Adding Luxury to a Master Suite

Even though the economy has its ups and downs, there is always a demand for luxury kitchen and bath remodeling projects.

So firms that specialize in the luxury market will always find many opportunities for executing projects that are both creatively challenging and profitable.

The key to tapping into this luxury market is to grab the attention of these consumers, market to their desires and finally educate them so that they can turn their dreams into reality.

Recently we had the opportunity to create and expand a luxury master suite in a house originally built in the 1920s. Our clients were both professionals, empty nesters and definitely sought luxury.

The clients’ parameters were fairly straightforward. They wanted to expand the master bath, they wanted more closet space, and as usual, even in the luxury market, they did not want to spend too much money. Believe it or not the last parameter was the easiest to overcome.

We enlarged the bathroom by combining a small office (closet) with the existing bathroom that meets the everyday needs of our clients. It includes a walk-in shower, soaking tub, dual height vanity and ample storage. We added amenities that catered to our clients’ wishes, such as a heated floor. We also provided plywood underneath the drywall to accommodate future installation of grab bars as our clients “age-in-place.”

Now for the Piéce de Résistance: a closet addition that provides more space than anyone had ever expected. The addition is in a space which was a roof deck that was never used, and sits over a first floor TV room. Because of the existing 18:12 roof slope, we were able to provide our client with a 12-ft. ceiling, operable windows, and high storage for clothing items that are not worn on an everyday basis.

The high storage was accomplished by double and even triple hanging clothes and using gadgets like Rev-A-Shelf pull-down hanging rods in certain places. On one wall we built in-storage shelving where a rolling library ladder accesses the top one-third. No matter how this is looked at, we provided ample storage for any configuration, now or in the future. Our client commented that several of their friends wanted to know why the addition was being used as a closet and not the bedroom.

My advice for catering to the luxury segment?

  • Form lasting relationships with affluent clients by respecting their privacy, offering unique services, design and products.
  • Figure out what your clients’ needs and tastes are, and make them feel that this level of luxury is attainable and can fit their own unique tastes.
  • Luxury is about lifestyle, not product offerings. You are selling a lifestyle and people will pay for luxury. (Remember, I said price concerns are the easiest objections to overcome.) By forging relationships with affluent clients you can yield a lifetime of work. Keeping past clients as they accrue wealth is how you will succeed.

Michael a. menn, aia, cgr, caps is a principal in Design Construction Concepts. D+CC is an award winning DESIGN LAB firm that was honored as the Chrysalis State and Midwest Remodeler of the year in 2003. Menn is a licensed architect, remodeler and frequent industry speaker. He can be reached at