Till sleep do us apart, why the modern bedroom is split in two

Back in 2010, the National Association of Home Builders predicted that one of the strongest 5-year trends in custom-building will be a dual-master bedroom.  This prediction most like ensued from the survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation which revealed a double digit growth in married couples who chose to sleep in separate bedrooms.  While this development in residential interiors is not entirely new, even the cyclical nature of furniture design could not have predicted this surprising revival.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had separate houses with a bridge connecting them, which could be attributed to their political spotlight.  Many of our grandparents did not share a bedroom in the 50’s, while our parents may have shared a room but slept in side-by-side beds.   But our generation is certainly on point with the king size bed and the idea of a “master” bedroom or a bedroom “suite, denoting a matrimonial oasis with symbolic equivalence to the diamond ring and honeymoon.

So what exactly invaded this sacred institution, converting the occasional “I’ll sleep on the couch” solution to an embedded feature of many newly constructed or recently renovated homes?  For starters, various physical conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are to blame.  Other obstacles are either kids, who sleep in between their parents or pets that are often welcome to share their owner’s bed.  Other intruders are disguised as various technologies and social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, emails and texts, or as one-sided entertainment choices like SportsCenter or Dancing with the Stars that are less than desirable to the other partner.

The dual master-bedroom trend is catching fire fast with many buyers opting to make sleep a priority and using their more rested state-of-mind and body as a stimuli to healthy marriage amidst a pragmatic lifestyle.  Nonetheless, the critical task of today’s architects, builders and interior designers is to get creative and settle sleep deprivation issues with less emphasis on the separateness, stressing the importance of invigorating yet intimate bedroom spaces where couples can spend most of their time together and still choose to sleep apart, almost like trying to preserve the pillow-talk while having the pillows at different beds.

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