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Acadiana Lifestyle

Sweet Suite - Master Bed & Bath Retreat

08/14/2012 03:21PM ● By ALS Editor

By Barbara Gautreaux
Photos by Mickey Delcambre

Homeowners are searching for bedroom retreats to escape from the day-to-day stress of family and work. Everyone can agree that the luxury of a master bedroom suite that includes private bath is more desirable than having to use the family bathroom in the hall.

Future home buyers will expect an ensuite bathroom in not only new construction, but in modernized older homes, too. Should your next remodel be the Master Bedroom Suite?

Today’s Master Bedroom Has More Amenities
Realtors, builders and house-hunters love the ensuite bath. A private bathroom with access through the master bedroom, say real estate experts, practically sells a home. New construction or a home remodel offers the opportunity to include the feature in the master bedroom suite.

Today’s master bedroom suite is enhanced with private full bath including shower and tub, sitting area with table, access to outdoor areas, media including TV and Internet, exercise or hobby areas, and of course, plenty of sleeping space.

Shadows Bend, the only gated community in New Iberia, is the location of the designer home of Tommy and Mary Carol LeBlanc. Their daughter-in-law, Architect Keri Trotter LeBlanc, designed their French-inspired house, and included several modern master suite amenities for comfort, convenience and style.

Mary Carol says she prefers simplicity in design and decorating. She likes a home to be easy to keep up and family friendly. The couple has five grown children and 12 grandchildren, and they entertain often. The master suite has access to the patio, which allows them to use the pool deck as an outdoor sitting area. Framing the windows are valances and roman shades. Rita Durio and Associates were the interior designers for the property, and the curtains were fabricated by Bev Hayes with Hayes Draperies.

With plenty of floor space and natural light from large windows, the master suite is relaxing and open. The sage-colored paint on the walls is complemented by finished pecan flooring with a golden glow. Area rugs in green, beige and gray are part of the decorating scheme that carries over into the sitting area.

To form the sitting area, pillars are used on furniture-height half walls, while two comfy chairs are divided by a table large enough to be used for dining for two. Family photos fill this area, and Mary Carol has decorated the suite with religious art and memento pieces. The magnolia flower artwork in the bathroom is a treasured painting by her former teacher at Mount Carmel Academy in New Iberia, Sister Mary Baptist.

Travertine beige marble tiles on the floor in the bath are polished to a high gloss, adding to the room’s airy feel. Double vanities, each with their own sink, feature granite countertops and cabinets for storage and technology. A flat-screen TV is on the top shelf, across from the large tub. Mosaic tile in greens and blues are used around the tub and the walk-in shower is given privacy by a 90-degree turn of tile on the floor and walls.

“When we saw the bathroom we couldn’t believe it,” says Mary Carol. “But we love it.” Access to the exercise room is off the private bath, another convenience.

Mary Carol says the chandelier light fixtures in the bedroom and bath are not extravagant but are a nice compliment to the style of the room. For over the top, she chose an accessory she saw in one of her daughters Houston home and loved—the floor mirror. The dimensions are 80x45-inches, and it fills a wall with reflection and adds to the rooms warm light.

Planning An Addition May Add Value
Older homes might have character and a sense of nostalgia, but appraisers take age into consideration when determining a home’s value. Buyers tend to lean toward newer homes for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the feeling that newer homes have far more modern amenities than older homes.

Construction of a master bath suite may add value to a home by increasing square footage, but nothing is guaranteed. To start, contact a builder that is a member of an association such as the Teche Area Builders Association. Members follow a code of ethics that includes an estimate in writing, and trained employees. The non-profit group can be reached online at or by calling (337)365-0075.

If your home is large but without an “open feel” consider re-purposing rooms, rearranging walls, and using the existing plumbing and electricity to get the master you want. Gather examples of bedroom designs that appeal to you.

If plans of the current layout are available, have copies made for trying new designs. Once your plans are set, be sure to get permits as needed. Permit offices for New Iberia are available by calling 369-2354, or Iberia Parish at 369-4438.

Homeowners often consider changing a garage to an addition room. The contractor can make suggestions for implementing this plan, including adding the square foot to your HVAC, or air conditioner systems load. Depending on size, an additional system may need to be added. Costs will include the materials to replace the garage door, installing a ceiling, lighting, flooring and plumbing.

The addition of a bath and master suite can be a significant increase in the home improvement budget, but the rewards may make the extra money and work worthwhile.

When it comes to a home’s value, there are a host of things that could ultimately increase or decrease that value in the eyes of prospective buyers. If more convenience and comfort is needed in your home today, consider adding a master suite. The addition of a bath and master can change a house from “won’t sell” to “Sold!”