Luxury open-plan master suite

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Sarah Bailey’s master bedroom features a dressing area and luxury bathroom overlooking the countryside.

Careful planning

The idea of creating a large sanctuary-style bedroom has always appealed to me,’ explains Sarah. ‘So I decided to take my time to plan the space over several years, so that I could achieve the room I had always wanted.’

After remodelling an existing bedroom and then adding a large extension on to her home, Sarah’s new open-plan master suite now houses not only a bedroom, but also a large dressing area with plenty of storage, and a luxury bathroom.

Fact file

The owners: Sarah Bailey lives here with her daughter, Megan, 10

‘Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that this clean and contemporary space used to have red walls, floral curtains and a big old iron bedstead, which were all very traditional and not to my taste,’ she recalls. ‘I’d always dreamt about how I wanted this room to be, so when it eventually came to taking the plunge and starting the work, I did it in such a way that I was creating much more than a bedroom,’ adds Sarah. ‘I wanted a relaxing suite with a balcony overlooking the beautiful countryside that would also work as another living space, and somewhere that I could come and spend time.’

A new double-height extension has enlarged an existing bedroom, and the new space used for a combined master bedroom, bathroom and dressing room

A new double-height extension has enlarged an existing bedroom, and the new space used for a combined master bedroom, bathroom and dressing room

Changing the space

Although Sarah’s stylish and spacious master suite is testament to her own ideas and design inspiration, she also looked to the rural setting of her north Somerset home to influence the scheme. Keen to make the most of the stunning countryside vistas to provide wow-factor and ‘natural decoration’, Sarah felt that large picture windows were a must.

When it came to designing the layout of the room and deciding how much floor space to allocate to each area, she called on the help of designer William Fox of Cymru Kitchens. ‘It was when the planning for the extension had been approved and building had started that I originally found Cymru Kitchens, which was recommended to me by a friend,’ she explains.

A split-level extension has created extra space to transform the existing master suite into a luxurious open-plan befroom, dressing room and bathroom with a view

A split-level extension has created extra space to transform the existing master suite into a luxurious open-plan befroom, dressing room and bathroom with a view

Finding design solutions

‘William completed the revamp of the main family bathroom, and I liked it so much that I asked him to help me create the next part of the extension, which was turning what used to be the master bedroom into the large dressing area, bedroom and en suite.’ Unfortunately for Sarah, the project wasn’t all plain sailing, as in order to gain extra space, a two-storey extension was required, creating a double garage on the ground floor at the same time. However, the local planning officer restricted Sarah’s initial plans.

‘He insisted that the new roof was subservient to the existing one, meaning that the original plans were compromised, with a lack of ceiling height upstairs,’ she recalls. ‘However, what was initially a stumbling block worked to my advantage.’

Sarah’s forward-thinking builders worked with her to set the garage slightly lower than it had originally been designed, retaining the much-needed ceiling height in the first-floor extension. ‘It just meant that there was always going to be a step down in the master suite,’ she explains.

open plan bedroom with bath

Chrome touches throughout, such as the Biava heated towel rails, give a contemporary feel. The wall-hung WC is from Roca

Interior design

Flooring has also been cleverly used to define areas, with sleek walnut strips positioned where a wall or door might otherwise be located, dividing areas visually without impacting on the space. Using carpet in the dressing and sleeping areas, in contrast to the tiled flooring in the bathroom, also helps to set the spaces apart, in a practical and a design sense.

‘There are lots of other very subtle design choices that all contribute to the clutter-free, streamlined look of the space,’ explains William. ‘Sarah ultimately wanted it to have a luxury hotel look and feel, and we wanted to reinforce that through the sweeping surface of the worktops as well as the standalone bath, which is the ultimate indulgence.’

Fortunately, Sarah and her daughter didn’t have to move out while the work was carried out, and used the main bathroom instead. ‘The whole project was pain-free and relatively easy to live through while the work was done,’ says Sarah, who took on the furnishing aspect of the room herself, sourcing fabrics, blinds and seating for the new space.

walk in shower and dressing room

The finished room

‘William also helped me to create the perfect bedroom, dressing area and bathroom, with ample storage and custom design features,’ she explains. ‘Even the bed is a bespoke creation.’

The spacious, open-plan bathroom is not to everyone’s taste, says Sarah, ‘but I love the fact that there are no walls or feeling of boundaries. I wanted the space to be somewhere to relax in and spend time, so why would I start adding walls?’

In terms of fulfilling her own personal design brief of creating a grown-up sanctuary where she can relax, Sarah feels that she has more than succeeded.

‘The space is reminiscent of boutique-hotel style and gives me the feeling of being in a luxurious suite, especially with the freestanding bath, television and seating area,’ she explains.

‘Rather than looking at it as two separate entities – a bathroom and a bedroom – I see it as somewhere that I can spend time relaxing, watching television, chatting to my daughter and enjoying the lovely space we’ve created. It’s almost like another living room.’

The costs

Bedroom furniture£14,200
Building/fitting£4,400
Soft furnishings£3,500
Shower unit and bath£3,000
Tiles£2,500
Basins and worktops£1,290
WC£607
Towel rails£540
TOTAL£30,037

The contacts

Featured image: An Elysee freestanding bath from Bristan has been positioned in front of a large picture window, making the most of the beautiful Somerset scenery. Cymru Kitchens designed the elevated vanity unit with a contrasting walnut and stone finish