A classic en suite redesign

The luxurious en suite in this new build home has been designed to be practical, functional and easy to clean and maintain, it includes a walk in shower, wall hung units and recessed storage areas to create space

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The property

A large detached house in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, which was built in 2012 in a traditional farmhouse style. The property is set back in 30 acres of land.

The brief

The owners enlisted the help of designer Melinda Hill at Ripples (0800 107 0700; ripples.ltd.uk) to create a luxury en suite shower room for a guest bedroom. The brief was to design the space so that it was practical and functional for guests as well as easy to clean and maintain. The owners wanted a spacious walk-in shower enclosure to create a luxurious wet room.


A wall-hung vanity unit and WC appear to float, leaving the floor space clear for a more expansive feel. Recessing the storage into the walls also helps to make the room feel larger

How it was achieved

A key requirement of the brief was to create a functional space that was classic and easy to maintain. To achieve this, Melinda chose a neutral colour scheme and introduced features such as recessed storage compartments and a double basin vanity unit with a large recessed mirror. The clients’ main input into the design was their request for a large shower space complete with a rain showerhead.

Melinda decided that the shower would be best placed at one end of the bathroom, where it would take up the full width of the space. She decided to build out a 200mm stud wall along the whole back wall, concealing the plumbing and WC cistern, as well as a 100mm stud wall at the shower end of the bathroom, to create practical recessed shelving in the enclosure for storing bottles and soaps easily.

To complete the shower area, a large clear glass screen was fitted on top of the slightly raised shower tray and a large rain showerhead was installed in the ceiling, while a second, hand-held shower was attached to the wall. The controls for the overhead model were positioned halfway up the shower wall for easy reach.

Recessed shelving storage is also a feature of the main space, where two exposed box shelves were built above the wall-mounted WC and a large recessed mirror was included as a practical design idea above the double basin unit. The owners were keen to include a double basin vanity unit as long as it didn’t compromise the size of the shower area.

When thinking of the colour scheme and style of fittings, the clients wanted to keep the space neutral. A walnut-finish vanity unit was matched to the inlays in the recessed shelving and provides a contrast to the cream-coloured large-format tiles on the walls and ceiling. Using the same style and colour of tiles throughout the room maximises the sense of space and meets the brief for a classic look. However, smaller design details, such as the mosaic tiles in the shower enclosure and small spotlights within the recessed niches, ensure that the scheme feels stylish and modern.

The cost:

£15,000 for the design and fittings, excluding installation.