Bathrooms should be a space to relax, rejuvenate and refresh, but in a family space that's sometimes difficult to achieve. En-suite ideas can help you to create a luxurious, private haven while adding welcome value to your home.
It may seem as if you have limited options, but there are plenty of small bathroom ideas to create your dream space. If anything, the challenges of smaller, or more awkward, spaces, allows you to get extra creative with your en-suite bathroom ideas. 'A bathroom should never be an afterthought,' stresses Fabrizio Costingo, Product Designer, Lusso Stone (opens in new tab). 'If you need to utilise a smaller space for your bathroom then more thought is needed to ensure that there is no compromise on style and luxury.'
Plus, since an en-suite is a personal space, you should take the opportunity to craft the room to all your requirements.
Use our en-suite bathroom ideas to help you carve out a space that checks all your boxes.
1. Paint the ceiling
2. Brighten with a skylight
En-suite bathroom ideas can often be lacking in natural light, making them look and feel even smaller than they actually are. If you're building or extending your home, include a skylight into your en-suite ideas planning.
Steer clear of error by being aware of en-suite planning mistakes to avoid. Position above the bath or shower to get the most out of this extra natural light.
3. Opt for broken plan
Not one for wallflowers, but the broken plan look has made its way into en-suite ideas. Crittal-style sliding doors or partitions add a cool, industrial touch to the room. Plus, you'll save space without having to fit in room for traditional doors, while the glass panels provide ample natural light directly from the bedroom.
4. Double up storage to save space
Space is at a premium with en-suites, so get creative with your storage. Consider turn a spice rack into a loo roll holder. An Ikea spice rack, a couple of leather handles, cup hooks and a length of dowl create this ingenious loo roll holder.
Another ideas is to hang the spice rack upside down and use as a shelf and towel rail instead.
5. Trick the eye with an oval bath
6. Wall-mount the taps
Wall-mounted mixer taps work well in compact bathroom designs as the pipework can be hidden without the need for a bulky basin pedestal. For a smart storage solution to keep the area neat and tidy, use that freed-up space to house some shelving and a laundry basket.
7. Use patterned tiles
Your choice of tiles will play a vital part in the finished look of your en suite,’ says Amanda Telford, marketing manager at CTD Tiles (opens in new tab). ‘But there are a few things to take into consideration when choosing bathroom tiles, from visual impact to practicality. Patterned designs are great for adding a real statement to a space, while large-format tiles can create a calming and spa-like ambience.’
8. Add the feeling of space with mirrors
Go big, go bold and make a statement in your bathroom. Hang a large mirror (or two or three) over the basin to bounce around the room and make the whole space feel larger. You'll be surprised how effective it is. No wonder it's the number one trick used by interior stylists to make a room feel larger!
9. Carve out some space
If you have a big main bedroom then you could consider making part of it serve for your en-suite ideas.
You can section a corner of the room off with a stud wall to create an en-suite, or if you’re want to make a statement, add a glamorous freestanding bath in the bedroom, with basins, shower and loo behind closed doors.
Considering a loft conversion? It’s a great place to add in an extra bathroom.
Take care where ceilings slope, though, and place showers carefully as head heights will vary depending on the kind of conversion you’re building.
11. Choose cool country
When it comes to decorating, a good adjoining bathroom will always look like it belongs to the bedroom. You don't want to be too matchy-matchy, but the colour scheme and overall style should sit happily side by side. White bathroom ideas are popular for a reason - it never fails as a space enhancer.
If your en-suite bathroom ideas are of the timeless, hint-of-vintage variety, be sure to reflect that in the design of the room. Here wood panelling and built-in storage make the bath and basin feel right at home. If you prefer to inject an extra punch of colour, add some vibrant accessories, such as painted tiles or a patterned shower curtain.
12. Modernise with mosaics
Choose vibrant mosaic tiles to inject personality around a modern white bathroom suite. Consider glossy units and sleek cabinets that will give your bathroom a contemporary, streamlined look and offset the busy tiles.
This is a great way of injecting colour and pattern in on a smaller scale, as sometimes large tiles can feel out of place in en-suite ideas
13. Mismatch styles
There's a lot to be said for choosing not to duplicate the style of your bathroom suite in a decorating scheme. Sit vintage-style sanitaryware at the centre of an ultra modern scheme and let the contrast of old and new highlight the intricacies of a vintage suite.
14. Panel the walls
Panelled walls are a great way of adding interest and texture to even the smallest of bathrooms. Plus, it's a practical choice for boxing in pipework.
Use bathroom paint ideas to colour the panelled section of the walls in a tonal shade to the rest of the painted or tiled space for a cohesive look with added depth.
15. Introduce a nautical theme
Having a theme is a great way to add personality to a room with a classic white bathroom suite. A nautical feel is easy to implement thanks to the choice of accessories available.
Decide on an accent colour of sky or navy blue and then build up the accessories as you go. Think about boxing in or using panelling to enhance the visual impact of the bath.
16. Let the suite speak for itself
Keep decorating schemes at their simplest if you have an unusually shaped or naturally attention-grabbing bathroom suite.
Choose easy blend neutrals for flooring and walls, a hint of chrome and glass and finish with towels, mats and windows treatments in show-stopping shades.
17. Add some glamour
Ever fallen in love with a hotel bathroom scheme? Why not try and re-create it with your own boudoir hotel-inspired scheme. Use textured tiles and reflective surfaces to build glamour and glitz around a plain modern bathroom suite.
Choose stylish white accessories and patterned neutral towels that will complement rather than outshine the shimmering tiles.
18. Create pattern with tiles
Patterned tiles don't actually have to be patterned. Clever use of laying patterns allows you to create your own pattern using block colour. Alternatively, alternate sizes of similarly shaped tiles. A contrast grouting will heighten the look even further.
19. Give signature pieces space
Let a modern freestanding bath work its magic by giving it room to shine. Decorate in a soft, natural palette and choose clean-lined accessories that won't distract from the star of the show. If you can't resist adding in colour, make sure you opt for a tonal shade.
20. Colour up for contrast
Build up a backdrop of colour on walls, floors and storage that foregrounds the white of your bathroom suite: metro tiles in a beautiful green; slate tiles in mid grey; smart chrome fittings; and wood-finish storage and shelving. Reserve white for shutters, lighting and bath towels for a decorating scheme with a difference.
What is the smallest space needed for an en-suite?
You'll forever be surprised at how much you can actually fit in a small bathroom. There's no strict minimum square footage, but you may need to reconsider what you wish to include.
That said, working with a small space doesn't have to mean forgoing a bath. 'People often try to fit large-footprint baths into small rooms,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director, BC Designs (opens in new tab). ‘Ideally baths need at least 100mm round each of the edges to help clean and maintain them. However, if you want to install a bath in a smaller en-suite, this can still be achievable. There are several models out there that are just 1400mm long, which is smaller than a standard shower, and can be the perfect solution.’
What can I do with a small en-suite?
'If your space is limited and you desire practicality over a space for full relaxation, then choosing a shower over a bath is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to maximise space,' advises Fabrizio from Lusso Stone. 'Opting for a corner shower or even a walk-in shower unit can ensure that space is used to its full potential. However, to make sure you are not compromising, a large rainfall shower keeps that luxury feel.'
'Another key trick is removing those clunky old-fashioned cisterns and instead investing in a ‘Back to Wall’ toilet system. They are stylish, minimalistic, and extremely convenient for smaller spaces. They not only look incredibly slick but give an illusion of there being no cistern at all.'
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