This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

GALLERY: Lure of the 'Refuge'

Lure of the refuge
(Photo credit: J. Arnold and CELF)
Upgrading the master bedroom — often with the addition of an adjoining bathroom — was the single most common remodeling project among the families. At the time of the study, the cost of expanding a master bedroom or constructing a suite of modest proportions was a little more than $80,000. The amount approached or exceeded the combined annual salaries for many of the families.
Often designed and decorated to evoke upscale hotels, these private spaces were envisioned as refuges from the hustle and bustle of family life. Yet, the suites were rarely used, except for sleeping, the researchers found. Meanwhile, vexing pinch-points in families' daily routines, such as crowded kitchens, were rarely fixed.
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