A new-look bedroom with an en suite

As part of a whole house renovation project, Claire and Jason Reynolds have created a luxurious space with an en suite shower room.

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As part of a whole house renovation project, Claire and Jason Reynolds have created a luxurious space with an en suite shower room.

Claire ReynoldsFact file

The owners: Claire Reynolds, an events marketing officer, and her husband Jason, a graphic designer, live here with their son Henri, eight, and daughter Georgia, 15 months
The property: A four-bedroom detached house built in the 1930s
The location: Woodford Green, Essex
What they spent: The project cost around £13,900

It was clear when we bought the house that it hadn’t been decorated in years, so every room was in need of modernisation,’ says Claire. When she and her husband Jason moved in, their first job was to redesign their bedroom.

‘As long as I could retreat to my own space, I knew I’d be able to put up with the upheaval of any building work in other parts of the house,’ says Claire.

Although the master bedroom was a good spacious size, the layout didn’t work because its large fitted wardrobes made it feel cramped and dark.

Claire and Jason ripped out all the old fitted furniture and stripped it of its textured pink wallpaper so they could view the room as a shell and work out how to reconfigure the space.

‘It was quite a job ripping out that fitted furniture because there was so much of it,’ says Claire. ‘We filled a skip – but it was all out by the end of the day.’

With the space all cleared, the couple wondered if there would be room to include an en suite in the redesign.

‘We’ve always wanted a bedroom with an en suite, so we asked an architect friend if it would work in this space,’ says Claire. ‘He thought it would and we asked him to draw up plans for us.’

The couple decided to have a shower room en suite in the corner of the space that had once been dominated by the fitted wardrobes, then they would work the rest of the bedroom layout around that.

‘The shower room needed to be as compact as possible, so that it didn’t feel as if we’d compromised any space in the bedroom,’ Claire explains.

Once the plans were complete, they called in builders to erect partition walls to separate the en suite from the rest of the bedroom space. With the main bathroom located just next door, there was no problem putting in new plumbing.

Claire and Jason chose a compact corner shower enclosure to make the most of the space, with a slimline WC and space-saving basin. They also decided to lay contrasting large ceramic wall and floor tiles to create an illusion of space in the en suite.

‘Although it’s quite compact, we have everything we need in this space and it really works for us,’ says Claire.

As there was still plenty of available space in the main bedroom area, their next step was to think about how to introduce storage into the room.

‘With the en suite in place, we were able to see where our new wardrobes could go and started thinking about different styles and designs,’ says Claire. ‘We wanted a contemporary look, so we called in a Sharps (sharps.co.uk) bedroom designer.’

The designer showed them its high gloss bedroom range, which they thought was perfect – they chose a soft vanilla finish for the doors and opted for a push-door system without handles for a streamlined look.

The fitters came two weeks later to install the wardrobes. ‘I was so pleased once they were in place,’ says Claire. ‘They provide a lot more storage space than we had imagined, plus their reflective finish makes the room seem lighter.’

Claire and Jason decided on a soft ivory carpet for the flooring to add a cosy yet luxurious feel. As Claire explains: ‘We didn’t want anything darker as it would have closed in the space.’

The couple didn’t want the bedroom scheme to be too feminine, preferring instead to create a luxurious style.

‘That’s why we went for a black and white colour scheme on the walls,’ Claire explains. ‘We made several visits to a local interior design shop before we finally chose the wallpaper for our feature wall, which provides the wow-factor we wanted.

‘It was expensive, but we only needed three rolls and thought it was worth the investment,’ she adds.

Claire also wanted to make a feature of the bay window, choosing black velvet fabric for long sweeping curtains.

The focal point of the bedroom is a stylish leather bed that the couple were given as a wedding present, so they just needed to buy the remaining furniture. Claire spotted a mirrored chest and wall mirror that she thought was perfect for the new scheme. Two mirrored bedside tables and a distressed silver chandelier were ideal finishing touches.

‘We love the mirrored furniture because it bounces light around the room and makes it feel more spacious,’ says Claire.

‘We’re so pleased with the new look,’ she adds. ‘It has taken four months of hard work. We had to use our smaller spare room as a bedroom while ours was being redesigned, but now we have the luxurious space that we’ve always wanted.’


Furniture and accessories£4,948
Fixtures and fittings£4,086
Walls and flooring£1,249