to a hallway at each end. With the shower, water closet, and master closets conveniently tucked off this space, Wallie and Renee are able to go about their morning routines without vying for elbow room. Separate his-and-her vanity countertops support stainless steel vessel sinks that can be wiped clean in a snap. Above the mirrors, bare fluorescent light tubes―a surprising but effective lighting choice―provide ample illumination. Wooden strips visually break up the walls into less voluminous sections and neatly trim the mirrors.

Soak in Style

The master bath is more than just a tub shoved to one wall, competing for space with other necessities. Instead, it is the center of attention. Much like a vintage claw-foot tub, Renee’s soaking basin has the same shape sans feet. Whereas tubs are generally filled by a faucet mounted nearby, this one relies on a stream of water from overhead, produced by plumbing lines in the ceiling.

This kind of reinterpretation makes this house refreshing and novel. “Taking the direct, elegant solutions I see in regional architecture is nothing new to me. I’ve spent years refining an approach to contemporary design that draws upon traditional structures,” says Bob.

One look at the Hierses’ house, and it shows.