Great Spaces: A Master Bedroom That Feels Like a Boutique Hotel

It's small, but SoHo sleek.

Photo by Jenn Verrier.


Room by room, Kris Zeller and Catherine Ashby were slowly transforming the Clarendon bungalow they bought in 2014, putting a contemporary spin on the previous owner’s remodel. Arlington designer Suzanne Manlove orchestrated each round of changes as the couple worked their way through the main living areas and a lower-level kids’ zone for their young son and daughter. By 2018, they were ready to tackle the master bedroom.

“All parents need a respite—a place to go that can be their relaxation space,” Manlove says, but the house was “a little bit on the cozy side,” meaning the design needed to account for the room’s tight dimensions. “If we took a hotel-room approach, that would give them that luxury, but on a small scale. We were trying to maximize every square inch so they could have this [experience] and not feel like it was cluttered.”

Manlove removed a protruding picture ledge from the room’s wainscoting and had bedside tables custom made with narrow dimensions. In lieu of drapery, she installed upholstered cornices over the windows to unify their different heights and hide the roller shades underneath. “It adds a finishing treatment that’s very tailored and clean and tidy,” she says. “It’s another way to calm the visual noise of the space.”

Plush textures in a custom rug, velvet upholstered headboard and shaggy ottoman enhance the room’s luxe factor, as do the sultry, wall-mounted light fixtures that Manlove chose to replace recessed can lights in the ceiling.

“It gives it that New York City-SoHo-like sophistication that we didn’t realize it would,” Zeller says. “It’s like a vacation in our own house.”

Project Credit: Arlington Home Interiors,

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Categories: Home & Design