Transforming an en suite bathroom

Imaginative shopping and creative use of space helped Debbie and Satnam Louis achieve a luxury bathroom within budget. By extending into unused storage space at the end of their existing en suite the couple have managed to create spacious room complete with twin basins and a freestanding bath.

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Imaginative shopping and creative use of space helped Debbie and Satnam Louis achieve a luxury bathroom within budget.

The problem

‘Our en suite was originally a small and dated space adjoining our master bedroom with a stud wall sectioned off at one end, which was used as a separate storage area. We’d already renovated the rest of the house and wanted a modern, light, luxurious bathroom in-keeping with the fresh, new look that we had across the rest of our home.’

Fact file

The owners: Debbie Louis and her husband Satnam, a dentist, live here with their daughters, Sophia, 11, and Jasmine, seven

What we did

‘We started renovating our home as soon as we moved in and the bathroom was one of the last big projects. We had some experience under our belts as we had already replaced the family bathroom, and although we didn’t set a firm budget, we were watching our funds carefully. At one stage, early on, we investigated the possibility of putting a bath in the master bedroom, which would have looked amazing. Unfortunately, all the existing plumbing was on one side of the house and we were advised that the pipework would be very complicated and expensive to move, so we had to re-think our plans and expectations.

‘Despite the setback, I was determined not to cut any corners. As it’s part of our master bedroom suite, I wanted this bathroom to offer everything in terms of facilities. We decided to scrap the storage area and take down the dividing wall to give us a long space with a wider middle section and narrower areas at each end.

‘Twin hand-basins were at the top of my list, because I liked the idea of having a place for my own toiletries. We also wanted a walk-in shower and an elegant, freestanding bath. Storage was another important factor as I like to keep plenty of towels and spare toiletries to hand.

‘We’d had some designs drawn up a couple of years before but since decided it wasn’t the optimum use of the space. The shower was initially going to be at the far end of the room, but that would have left a dead space at the other end, behind the door.

We realised it made much more sense to slot the shower enclosure behind the door and add extra storage at the other end.

‘We recycled a chest of drawers from our previous kitchen and I covered the glass fronts with wallpaper samples. The bath and washstand fit well in the wider central area. I had a vision of the big, double washstand with the two bowls for a long time. We designed it ourselves, with room for towels and cleaning materials inside. Our joiner made it from MDF, which was then painted and I found the well-priced granite worktop online.

‘I wanted oak flooring, but our builder was concerned about the weight on the joists. As our budget was under pressure, we opted for tiles around the bath, shower and basins, and pine floorboards at the other end. Once the boards were waxed, they looked lovely.

To make life easier, we bought all the sanitaryware from one place. The tiles came from a local warehouse store, and we chose white fittings and neutral tiles because we didn’t want them to date. To add a glamourous touch, I’ve accessorised with bright pink, which is easy enough to change, if I want to.

‘Our master bedroom was refurbished at the same time and the whole suite was finished in about four months. I love it here now, especially relaxing in the bath in the evening. It’s so peaceful, it’s my sanctuary.’

Costs

Labour£4,500
Fixtures & fittings£3,812
Walls & floors£750
Furniture & accessories£588
TOTAL£9,650