The Dream Bathroom: a stylish transformation for the 21st Century

Janet and Christopher Wilkins turned an unused bedroom into a spa-like bathroom with an adjoining dressing room

large round bath in contemporary bathroom

When Janet and Christopher first moved into their new-build house in East Sussex in 2002, they loved its spacious feel and freshly decorated interior. However, after 14 years, the couple decided that it was time to update the bathrooms, which were showing signs of wear and tear. 

Project notes

The owners: Janet Wilkins, who works
in marketing, lives here with husband Christopher, who is retired
The property: A six-bedroom detached house, built in 2002, in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex
Total Project cost: £59,083

‘I’d always wanted my own dressing room so it was the perfect opportunity to rethink the layout of the first floor,’ Janet explains. ‘We sketched out plans to turn the existing en suite into a dressing area, accessed from our master bedroom, and decided to sacrifice one of the guest bedrooms to create a much larger en suite.’

‘We wanted to find a company that could design and project manage all the building trades on our behalf,’ she explains. ‘I came across The Brighton Bathroom Company and was impressed with its online reviews. We met with the designer, Louise Home, who was immediately on our wavelength and impressed us with her product knowledge and design flair, making suggestions we’d never have considered.’

dressing area leading to bathroom

(Image: © Chris Snook)

Bespoke fitted furniture from The Brighton Bathroom Company, painted the same shade as the vanity unit in the en suite, provides a luxury feel to Janet’s dressing room, with mirrored panels making the room appear larger and reflecting natural light; for a similar paint colour, try Wonderland from Crown


Installation: £15,758
Basins, marble vanity top and furniture: £15,736
Tiles: £9,815
Bath: £3,572
Shower fittings: £3,372
Lighting: £3,083
Radiators: £2,146
Shower tray: £1,411
Basin mixers: £1,231
WC: £858
Underfloor heating: £838
Accessories: £815
Shower screen: £658
Mirrors: £628

TOTAL: £59,083

The couple are convinced that choosing one firm to manage the refurbishment from conception through to completion was key to the success of their renovation project. 

Relocating the plumbing from the old en suite into the new bathroom and removing part of the wall to create a new doorway were the only aspects of the project that caused minor disruption to the couple. 

‘There’s always the inevitable dust and some noise; it’s to be expected,’ Janet says. ‘However, the builders were very considerate and always cleared up at the end of each day.’

With the large former guest bedroom allocated for the new en suite, Janet’s must-have item was a freestanding, oval- shaped bath that she’d seen in The Brighton Bathroom Company’s showroom. ‘It’s so sculptural and is really the centrepiece of the room,’ she adds. 

‘We’re not overlooked by any neighbouring houses, so it’s lovely to lie in the bath and look out across the tree line without the need for obscured glass in the windows.’

large round bath in a modern bathroom

(Image: © Chris Snook)

A freestanding oval-shaped bath was chosen as the real statement piece within the new bathroom. Zeus Correro bath, Ashton Bentley. PuraVida bath spout, Hansgrohe. Silk Georgette stone wall tiles and Wood White porcelain plank-effect floor tiles, The Brighton Bathroom Company. Quill towel radiators, from Bisque, are teamed with underfloor heating, from Warmup

A large walk-in shower was designed in a wet room style, with a clever dividing wall acting as a partition between the shower and bath. A bespoke glass screen
was installed, which contains the water without dividing the room in half. ‘I particularly like the alcoves that were built into the shower and dividing wall,’ Janet says. ‘There’s downlighting within the recesses, which adds subtle mood lighting, and they’re useful for storage.’

A detailed lighting plan, which was devised by designer Louise, includes a layered approach, with dimmable ceiling LEDs, recessed downlighters and traditional-style wall lights in both the bathroom and dressing room. 

contemporary shower area

(Image: © Chris Snook)

Raindance ceiling-mounted shower head with light and PuraVida hand shower, both Hansgrohe. Bespoke shower screen and wet room system, The Brighton Bathroom Company

Louise encouraged Janet to look at Pinterest, which helped with the final design details for both rooms. ‘I found the idea for the mirrored wardrobe door panels in a photo of a Manhattan flat, which was incorporated into the dressing room cupboard doors,’ says Janet. 

‘I love having a dressing room of my own and the built-in wardrobes give me all the storage space I need.’ Painting both the wardrobes and bespoke vanity unit in a lavender finish adds a colourful accent within the otherwise grey interior. 

double sink and bathrooms mirrors

(Image: © Chris Snook)

A marble countertop and period- style lighting add a touch of glamour to the en-suite. Bespoke vanity cabinet with Carrara marble top, plus Hansgrohe PuraVida basin mixers, and bespoke bevelled mirror, all from The Brighton Bathroom Company.

Now the dressing room and en suite are complete, Janet loves the calming, spa-like environment. ‘If I’ve had a busy day I just retreat up here and de-stress,’ she says. ‘The high-end tiles did take us over our initial budget, but I have no regrets. This isn’t just a bathroom, it’s my luxurious sanctuary and was a fantastic investment.’

large round bath in contemporary bathroom

(Image: © Chris Snook)

The large walk-in shower in a wet room style divides the space. Silver Chiffon ornate wall lights, Burlington. Ceiling downlights and shower area feature lights, The Light Works