Expert Tips and Ideas for Designing En-Suites

Published by: Kevin Sears

28th September 23

Bathroom Ideas

Reading Time: 11 mins 52 secs

One of the most popular ways to bring a sense of luxury to a home is to have an en-suite bathroom installed in a bedroom. Not only is an en-suite incredibly luxurious, but it is also incredibly convenient, as it is just a small trip from the bed to the bathroom. 

Luckily, you have come to just the right place. We’re going to show you exactly how to design an en-suite, and all of the things you need to consider to get it just right. 

En Suite Bathroom Ideas: Innovative Designs for Modern Homes

Considering the Essentials

Start by selecting the right toilet for your en-suite. Wall-mounted models work well in small spaces, as they can conceal the cistern and free up floor space. 

If you’re after the latest tech and are building a super modern and luxurious en suite, consider a smart or Japanese toilet - they’re self cleaning, incredibly hygienic and offer different flushing options for a more personal touch. 

Next, focus on the basin. A countertop basin with a simple silhouette can make your en-suite look sleek and contemporary while being practical. Pedestal and wall-mounted basins are also great for smaller spaces, as they leave the floor area visible, creating the illusion of more room.

When it comes to choosing a shower, consider the size and layout of your en-suite. Opt for a compact shower enclosure or a walk-in shower design, depending on your preference and available space. Frameless glass enclosures can help create a sense of openness, while sliding or bi-fold doors save space by not opening into the room. Go one step further and build your very own wet room - a watertight sanctuary where you can free up space without the need for doors.

If possible, include a bath for ultimate relaxation. Freestanding bathtubs can be an opulent addition to larger en-suites, while built-in baths with shower attachments are space-saving solutions for smaller areas. 

Incorporate mirrors into your en-suite design not only for practicality but also to enhance the sense of space. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors can visually expand a room, while illuminated or anti-fog options add functionality. There’s also the option of mirrored cabinets - another great way to save space on your walls and benefit from a two-in-one function. 

Select a stylish sink and taps to complete your en-suite. You can opt for push button shower mixers for optimal minimalism and even cascading shower heads for a real statement of luxury. Opt for slimline sinks if you're short on space, and choose taps with a finish that coordinates with other fixtures in the room, such as towel rails and lighting.

Optimising the Floor Space

Firstly, consider incorporating a shower enclosure to make efficient use of the available space. Opt for a sliding door,folding door or wet room to avoid taking up extra room when opening and closing the enclosure.

Another great idea to optimise your floor space is opting for wall-mounted features. These include wall-mounted toilets and sinks, which can create a sense of more open space and maintain a clean and contemporary look in your small bathroom.

Sliding pocket doors are an excellent choice for creating a seamless connection between the bedroom and en suite bathroom. They not only save space compared to traditional swing doors but also contribute to a more streamlined appearance.

For storage options in your small en suite bathroom, tall wall cabinets ample storage without protruding too much into the room. Their slim profile and vertical design keep the space uncluttered while offering a stylish and functional solution.

Remember, the key to optimising the floor space in your en suite bathroom is to focus on smart design choices and functional storage solutions while maintaining a cohesive and harmonious connection with your bedroom. By considering these suggestions, you'll be able to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing en suite that utilises every inch of floor space.

Amplifying Light and Space

Harnessing natural light and using specific design features will help you achieve a bright and spacious feel in your bathroom.

To begin with, make the most of any available natural light. Maximise the sunlight coming through windows or skylights by keeping window treatments minimal. If privacy is a concern, opt for translucent blinds or frosted glass that still allow light to filter in.

Incorporating mirrors in your en-suite is an effective way to amplify light and create the illusion of more space. Place a large mirror above the sink or vanity unit, or consider a full-length mirror on one wall. The reflections will bounce light throughout the room, making it feel larger and more open - genius!

Using white tiles on the walls or floor is another strategy for creating a more spacious feel. The clean, bright surface reflects light and gives the room a fresh, airy appearance. You may also want to consider large-format tiles that will reduce the number of grout lines, making the space look more expansive.

When it comes to the walls, choose light colours that will not only reflect light but also visually expand the room. Soft greys or pastels can create a tranquil atmosphere, while a bold accent wall in a deeper hue can add interest without overwhelming the space.

Finally, consider using glass walls or partitions in your en-suite to maintain an open and airy feel. This can be particularly effective for the shower area, as it eliminates visual barriers and allows light to flow freely throughout the space. A frameless glass shower screen or door can contribute to the minimalist aesthetic, further enhancing the illusion of a larger room.

Choosing Your Style

Remember, your en-suite is an extension of your bedroom, so selecting a design that complements your bedroom's aesthetics is essential.

Start by considering the luxury aspect of your en-suite. If you're aiming for a high-end, spa-like feel, think about incorporating lavish materials such as marble, high-quality tiles, and premium brassware. 

Neutral tones and clean lines will also lend a sense of sophistication to the space.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more homely and inviting ambiance, consider using warm colour schemes, combined with soft lighting and cosy textures. Don't shy away from mixing patterns and styles to create a unique and personalised environment - check out our blog on monochrome bathroom designs to help draw inspiration.

Your choice of colour scheme will significantly impact the overall vibe of your en-suite. Light and bright colours like whites, creams, and pastels can make the space seem larger and more open. Pair these with contrasting, darker decorative accents for a balanced look. Alternatively, you can opt for bold colours and intricate patterns to inject personality and character into your en-suite bathroom.

The selection of brassware, such as taps, showerheads, and other fixtures, is an essential element in shaping the style of your en-suite. Decide whether you want modern and streamlined pieces, or something more traditional and ornate. 

Brushed brass fittings, for example, can add warmth and elegance, while chrome and steel options offer a sleek, contemporary feel. We have a full range of steel baths so this might be a great place to start.

Making the Most of Storage

Making the Most of Storage

When it comes to your en-suite bathroom, making the most of your storage options is essential for maintaining a tidy and well-organised space. Here are a few tips to help you maximise the potential of your bathroom storage:

  • consider incorporating built-in storage solutions into your en-suite bathroom. This could include recessed shelves, cabinets, or even a niche in the shower area.
  • Vanity units are multifunctional pieces of furniture that not only provide a surface for your basin, but also offer storage in the form of drawers or cupboards beneath the sink. 
  • Pocket doors - these clever space-saving doors slide into the wall cavity, rather than swinging out into the room, freeing up valuable floor space and allowing more room for additional storage solutions. 
  • Floating shelves can be both stylish and functional, providing a space to display decorative items or store additional bathroom items. 

The Finishing Touches

Let's take a look at some of the details that can help elevate your en-suite bathroom:

Choose a freestanding bath to make a statement in your en-suite bathroom. These versatile baths not only provide an elegant centrepiece but also offer a comfortable space for relaxation. Choose materials that complement the design theme of your space - opt for stone if it’s a nature-based theme or brushed brass for an elegant, modern space.

You should also consider your choice of fixtures. From the push button shower mentioned earlier, to two way mixers, thermostatic shower taps and the added option of spouts to fill the bath. There’s even the option of overflow fillers that both fill the bath and prevent overflowing - who knew there was such a big world of taps?!

When it comes to your shower, choose an option that caters to everybody in your household. Wet rooms are ideal for people with limited mobility, walk-in showers are great for smaller spaces, and sliding door showers are ideal for those who are keen on privacy and intimacy. 

Considerations for Small Bathrooms

When designing your small bathroom or en suite, it's essential to consider how to maximise the available space. By focusing on smart storage solutions, clever layouts, and selecting the right fixtures and fittings, you can create a fully functional and stylish bathroom that feels larger than it actually is.

Firstly, consider opting for a corner shower instead of a traditional rectangular unit. This can save valuable floor space while still providing the same level of functionality. A wall or ceiling -mounted shower head and a built-in shelf for toiletries can further enhance the efficiency of the space.

When it comes to choosing the perfect toilet for your small bathroom, consider a wall-hung toilet. Not only does it offer a sleek and modern look, but it also frees up floor space and makes cleaning easier. Pairing this with a wall-hung vanity unit can further enhance the sense of space in your small bathroom.

Storage is essential in any small space, including bathrooms. Opt for multifunctional storage solutions such as mirrored cabinets, which serve as both storage and a mirror, saving space on your walls. Additionally, consider choosing a vanity unit with built-in storage to keep the bathroom clutter-free and organised.

Don't forget about the importance of lighting in your small bathroom. A combination of natural light and carefully chosen artificial lighting can make the room feel more spacious and inviting. Soft, ambient lighting can provide a relaxing atmosphere and make your bathroom feel like a sanctuary, while task lighting around mirrors and vanity areas can help make the space more functional.

By keeping these considerations in mind when designing your small bathroom or en suite, you can create a practical, stylish, and enjoyable space that maximises every inch.

Incorporating Unique Features

Adding unique features can truly elevate your en-suite bathroom design. Here are some ideas that can help to create a stunning and functional space.

Consider incorporating a feature wall to make a bold statement and draw the eye in. This can be achieved with striking wallpaper, a contrasting paint colour, or even intricate tiling. You could even choose to emphasise the area behind your basin or create a focal point in your walk-in shower. To make it truly unique, use a statement showerhead, add a built-in bench or incorporate some eye-catching tiles.

If you want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, consider using wood panelling. This versatile design choice can be applied to walls, floors, or even the ceiling. Choose from various wood types and finishes to suit your taste. It is important to ensure that the wood is properly sealed to prevent damage from moisture over time.

Lastly, the use of marble tiles can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to your en-suite bathroom. Use them on floors, walls, or even as a countertop for your basin. They come in a range of colours and patterns, so you can find the perfect match for your design theme.

By combining some of these unique features, you can tailor your en-suite bathroom to reflect your style and make the most of the available space.

Selecting the Right Materials

When planning your en suite bathroom, it's essential to choose the right materials for flooring, walls, and other surfaces. These materials should be durable, stylish, and suitable for a damp environment.

For your flooring, you have several options to consider. Floor tiles, such as porcelain or ceramic, are popular choices due to their water resistance and durability. 

Alternatively, you can opt for luxury vinyl flooring, which offers a more comfortable underfoot experience while still being water-resistant. Concrete is another option that can create an industrial, modern look for your en suite bathroom. Ensure that whatever material you choose provides both slip resistance and easy maintenance.

When it comes to your walls, you need to choose materials that can withstand humidity and moisture. Wall tiles made from ceramic or porcelain are excellent choices for this purpose. They come in numerous designs and colours, allowing for a personalised look. Besides, you can also consider glass or acrylic panels for a sleek and contemporary finish that's easy to clean.

Do not neglect your en suite's shower area, where moisture resistance is of ultimate importance. Wall tiles are the most common choice for shower enclosures, as they can handle water exposure and still look stunning. You can also opt for solid surface materials or waterproof boarding for a seamless, grout-free finish. Don’t forget that you can opt for a waterproof membrane that is easily inserted under the tiles and adhesive - this will give you complete peace of mind as it is 100% waterproof.

Finally, consider the materials for your bathroom countertops, sinks, and vanities. These should be chosen based on their durability and resistance to water and staining. Materials like granite, marble, or quartzite offer a sturdy and elegant solution for these surfaces. At 34 St John, we offer BeyondStone - the ultimate luxurious stone-like material that offers texture, beauty and resilience all in one.

Attentiveness to Lighting

When designing your en-suite bathroom, lighting plays a crucial role in creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your en-suite bathroom lighting.

  • Consider incorporating ambient, task, and accent lighting in your bathroom. Ambient lighting provides a general illumination, while task lighting focuses on specific areas, such as the vanity, and accent lighting highlights particular features like artwork.
  • Ensure you choose lighting units that are suitable for bathrooms, as they need to withstand humidity and potential water splashes. Be mindful of the zones and IP ratings when selecting your lighting fixtures to guarantee safety and functionality.
  • To maintain a harmonious flow between your bedroom and en-suite, opt for a similar colour scheme in both spaces. This unity can extend to the lighting design, making the transition between the areas feel seamless.
  • Unique lighting features can elevate your en-suite's design, and you might want to consider something like a shimmery gold feature wall with complementary fixtures to add an element of glamour to your space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective small en suite bathroom layouts?

Opt for a walk-in or sliding door shower to save space, allowing you to use the remaining area for other fixtures. Wall-hung toilets and sinks can be ideal in smaller spaces, as they free up floor space and create a sense of openness. Additionally, incorporating built-in storage or mirrored cabinets can help you keep the space clutter-free and organised.

How can I decorate a small en suite bathroom?

Reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, can enhance the sense of space by reflecting natural light. Floating shelves or wall-mounted cabinets are practical storage solutions that won't take up valuable floor space. Additionally, consider minimalistic, cohesive designs and choosing coordinated accessories to create a visually appealing, clutter-free environment.

What are popular tile ideas for an en suite?

Popular tile ideas for an en suite bathroom include subway or metro tiles, geometric patterns, and natural stone materials. Subway tiles are a classic choice that can create a clean, modern look, while geometric patterns can add visual interest and a touch of personality to the space. Natural stone materials, such as marble or travertine, can add a luxurious feel, particularly when used for the shower or floor areas. Always consider the size of the tiles, as smaller tiles are more suited to compact spaces, whereas larger tiles can make a small room appear more spacious.

Is having an en suite bathroom a beneficial addition?

Having an en suite bathroom can be a valuable addition to your home, as it provides convenience, enhances comfort and privacy, and can potentially boost your property's value. Moreover, buyers often consider en suite bathrooms a desirable feature in potential new homes, which may make your property more appealing in the event of resale.


Kevin Sears

About Kevin Sears

Kevin Sears is a bathroom and interior design blogger here at 34 St John. He creates original content utilising his extensive knowledge of the bathroom industry and latest trends.

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