The 'master' bedroom falls out of style

Homebuilders are abandoning the term in favor of the 'owner's suite' to avoid sexist and racist connotations.

By Aimee Picchi Apr 23, 2013 12:22PM
Image: House with open bedroom leading to outdoor pool - ANGELO SOTIRIOU, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesThe master bedroom is on the way out, thanks to politically correct builders who want to avoid sexual politics with home buyers. 

New homebuilders are increasingly calling a house's largest bedroom the "owner's bedroom" or "owner's suite," according to The Washington Business Journal, which surveyed 10 major homebuilders.

What's behind the master bedroom's fall from grace? Builders want to avoid negative connotations with gender, since "master" denotes men, and with race, because of the term "slave master."

"I imagine it’s not only a more accurate description but also a more politically correct term of art,” Winchester Homes executive Steve Nardella told the publication. 

When homebuilders market new properties, they are handing out floor plans that avoid calling the biggest bedroom the "master." Take D.R. Horton's (DHI) Coventry home plan, which calls the room "the owner's bedroom." Van Metre's Hartland model terms the area the "owner's suite," which has two walk-in closets and an "owner's bath" attached (apparently, bathrooms also aren't immune to the trend.)

Eventually, builders will completely phase out the use of "master" bedroom, according to Grant Johnson of Sekas Homes. The switch is "just working through the industry, and finally, bingo, we got it," Johnson told the publication. Other home builders ditching the master bedroom include Pulte (PHM) and NVR's (NVR) Ryan Homes. 

Nevertheless, realtors selling existing homes are apparently a bit behind the PC push to dump the master suite. A glance at listings at Corcoran, a top New York City real estate agency, showed a plethora of homes marketed with master bedrooms, from this $60 million penthouse with a "master bedroom suite," to this $1.7 million townhouse with a "master bedroom."

But that might only be a matter of time, too. 

Younger agents "want to be more politically correct" and are avoiding the master bedroom, according to one real estate broker cited by The Washington Business Journal. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 

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Apr 23, 2013 4:56PM

Seriously? I mean SERIOUSLY??????


What next? We get rid of 'Black' licorice??? And 'White' chocolate???


And how about 'Red' licorice??? Is that keeping Indians down?


How about  'Brown' rice????  


What about 'Velveeta'??? It doesn't mean anything, but it sure sounds dirty!!!



Apr 23, 2013 1:33PM
How about "largest bedroom in the house" ?  Everybody good with that ?  Does somebody stay up at night thinking up this ignorant crap ? 
Apr 23, 2013 4:33PM
Political Correctness has just stepped into a new relm of stupidness.  :lol:
Apr 23, 2013 4:25PM
What nonsense - the politically correct forces strike again!
Apr 23, 2013 4:41PM

Oh my God....just shut up P.C. people.  We are sick of your garbage.  You just LOOK for things to find racism in and sexism in and every OTHER ism that only your minds think up.  Give it a rest!

Apr 23, 2013 3:14PM
What's the biggest bedroom in a rental property? The renter's suite?
Apr 23, 2013 4:08PM
Really, this is what you have chosen to write about today?
Apr 23, 2013 4:20PM
Who's to say the master can't be female.  PC run amok again
Apr 23, 2013 3:37PM
I don't see much difference between an owner and a master. It's all in perception of how your conscience is trained...
Apr 23, 2013 4:54PM
What about the Architectural plans, are they going to put a confusing description instead of a title of the room.  This PC nonsense has got to stop.  I may be female, but I still consider myself to be an Architectural Draftsman.
Apr 23, 2013 4:58PM
I used to run a bait shop in MN. Does that mean that my room was where the Master Baiter slept?
Apr 23, 2013 5:05PM

this is the stupidest liberal article... what crap!


Apr 23, 2013 4:34PM
lI do not participate in political correctness. PC  is a shroud  to cover the truth, on any given topic.
Apr 23, 2013 1:16PM
Weren't there also slave owners?  Still sounds racist to me.
Apr 23, 2013 5:35PM
Good idea my master lives in heaven and never sleeps....... is always with me. 
Apr 23, 2013 5:17PM

I've been siting here for 12 hours, contemplating what might be thought up next.....??

NOPE, just can't think of ANYTHING ?

Who dreams up shidt like this....?

We certainly know who writes about it....Sweet Geezus !!

***edited for**** I just think they are trying to keep the Redman down...

Apr 23, 2013 6:56PM
That is about the most politically correct bunch of BS I've ever heard.  I'm black and never once thought of any connection to slavery.  I guess "master" cylinders for the braking systems on cars will now be called something else as well to avoid upsetting sensitive mechanics.  Good grief...
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