Scandinavian-style master suite makeover

A memorable hotel stay inspired Emma and Mark Boulton when it came to creating their own master bedroom suite in a Scandinavian style

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‘When Mark and I started thinking about redecorating our master bedroom and en suite, we hadn’t really considered what could be possible in terms of changing the layout or design style,’ says Emma. Having already tackled the modernisation of their kitchen, utility, dining room and snug, as well as updating their daughters’ bedrooms, the master suite was the finishing touch in renovating their four-bedroom cottage.

Luckily for the Boultons, the previous owners had extended the cottage to create a generous en suite and master bedroom. ‘They provided a good skeleton on which to build,’ says Emma. ‘It just wasn’t to our taste.’

‘We started looking online for local companies and found Dorian and Babette Bowen of Project One,’ says Mark. ‘We were drawn to them as we felt they knew how to combine a modern design with a period property.’

The designers provided the couple with plenty of ideas for reconstructing the space, drawing on the Boultons’ memories of a hotel in Geneva that they’d stayed in. ‘It had wonderfully simple rooms, and they worked so well,’ recalls Mark. ‘Plus, we both love Scandinavian design, so that was a heavy influence for the colours and accessories.’

One of the couple’s requirements was to somehow include a walk-in wardrobe. Project One worked with sketches of Mark’s initial concepts, concealing the hanging space behind a floating wall. The couple decamped to the spare bedroom for four months while the work was carried out.

Fact file

The owners: Emma Boulton, a research director, and husband Mark, a design director, live here with their daughters Alys, eight, and Nansi, five

The property: An extended four-bedroom farmworkers’ cottage built in the late 18th century in Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan

Project cost: £30,000

‘We couldn’t be happier with the end result,’ – Emma, homeowner

scandinavian style master bedroom suite with recessed shelving

Recessed shelving provides space for a television and ornaments without impacting the design of the room. Sculpture, Bill Gordon

scandinavian style master bedroom suite almost frameless shower

A semi-frameless Simpsons glass screen and Revive shower, both by Crosswater, offer a rainfall experience. The wall-mounted tall boy by Project One is Xylocleaf, like the wardrobe

‘The bath is the main focal point. There is nothing quite like relaxing in the tub, listening to music on the Sonos surround-sound system.’

scandinavian style master bedroom suite wardrobe space behind bed

The storage area has hanging space on one side, and drawers and shelving on the other, and was custom made to match the en suite furniture. ‘We loved the idea of making this part of the bedroom without detracting from the space or spoiling the view of the surrounding countryside,’ he says.

The dark oak of the wardrobe fixtures and fittings brings warmth and depth to the space, while vintage-style wall lights on either side of the bed add an extra dimension. ‘Design details, such as the tongue-and-groove panelling and back-lit wall, really bring it to life,’ he adds.

scandinavian style master bedroom en suite monochrome

The Italian, two-person stone bath was their most indulgent purchase. ‘It was pricey,’ she admits. ‘The floor needed reinforcing to take its weight. We always knew there would be one item we had to decide to go for or not, and this was it.’

The Picasso bath by Lusso has a Crosswater Mike Pro bath/shower mixer. Toulouse basin, Victorian Plumbing. Abacus Vessini Opaz WC, Plumb Nation.Limestone floor, Mandarin Stone

scandinavian style master bedroom suite metal bed timber wall cladding grey

A tongue-and-groove panelled floating wall creates space for a walk-in wardrobe behind. Varying tones of contemporary grey paint – Vintage Chandelier and Perfectly Taupe, both by Dulux – add depth and soften the overall look.

Throws and cushions, House Envy. Faux fur blanket, John Lewis

The contacts

Design: Project One, 029 2140 6283,

Flooring: Mandarin Stone

Brassware: Crosswater

  • The full feature appears in the May 2016 issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.