If you’re thinking of converting your loft into an en suite bedroom, Alex Walmsley, senior designer at bathroom specialist Ripples, has this advice: ‘En suites are often compact, so there probably won’t be room for both a shower and a bath. I think a shower over a bath is a bit of a compromise, especially if you have a second bathroom to accommodate a bath,’ he says. ‘Most people like to hop out of bed and into a shower, so prioritise a generous showering space instead. If you fit a sliding pocket door entrance it will free up space, and you’ll create the illusion of more space with mirrored cladding, which will make it a handy full-length mirror to get dressed in front of.’
Consider the layout to ensure the space flows freely. ‘Keep the shower entrance away from the door if possible. When designing any new space, a key rule is to avoid having clashing doorways. If it’s a wet room or a walk-in shower, it’s even more important, as you need to keep water away from a door, otherwise it creates a slippery, hazardous entrance,’ Alex advises. ‘Think about the main focal point when entering the bedroom – en suite doors are often left open, so the WC should be located somewhere more private.’ The two rooms should flow into each other harmoniously. ‘Consider the bedroom colours and textures when choosing the tiles and flooring for the en suite; furniture of similar height will help, too,’ says Alex.
ABOVE: An awkward layout with a pitched roof, this loft space had very limited head-height. Ripples designed the scheme to conceal a shower behind a curved wall, which also houses recessed mirrored cabinets and is a feature backdrop for two basins. To keep it as open and light as possible, the horizontal mirror along the main wall reflects much-needed light and opens up the space.
‘An en suite mirror is essential for applying make-up and shaving, so opt for an illuminated mirror with lights at the top and bottom or both sides to light the face equally,’ he adds. ‘If your en suite is likely to be used by more than one person at the same time, place another mirror somewhere away from the basin area, near a window or wall light.’
Lighting is important. Alex advises using low-level LEDs for night-time use, wired on a separate circuit from the main ceiling lights. ‘It may sound obvious, but, as the en suite is directly off the bedroom, it’s a good idea to ensure the walls also have some soundproofing to avoid night-time disturbance,’ he says. ‘An extractor fan should be on a separate switch so that it doesn’t come on every time the light is on, and avoid humidistat fans in an en suite for the same reason.’