6 tips for linking a bedroom and en suite

Linking the bed and bathroom spaces in your master suite is easy with clever design tricks, so use Gabrielle Blackman’s know-how to create a modern look

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1. Expose the floor

Wall-hung fittings or units with room underneath are great ways to cheat a spacious feel. If in doubt, choose wall-hung basins, WCs and vanity units, or go for modern Mid-century-style designs with shapely legs so you can still see the floor. Make sure furniture in the en suite complements pieces in the bedroom, and choose similar materials and finishes to create one overall look.

2. Reverse your scheme

Create a clever visual link by reversing the look in your bedroom in the en suite. If you have dark hues in the bedroom, go for lighter tiles in the bathroom with charcoal grout and dark painted furniture in order to subtly connect the schemes. White bedroom walls and grey linens will combine well with grey marble tiles and white shutters in the en suite.

3. Invest in ample storage

Devote the least exciting wall in the bedroom to storage – usually the last wall you look at when you walk into the room. Think about using any available space in the bathroom for a built-in solution, including niches in the shower to store toiletries or display decorative items. Ask your builder about the depth of your wall to see if this is possible, or consider a stud wall – even a 9cm depth is useful. Small, wall-hung shelves look great, while freestanding units are a good, portable option.


Monograph freestanding painted timber vanity unit with basin, H54xW80x D37.5cm, £1,124, Laura Ashley

4. Combine similar colours

En suites are often small but with the functionality of a large bathroom, so need to feel spacious and light, plus be practical. Thinking carefully about flooring is key; for an uninterrupted sense of flow, choose styles that are similar in colour and tone. You can mix and match the type of flooring to suit each space; for example, a durable, waterproof style in the bathroom with soft carpet in the bedroom. I often match a neutral carpet with porcelain in a bathroom; I love Mandarin Stone’s Baltic Spruce porcelain planks – great for a Scandinavian-inspired look.

ian mankin bathroom en duite blinds

Blinds in Oxford Stripe Silver, £29.50 per m, Ian Mankin

5. Choosing finishes

When choosing upholstery, paint, wall and floor tiles, don’t use the same fabric, paint or pattern in both rooms, which will look too matching and feel forced. Pick an accent colour from your bedroom, such as from the window dressing or a colour in the furniture, and use it in a stripe on your bathroom blind, for shutters or accessories. I love clashing patterns and mixing stripes with prints. Be bold with your choices.

6. Good lighting

Choose dimmers and ask your electrician to install two circuits to control light levels for different needs. You should be able to go from a softly lit bedroom into a similar light in the en suite. Mix task, wall lighting and spotlights if you have the space and choose warm or extra-warm white LEDs. Wall lights offer a more flattering glow than pendants in a bathroom.