Is “master bedroom” politically incorrect?

May 8, 2013

A number of homebuilders in the Washington, D.C., area have stopped using the term “master” to describe the largest bedroom in the house. According to an article in the Baltimore Business Journal, Winchester Homes, Pulte Homes, NV Homes, Ryan Homes, Van Metre Cos. and D.R. Horton have all replaced “master” in their floor plans with such terms as “owner’s suite” or “owner’s bedroom.”

The reason given for the change is that “master” has sexist as well as racist connotations. Obviously, some builders continue to use the term, but Pulte spokeswoman Valerie Dolenga says her company made the switch three or four years ago.

I’ve noticed that “owner’s suite” tends to be used more with large luxury homes, which makes sense given that these rooms are usually quite palatial. But if we want to appeal to a broader spectrum of home buyers (or we’re just feeling whimsical), how about The Big Bedroom or The Super Sleep Suite? 

Senior Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 30 years. She is senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and produces the Design Innovation e-newsletter.  Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas. You can reach her at