If you’re looking to buy or build a home, you may have noticed that the largest bedroom in a house is no longer called a “master” suite. The trend has taken over quickly, and while those in the industry are embracing the change, a lot of homeowners are just left confused. Here is everything you need to know about the end of the “master” suite and what you should now use instead.


What is the master suite now called?

The largest bedroom, which often contained an ensuite and large closet, used to be called the master suite or master bedroom. The term “master” actually comes from “master of the house”; however, the term “master” has a long and dark history in the U.S., which is why it’s been phased out of the real estate and home building industry.


Today, these types of rooms are called the primary suite/bedroom or the owner’s suite/bedroom.


Where did the master suite term come from?

The term “master” has a racially charged pasted in North America, and many homeowners equated the term to the slavery era. The truth is the term was actually a marketing phrase created by Sears catalog way back in 1926. It was meant to evoke a more elegant image, playing off the “master of the house” prevalent in British living, meant to make suburban, middle-class, cookie-cutter houses more appealing. It took off and soon became a common phrase to refer to the main and largest bedroom in a house.


Why the change now?

Regardless of the fact that the term was a simple bit of clever marketing, there’s no denying that the word master has a deeply rooted history in North America, particularly the U.S. To lots of people, especially People of Color, the word will always have a slavery connotation to it. That, combined with the fact that people of color, especially those in the black community, still face racial discrimination in the housing industry, led to the change.


So, what term should I use?

While the real estate and home-building community have embraced the new terms, it’s taking homeowners and buyers longer to get on board. This is simply because most people aren’t using it as much in their daily life, making the transition slower. No one will be offended if you still call it a master suite but expect to see more and more people exclusively referring to it as a primary suite moving forward.


Are you interested in building a custom home? Contact us today! Our team of custom home builders is ready to make your dream house a reality, with a primary suite and all!