Take a Seat: Master Bedroom Sitting Areas

Adding a chair, a sofa or even a bench to your master suite can create a multifunctional space you’ll be happy to retreat to at the end of a busy day.
By: Amanda Lecky

Photo By: John Bessler

Photo By: Craig Kuhner

Photo By: Jason Miller

Photo By: David Papazian ©Scripps Networks, LLC

Photo By: Altell

Photo By: David Papazian

Private Perch

In a modern farmhouse-style bedroom, a contemporary version of a classic wingback chair creates a perfect reading nook. “The master bedroom was designed with intimate scale in mind. A comfortable chair beside the window, with proper reading light, provides a peaceful spot for Mom to relax when she can steal a moment,” says architect Tim Cuppett.

Fireside Retreat

"We always try to fit in a comfortable reading spot in a master suite,” says designer Lauren Muse. “This one is a perfect getaway. Turn on the gas fireplace, grab a book, and curl up!" The round upholstered ottoman is a great choice for a small seating area, because it can work as a footstool, tea table or additional seating.

Window Seating

Tucked in front of a bay window overlooking a swimming pool, a pair of upholstered chairs offers a comfy place to sit to watch TV or read. When selecting upholstery, designer Debbie Talianko says to “keep solid fabrics on large items and bring in texture and color with accents.” And remember, “using plenty of white gives a restful feeling.”

Bright Outlook

When space is at a premium, built-in cabinetry can add essential master bedroom storage. “When we remodeled this top-floor master bedroom, the existing walk-in closet in the master bedroom was absorbed into a larger master bath—creating a need for built in cabinetry and the opportunity to frame the sunsets from the window,” says a spokesperson for Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders, who executed the work.

Perfect Match

In this mid-century modern-inspired bedroom, a pair of Mies Van Der Rohe chairs lends structure at the base of the bed. Explains designer Laurie Woods: “My clients were a young couple. The wife’s tastes were contemporary, but soft; the husband brought these chairs into the marriage. This arrangement not only created a look that pleased them both, but it also provided usable seating at the foot of the bed. The dark wall color behind the bed echoes the rich dark color of the chairs and ties the room together.”

Luxe Living

For a bedroom with a magnificent view of Lake Erie, designer Libby Palmieri used a color palette inspired by her client’s collection of beach glass and driftwood. The look is soft, but “we chose fabrics that will be durable for many years,” she says.

Dramatic Details

In this glamorous, contemporary master suite, dark walls create the perfect backdrop to a white chaise lounge. “We defined the seating area with a richly-textured rug and added a fur throw blanket and sequined throw pillow to create the feeling the clients were looking for,” says designer Nina Magon.

On the Bench

In this fresh, youthful bedroom, an upholstered bench at the foot of the bed provides a punch of sassy color and pattern. “Starting with a neutral base color on the walls and restraining your color and pattern to accent pieces will give you a very custom and upscale look,” says designer Jennifer Leonard.

Grand Statement

In an expansive master bedroom with soaring ceilings, a seating area can help make the space feel more intimate. “Be sure to add texture and interest,” says designer Ashley Campbell. The rich upholstery on the sofa and side chairs reflects the luxurious treatment on the bed, where fur pillows create a bold focal point.

Morning Room

“The natural light in this bedroom gave me the inspiration to create a seating area that would be perfect for morning coffee as the owner greets the day,” says designer Tobi Fairley. “Bright areas like this are great in the morning, but remember to use double-lined or blackout-lined draperies, so you can block out the light for a good night's sleep.”

Quiet Moments

“I love to provide extra seating in a bedroom to allow for another place to relax and unwind from the day,” says designer Tobi Fairley. “Even if you only have room for a chaise or a chair, add extra seating when you can. And be sure to include an ottoman and a soft throw.”

Practical Matters

When designing a master bedroom seating area, it’s important to pick the right chair or chairs. But don’t forget another key consideration: the lighting. Ideally, provide layers of lighting, as in this luxurious reading nook. “In this space, adequate light for reading is provided by ambient overhead lighting in the form of a crystal chandelier, combined with a floor lamp with a silk shade stationed by a petite side table,” says designer Jennifer Leonard.

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