Over the course of history, the function of the master bedroom has certainly changed. Once simply a place for sleeping and getting dressed for the day, master bedrooms have now evolved into retreats. Nowadays, in addition to large closets and coffee stations, many master bedrooms require the inclusion of plush sitting areas, luxury fabrics and linens and posh finishes fit for idyllic retreats.

Bedrooms are oftentimes used as sanctuaries – escapes in which to shutter out the world, relax, read and perhaps even dream a little. Calm color palettes, like creams, blues, whites and greens, quality bedding and furniture and even the right accessories help create an environment in which people want to spend time, not just sleep.

Lori Harden and Julie Willis, both interior designers at Pierce & Parker Interiors, on St. Simons Island, said the trend toward comfort will continue well into 2021 and beyond.

Neutral tans and grays remain at the top of people’s favorite color palettes. Mossy greens and muted blues are the ideal foils for the white-tan-brown color family, while brights add a welcome pop to the gray and white color scheme. One popular look includes dark wood beams providing a stark contrast to rich cream walls, muted blue hues and crisp whites.

In another scenario, a sitting room vibe  is accomplished by placing a comfortable settee at the foot of the bed, and arranging a coffee table and other accessories nearby.

Cool-to-the touch metals provide a counterpoint to all the softness. Gold-tone is still a favorite metal, and other popular accent pieces include ceramic lamps.

“Texture is a definite trend,” said Willis, pointing out several examples of pillows, linens and accent pieces that although neutral, provide a layer of depth as only texture can.

As far as linens go, Harden said some old favorites are returning to the forefront, while others are, thankfully, being shown the door.

“Euro shams and duvets are making a comeback,” Harden said, adding that customers are particularly enamored of white matte coverlets that can be machine-washed are very popular, as opposed to bedspreads, which are not. Another item on the way out? “Dust ruffles are out.”

To that end, Pierce & Parker now offers custom bedding to its customers. Harden said the store has inventory, and instead of customers having to wait four weeks to receive their order, it’s often available on the same day. In keeping with the bedding, Pierce & Parker also sells mattresses, and Harden said picking the right one requires a little homework.

“You’ve got to get a good, comfortable mattress; it’s the foundation for the entire bedroom. Mattresses should be replaced every eight to 10 years. People can come in and try them out. You should lie on a mattress for seven minutes, so you can get the full effect. Dollars do not necessarily dictate good mattress quality.     —lori harden

In addition to mattresses, Pierce & Parker also sells motion frames, which make beds adjustable and eliminate the need for box springs. (continued on next page)

Willis added that people are divesting themselves of dust-gatherers, and are more focused on softness and texture.  “They want their bedrooms to be comfortable, a retreat,” Willis said. “Seating areas, including swivel chairs, as well as writing desks, are popular items.”

Willis added that tons of pillows, and benches at the foot of the bed, are also popular items. Harden explained that custom looks, from the paint colors to linens, are continuing to grow in popularity. Paint colors, in particular, skew lighter this year, and add to the desire for a sense of serenity at home.

“My three most popular colors are cloud white, sea pearl and white dove,” Harden said of the neutral palette. (continued on next page)

A new development is the return of draperies, complete with panels, and French returns. Harden said today’s draperies are less tailored and more relaxed.

“I’m doing a lot of French pleats at the tops of draperies, and then they just fall softly,” she said.

“It’s not so formal,” said Willis.

For the past several months, people’s bedrooms have provided an escape from the chaos of the outside world. Breathing new life into a space where so much time is now spent is a good investment, particularly as people continue to work from home. The bedroom has for years been referred to as a sanctuary – a place to gain momentary solitude, in addition to being a place to sleep – and these days, that’s more true than ever.