If you don't already have one, then these bathroom en-suite ideas will have you adding it to your must have reno list for 2021. You may think it tricky to add an en-suite to your space if you haven't got much room to work with, or if you have an awkwardly shaped space (or both), however, even the most unlikely of corners and loft spaces can make perfect en-suites...
From open plan en-suite bathrooms to more traditional looks, compact setups and more, keep scrolling to help bring more function – and a little luxury – to your home this year. And for more bathroom ideas be sure to take a look at our marvelous feature. Find more information on how to add an ensuite to another room on our dedicated page too.
1. Consider where your ensuite will work best
Before you get carried away with the fun part of decorating your ensuite, consider where it will actually be situated and how that will impact the existing space.
'When adding an ensuite to a bedroom, it’s essential that you put a lot of careful thought into where to situate it. First, visualize how much room you’re willing to sacrifice.
If you find it difficult to give up a significant amount of space without heavily impacting your sleeping area, you may have to rethink your plans. Next, make a floor plan and carefully start selecting components to fit within it. Be sure take pipework and windows into account as needing to resituate them will lead to extra costs.' says George Holland, design expert at Victorian Plumbing (opens in new tab).
2. Opt for streamlined sanitaryware
'As ensuites tend to be a fair bit smaller than master bathrooms, carefully chosen sanitaryware is key to making the most of your available space. If yours is particularly cramped, we recommend opting for a clever toilet and sink combination unit to keep things as open and airy as possible.' continues George.
Opting for streamlined sanitaryware in an en-suite is a practical option that maximizes space while giving a bathroom a sleek and contemporary feel – a countertop basin with a simple silhouette is both a practical and stylish example. For more gorgeous modern bathroom ideas, check out our gallery.
3. Maximize awkward spaces
En-suite bathrooms, particularly those in a loft conversions, can be small, awkward spaces with tricky angles. It's important to plan your en-suite effectively in order to maximize space and come up with design solutions that tackle awkward angles.
Transforming an en-suite into a wet room can be a great way of tackling this issue as it allows the installation of a simple shower screen (rather than a fitted shower unit), ensuring that awkward spaces are utilized effectively. If this idea takes your fancy go and have a read of our guide to wet room design.
4. Make an ensuite feel like an extension of your bedroom
When designing an en-suite, it can be a good idea to opt for a scheme that complements the adjoining rooms. This creates a sense of flow and continuity through the spaces, making them feel connected and well-considered.
'Choose a deeper shade of the wall color in the adjoining room for your en-suite so it looks individual but still connected.' suggests Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux (opens in new tab). 'For example, you could have beautiful soft grey Polished Pebble in the bedroom and a slightly deeper soft grey like Chic Shadow in the en-suite.'
5. Consider opening up a space with a doorless frame
If you want to create an open feel between a bedroom and en-suite bathroom, consider choosing a doorless frame. This can help enhance the feeling of continuity between the two spaces, particularly when similar colors run through the schemes of both spaces.
6. Or go for the two room option
If you are able, using the room next door to your bedroom can be a great option. It allows you to have some privacy whilst still retaining that ensuite feel. You can link the two spaces visually, choose one color key color and thread it through both rooms.
Using the same flooring throughout creates a flow too and using brass light fittings in both rooms give the look a cohesive feel.
7. Create the illusion of space with an open plan design
A minimalist, open-plan scheme is a great option in a small bathroom design or en-suite, creating the illusion of a space that's large and light. Consider installing a recessed wall unit during the process of designing a bathroom, as this maximizes space and makes for an effective bathroom storage solution.
8. Create an ensuite 'zone' in your bedroom
If your ensuite is going to be within the same room as your bed, then you can make a complete design statement by choosing a look that’s totally stand out.
It’s a way to zone the bathroom space so it has its own identity and gives you the freedom to choose those pricey tiles you’ve yearned after for months - a smaller space means you don’t need as many, so that will keep the costs down!
This ensuite is also a great example of how to create a modern look - keep the fixtures and fittings sleek and minimal, no clutter allowed folks!
9. Optimize storage with built-in units
If maximizing storage is essential in your en-suite, it may be worth considering a built-in or bespoke storage unit – we'd recommend opting for a sleek and minimalist style to prevent an en-suite from feeling boxy. No space? An under-the-sink storage unit can fulfill most storage needs in a small ensuite.
10. Create a partition between your bedroom and en-suite with the addition of a stylish glass screen
A floor–to–ceiling glass screen can make for a stylish option if you're adding an en-suite and are concerned that doing so will compromise natural light within a space. Plus, patterned floor tiles help create flow between the two spaces.
11. Choose tiles that complement a space
Take time to consider a tile scheme that complements your en-suite bathroom – particularly if it's an awkward shape. We are obsessed with scalloped tiles at the moment! We have loads of inspiration for tile patterns and design ideas over in our gallery too so go and take a look if you want to recreate a similar look.
12. Go colourful and eclectic with a fun wallpaper
Enhance your en-suite visually with a colorful wallpaper. A particularly good option for loft en-suites, since the wallpaper, withdraw attention from the awkward shape of the room.
You can go bold with your choice too, don't let the fact you are working with a small space let you be deterred, a wallpaper that has a lot going on can actually visually expand the room.
13. Embrace a monochrome colour scheme
En-suites tend to be small spaces, and using color contrasts is a good way to make them seem larger. Check out more similar designs in our black bathroom ideas gallery.
14. Choose a small (but statement) freestanding bath
Didn't think your en-suite could fit an elegant freestanding tub? Think again. There are so many models out there that are made for small spaces. Just look at this gorgeous little bath from Albion Baths (opens in new tab), the Tubby Too is only 147cm long!
15. Go for an all white colour scheme for a fresh look
Is there anything more Instagrammable that an all white room with a couple of stylish house plants? We don't think so, and it's a really easy look to achieve, especially in a bathroom where most of the essentials are obviously white.
Make the space slightly less clinical with greenery and choose hardware – things like handles, taps, showerheads – in gold, silver or even black to create a bit of contrast. You could also add color with a cute bath mat.
16. Create a traditional feel in an ensuite
Ensuites can be the epitome of glamour – they are not just for minimalists! You can invoke a traditional style bathroom too – how about having a chandelier in yours? And parquet flooring? Tick! You can create a look like this even if your home is a new build - choose architectural elements like paneling and choose a classic bateau bath and period style wall mounted towel rail. As before, keeping your color scheme similar in both rooms will keep it cohesive, especially if you want the rooms to link.
17. Add an ensuite into an alcove in a loft bedroom
If you have a loft bedroom, it can be tricky working out how to fit in an en suite. This is such a fab idea though, use the eaves, the sections that might otherwise go unused.
Just plan your bathroom around the proportions, for example a bath where the ceiling in lowest to create a cozy feel and a shower at the tallest part of the room. If you want more en suite ideas, take a tour of this bungalow transformation what has been fitted into that small space is amazing.
For advice on loft conversion costs and planning check out our in-depth feature.
18. Bring a statement bath into your bedroom
Dreamed of having a deep tub to soak in in your ensuite? If you cant squeeze one into the space, why not bring the bath out into your bedroom – a statement freestanding bath brings a luxurious hotel vibe and you can still have your toilet, sink and shower out of sight in your adjoining ensuite.
19. Conceal an ensuite behind a panelled wall
If you are after ways to disguise your ensuite entrance, adding in a wall of paneling with a hidden door is a perfect way to do so. It looks lovely, perfect for a more traditional bedroom, plus it means your bedroom isn't broken up by a doorway and you still have seamless walls.
20. Add depth with dark greens and plenty of plants
Painting your ensuite is a super quick update that doesn't require a remodel and you can DIY on a budget. If you want to add a bit of drama we say go with a rich deep forest green. Perhaps not a color you would use on all four walls of your bedroom, but in a small space like an ensuite, it works perfectly. Add even more of that depth with complimenting houseplants too.
21. Build in handy storage
Bathroom storage in an ensuite can be tricky to fit in, but it is an essential if you want to create a practical, clutter free space. Therefore it's worth thinking about clever storage from the get go.
When designing your ensuite, build in handy nooks like you can see here – a place to store even just a couple of toiletries within the wall will save you having to add a caddy which, one, we don't always love the look of and two, will just take up valuable space.
22. Expand your space with a mirrored tub
If you could see our faces reflected in that gorgeous bath, we would be drooling. What a stunning tub. But just in case you needed to further justify your purchase of a silver bath, they are a practical buy for a small ensuite because, as you can see here, it's almost camouflaged into the space.
There's no bulkiness prevent the flow of light, in fact, this bath adds more light and the reflection of the floor tiles creates the illusion of a bigger room too.
23. Go statement with your floor tiles
Speaking of floor tiles, they can be a great way to add pattern to your ensuite. If you want to keep the walls of your bathroom pretty neutral, you can look to the floor to bring in the style and color.
If your ensuite is on the smaller side, we would always recommend going for bigger tiles with a larger pattern – anything too small and fussy could make the room feel smaller.
You can check out our small bathroom tile ideas for plenty more tips.
24. Contrast tiles and statement wallpaper
Splitting up your walls like this is a great hack for ensuites and smaller bathroom as it can create the impression of more height. Loving the bold color combo here, and don't be afraid to use a busy wallpaper in your ensuite, just keep the lower tiles simple so as not to overwhelm the room.
25. Be brave with color
A big trend for 2021 is moving away from classic all white bathrooms and bring color into the space. Not just with decor and accessories but the actual sanitary ware too.
Now if you aren't feeling quite brave enough to go bold in your family bathroom, an ensuite can be the perfect room to get more experimental.
'Personality of a homeowner is coming across more and more in bathroom design through the use of color and customized products. We aren’t seeing stark white bathrooms anymore, instead colour is at the forefront through a combination of brassware, paint and even colored ceramics.' says Sally Cutchie Marketing Manager at BC Designs/Bayswater (opens in new tab).
Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux (opens in new tab) agrees:' Small rooms deserve to have a little attention lavished on them just as much as you do. Rich, gutsy ‘in your face(cloth)’ shades on the walls will wrap around you like a soft fluffy towel and you can include the ceiling in your plans if you want to accentuate the feeling of being warmly embraced.'
Do you need planning permission for an ensuite bathroom?
If you are adding an ensuite to a part of your house that already exists, say dividing up a bedroom to create one, you won't need planning permission. However, if your home is listed, you will need planning permission to change the layout of your home and the configuration of the rooms.
Adding a new ensuite will also need to comply with building regulations so double-check those too.
How much does it cost to add an ensuite bathroom?
This can vary on the size of your ensuite, the quality of sanitary ware you choose and the decor too, but on average, adding an ensuite costs around £3000. This can also change based on where you want your ensuite to be and if any waste pipes need to be moved.