One manner in which we experience our surroundings is by framing it with language. The room is big or small, filled with light or damp and dark. The living room, the den, the guest bath, the kid’s bedroom, and of course lots of other descriptors.
One of the things that is important to us is to create a home (and a world) that works inclusively for all. And sometimes to do that, we need to change the language we use to frame our work (and the world). To that end, Mighty House has been working on changing how we describe the biggest bedroom or bedroom suite in a house. “Master Suite” is a patriarchal term – in which the “master” was always a man. Master obviously also has a historical connection to slavery and discrimination. From our research, it is less clear that the term Master Suite was common during slavery; regardless though it is recognized as an exclusive term that could be triggering for many.
In an effort to help build more inclusive language in our industry, we are trying to refer to the largest bedroom or suite as the Primary Bedroom/Suite. The change isn’t easy – in fact, it’s hard! For one, it is habitual language. It is also a term most homeowners and professionals still use it and since it is imperative to use common language for clarity, it can be hard to implement later in the design process. Obviously racism and discrimination in housing won’t be eliminated by changing this term, however it will help to bring more rise to the conversation. We have an ask: when you meet with design professionals or have service people to your home, try using “primary” instead of “master” when referring to that space… change has to start somewhere.
If you are interested in this exploring this change, Sidney Franklin, in the August NY Times, wrote an engaging article about the evolving label in the New York real estate brokerage communities. And, regardless of how we refer to it, we’d love to help you make your primary bedroom or suite more Mighty. Contact us to discuss how to get started with your ideas.