Bathroom case study: a glamorous en suite makeover

Sara and Mark Luter updated the master en suite bathroom in their period home using stylish fixtures and fittings and glamorous touches

‘When we bought our neighbour’s attached cottage three years ago, we undertook a huge renovation to convert the two separate homes into a single property,’ explains Sara.

‘The main bathrooms were updated as part of the project, but we left our en suite untouched as it was usable, if old-fashioned. It wasn’t until we started having issues with the fittings that we decided to look at new designs for the space.’

Sarah and Mark wanted to create a space that was extremely practical with plenty of storage, subtle lighting, underfloor heating and a towel rail in reaching distance of the shower. The couple decided to enlist the expertise of a local bathroom designer, Trevor Yeardye of Yeardye Luxury Bathrooms, to create the perfect layout and select the right products from a broad range of suppliers.

Fact file

The owners: Sara Luter, who works in marketing, and her husband Mark, a banker

The property: A six-bedroom detached period house, built in 1732

The location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

What they spent: The couple’s en suite project cost around £13,000

‘I love white and grey interiors and thought it would be the perfect palette for a fresh and tranquil bathroom.’ – Sarah


Although the bathroom had been renovated 15 years previously with expensive finishes, including a handmade marble basin and Jacuzzi bath, it looked old-fashioned and didn’t fit in with the rest of the house.


The shapely Nebbia natural stone tub from Clearwater has a raised base to make bathing more comfortable. Osborne & Little’s Peacock wallpaper, with its subtle shimmer, creates a glamorous backdrop


A custom-built shower cubicle by Theshowerlab was designed to fit under the exposed beams; it’s fitted with brassware by Zucchetti. The ceramic wall tiles, from Porcelanosa, have a subtle pattern that tones with the floor tiles and wallpaper



A coloured glass splashback from Safeguard Glass is fitted into the recessed shelf, and lights up in the evening for an atmospheric look. The brassware is from Zucchetti and the radiator is from Radox. Subtle lighting was an important part of the space so Trevor designed recessed shelves to be fitted next to the bath and in the shower enclosure, and then added LED lights. To support the voids, concrete lintels and pieces of timber were added to accommodate the depth of the light fittings. These were then plastered along with the rest of the room, and a shelf was added for a neat finish.


‘I love white and grey interiors and thought it would be the perfect palette for a fresh and tranquil bathroom. I didn’t want the space to feel too sterile so I chose a vanity from GSI with a driftwood finish, that adds warmth yet still feels modern,’ says Sara.



To minimise disruption, the en suite’s original layout was kept the same, but the airing cupboard door was relocated to create space for a towel radiator from Radox, and the cupboard itself was repurposed as bedroom storage.

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

Author & Stylist: Louise O’Bryan