Bathroom case study: a designer en suite

This bathroom has been transformed from a dated mock-Victorian look to a cutting edge contemporary en suite complete with hi-tech lighting scheme, wetroom style shower area and double basin unit

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The property

A four-bedroom, 1960s, architectdesigned detached house in Surrey, owned by a couple.

The brief

While renovating their dated home to create a modern interior, the couple were keen to give the master en suite a contemporary look. It had a mock-Victorian scheme when they bought the house, but they wanted a sleek, luxurious finish with dark shades to contrast with the abundance of natural light flooding the space.


A metallic edge highlights the recessed storage niche along the length of the wall, lit by spotlights. This continues behind the glass screen into the shower area

How it was achieved

In order to create a spacious en suite leading from the master bedroom, the couple began by knocking through walls in an existing extension and an adjoining annexe to make room for the extra bathroom. The floor level was not the same in the spaces that were combined to create the bathroom, so the existing floor screed had to be taken up and re-laid to ensure a flat, level surface for wood and tile coverings. This enabled the couple to move the soil drainage points and redesign the space to their own specifications, relocating the WC, basin and shower to create a wet room-style area. A pressurised hot water system was installed to ensure a steady flow of water throughout the house.

To meet the brief for a streamlined look, the couple enlisted the help of Nic Burchett of Lewis Charles Bathrooms in Redhill (01737 773792; Nic suggested using wall-hung fittings such as the WC and recessed flushplate to create a modern scheme and enhance the feel of floor space. A stud wall was built along the length of the space and behind the WC and shower enclosure. This allowed the pipework to be concealed and meant Nic was able to create a decorative niche area above the double basin unit with built-in spotlights.

Carefully placed ambient lighting runs throughout the scheme as a warm contrast to the dark units, worktop and storage cabinets. A soft glow can be created when bathing, but bright task lighting is available when required. LEDs were also fitted either side of the WC, on a separate circuit, so the couple can use these lights when using the space at night.

When it came to decorating the space, the couple wanted a dramatic but practical design scheme. As the room gets a lot of natural light during the day, the couple opted for a dark, moody scheme with a black double basin unit, which has storage beneath, black shimmer mosaic tiles for the wall next to the shower and along the bath and side of the basin unit, as well as a statement black radiator. The darker elements create a stylish contrast with the modern chrome taps, towel hooks and flushplate, as well as the long row of mirrored cabinets and the neutral-coloured porcelain tiles used on the walls and floor.

The cost:

Around £15,000 for fixtures and fittings, including installation.