Dated en suite redesigned

Holly Dorling and Andrew Johnson turned a dated en suite into a calming sanctuary with a relaxed, neutral palette

TODO alt text

‘When Andrew and I talked about setting up home together, I didn’t hesitate when he suggested I move into his house,’ says Holly. While the setting was perfect, house was built in the early 1990s. The interior was dated, so Holly agreed to help Andrew to modernise it.

Work started downstairs, first with a new kitchen and redecoration, followed by the main bathroom upstairs. However, the couple could see that the en suite to the main bedroom was not going to be a straightforward refit. Despite its good size, the long room felt small due to the sloping roof that ran the length of it.

The couple had worked with Martina Landhed from Instil Design on their main bathroom and were so pleased with the results that they asked her to help with their en suite. They also hired local builder Kevin Robertson again for the new project, following the success of the previous bathroom.

Fact file

The owners: Holly Dorling, who is a partner in a floristry business (, and her partner Andrew Johnson, an investments manager

The property: A detached modern house with four bedrooms

The location: Near Wantage, Oxfordshire

What they spent: The couple’s bathroom project cost around £25,000

‘I never thought it would be a space that I’d enjoy being in. Now it’s a welcoming retreat after a long day at work.’ Holly, homeowner


The bathroom before work began



Wall cabinets and the vanity unit are from Instil Design. The open shelving next to the Geberit Duofix frame and Cifial WC breaks up the solid look of the WC area. A sliding door glides behind the shower. Being made from frosted glass, it helps to introduce light into the dressing room beyond.


A vanity unit in Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball, with a Jura Grey limestone countertop, sits next to the shower. The matching mirror, Catalano X300 basin mixers and Astro Riva wall lamps are all from Instil Design.


‘Another of Martina’s smart ideas was to have two recesses in the shower: one visible for toiletries, and a more concealed one for the things we didn’t want on show, such as the shower glass cleaner and squeegee,’ sats Holly.

Featured image: The Pevensey heated towel rails are from Instil Design, along with the Slipp bath, Cifial 465 mixer, the mosaic tiles by Finwood Designs, and the Jura limestone flooring. The walls are painted in Bone by Farrow & Ball.

• The full feature – including stockists and more images – appears in the October 2015 issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.