Redesigning an en suite layout

Clever planning and a warm, modern scheme have given Linda and Steve Hogan's en suite bathroom a new lease of life

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With Steve commuting regularly from Buckinghamshire to Dorset, he and Linda began to think about moving home.

‘When this place came on to the market in 2012, we didn’t really like the look of the house from the outside,’ admits Linda, ‘but once we walked through the front door we fell in love with it.’

The couple liked the spacious rooms and the mature garden but could see there was work to be done to transform it into the stylish, modern home they wanted.

‘Steve and I have refurbished enough properties between us to be able to recognise very quickly what needed attention,’ Linda explains.

Fact file

  • The owners: Linda Hogan and her husband Steve, both directors of property letting companies, live here
  • The property: A five-bedroom 1950s detached house, which was extended in the 1990s
  • The location: Poole, Dorset
  • What they spent: The couple’s bathroom project cost around £25,000

The property

While there was nothing structurally wrong with the house, there were lots of things that needed tackling; all the radiators had noisy pumps attached, and the electrics had to be redone as the lighting in some of the rooms was poor. Shortly after moving in, all the pumps were taken out and a new Megaflo hot water system installed, with solar panels to heat the water. ‘After that we decided to live in the house for six months before doing anymore work to it so that we could plan a “to do” list and an order of priority,’ says Linda. ‘We knew that the bathrooms would be near the top of that list, however, as they were very dated, with fussy tiles and awkward layouts.’

The couple employed a local building company to work on the project with them, and in February of the following year, they moved out for three months so that everything could be done at once. The glazing in the windows was changed, with bi-fold doors fitted in the living room, and the house was decorated throughout.

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The old bathroom was dark and dated, with small, narrow windows, and a low privacy wall next to the WC

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bathroom-2

Two Catalano Verso washbasins with Cifial Techno mixers sit on top of the bespoke storage units next to a custom-made mirror with demisters, all from Ripples. The wall-hung Catalano Sfera WC is positioned in its original spot and, with the letterbox window above taken out, a fused glass wall panel by Lara Aldridge – brought from the couple’s previous home – fits perfectly within the space

Maximising space

Installing the new window meant that there wasn’t enough wall space to have mirrors above the basins, so the new design swapped the basin area with the bath to make the layout work better. The old scheme had a low privacy wall next to the WC, which was taken out to make the room feel lighter and more open. ‘It was completely unnecessary as the loo can’t really be seen from the bedroom,’ Linda explains. ‘It made the room feel enclosed.’

The large space meant the couple had room for a sizeable bath as well as double basins with storage underneath. ‘We did briefly explore the possibility of having a freestanding bath, but I have to admit that I just don’t like them,’ says Linda. ‘They are often too ornate and don’t work for me; I don’t like the ones that have over-elaborate feet and exposed pipework. I wanted a sleeker, streamlined design.’

A modern lighting scheme

With the heated towel rail placed centrally between the two shower areas and the floor tiles echoing the recess above, the room has a striking symmetrical feel. The lighting is on separate systems, with task lights in the ceiling and under-counter lighting around the basins and bath to create atmosphere at night. The shower lights also work independently, with additional LEDs in the recessed storage niches. ‘We considered putting a strip of LED lighting in the ceiling recess, but there is a vent in there for the heat recovery system that runs throughout the house, and we were concerned that it would cast a shadow, spoiling the effect,’ explains Linda. ‘The lights around the basins are on a sensor, so they come on automatically if we use the bathroom during the night.’

The room took two months to complete as part of the whole house refurbishment, and Linda and Steve are glad that they moved out while the work was taking place. With hindsight, the only other addition that the couple would have liked is a built-in laundry bin near the door, but instead they are currently considering having a bespoke design made to match the room scheme. ‘Renovating five bathrooms in one go was worth the upheaval though,’ says Linda, ‘and we absolutely love our new en suite, especially the double showers.’

The costs

Building work£11,000
Showers£3,408
Sanitaryware£3,117
Tiles£2,479
Furniture and mirror£1,892
Heating£1,696
Brassware£1,217
Window£480
TOTAL£25,289