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5 must-follow rules for ensuite design

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all-white ensuite design

Putting together an attractive and functional ensuite design is harder than it looks. After all, ensuite bathrooms are typically smaller than common bathrooms, so you’ll need to think of clever ways to fit everything within the available space. Moreover, ensuite bathrooms should follow the interior design style and concept of the master bathroom.

In this guide, we’ll give you some important rules for designing an ensuite. We’ll cover everything from planning out the space, choosing the right fixtures, and picking the appropriate materials.

Let’s get started!

What is an ensuite bathroom?

An ensuite bathroom is a private washroom that’s attached to the master bedroom. Unlike other bathrooms in the house, an ensuite bathroom is not accessible from common areas like hallways. That makes it a private sanctuary where people can relax and unwind. 

Having an ensuite bathroom can also increase the value of your home. Most homebuyers consider it a non-negotiable must-have for the properties they’re looking to purchase.

open plan ensuite design

Ensuite design rules to keep in mind

A well-designed ensuite bathroom exudes luxury and class. After all, it’s one of the few “grown-ups only” spaces in one’s house.

To make the most out of it, take note of the following ensuite design rules:

Rule #1: Make your ensuite design layout efficient

A key challenge in designing an ensuite bathroom is the limited space. Unless you have a huge house, most people usually have to cram their needs in a small bathroom.

On the bright side, if your ensuite bathroom has an efficient layout, you can still enjoy your time relaxing in that private retreat. Here are some ways you can have an efficient ensuite design:

Account for plumbing and wiring

Before coming up with an ensuite design, the first thing you have to do is consider the practical elements. Check the location of your plumbing and electrical wiring, so that you can place the fixtures accordingly.

Specifically, you should check where your soil pipe is. These are large pipes that allow water to flow out of the bathroom. Moving these can be expensive and invasive, so it’s best to work with where they’re already present.

One secret is to place the toilet, shower, and basin along one wall. Since these fixtures are only occupying one side of the room, they can make the layout feel more spacious. Moreover, keeping plumbing to only one side can also keep costs down.

If you’re concerned about renovation costs, ask Superdraft for a free quote. We can also help you connect with a designer and a builder who can execute your project within your budget.

minimalist ensuite design

Add sufficient clearance

While it’s important to save space, do not sacrifice clearance. Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • For enclosed showers, keep the dimensions at a minimum of 900 mm x 900 mm.
  • Allow about 750 mm (width) and 1200 mm (length) of space for your toilet
  • For bathtubs, add around 200 mm between the bathtub and the wall, so you won’t have trouble cleaning.

Consider ventilation in your ensuite design

Poorly ventilated bathrooms can get damp, potentially causing some water damage to your home. It can even cause mould to grow. So, it’s important to consider ventilation in your ensuite design.

Having windows is a good way to improve the flow of air. If this is not an option, make sure that your ensuite should be connected to the internal duct for ventilation.

Take advantage of natural light sources

Natural light can make the ensuite bathroom appear brighter, airier, and more spacious.

However, when it comes to bathrooms, people often avoid having large windows. By using window films or frosted glass, you can still have a large, gorgeous window without sacrificing your privacy.

Alternatively, you can try installing a skylight. It lets in plenty of natural light without exposing any part of your bathroom.

bathroom with skylight

Try open-shelving and wall-hung storage

Nobody wants to see a cluttered bathroom, so adding built-in storage is a must. You can install some cabinetry under the vanity to save space or you can try open-shelving and wall-hung storage. These storage methods allow you to stash toiletries and towels without eating up space. Plus, they maintain a spacious, open feel in the bathroom.

Connect your ensuite to a walk-in closet

If you have the privilege of having a walk-in closet, put it adjacent to your ensuite bathroom. This will create a seamless flow between the two spaces.

ensuite bathroom with walk-in closet

Rule # 2: Create an ensuite design that matches your bedroom

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing an ensuite is not maintaining continuity from the master bedroom to the master bath. Here are some tips to ensure that you have a cohesive master suite:

Choose a consistent interior design style: Maintain the same style as your master bedroom. If you have a modern or contemporary-style bedroom, try to echo the same theme for your ensuite bathroom. On the other hand, if you have a rustic-style home, go for rustic bathroom furniture, like distressed wood cabinets.

Maintain the colour scheme: Same with the interior design style, it’s good to pick colours that show continuity from your bedroom to your bathroom. As much as possible, try to use a light or neutral colour since they can make the bathroom appear wider and airier. 

rustic ensuite bathroom design

Rule #3: Choose proper materials

Floor and wall coverings are some of the most noticeable parts of a bathroom, so choosing the right materials is a must. Here are some tips to help you pick the right ones:

Walls: Choosing reflective chrome or gloss tiles can help make your ensuite bathroom appear brighter and airier. They’re also able to withstand constant soaking.

For smaller ensuite bathrooms, you can try using larger-sized tiles. Smaller ones can make the bathroom appear cluttered and busy.

If you’re working with a tight budget, painting the room’s walls can also work. Go for high-shine paint so you can amplify the light in the room.

Flooring: One trick you can try is using the same type of tiles for your floor and walls. Doing this eliminates the dividing line and can create an illusion of a larger space.

Aside from that, you can also opt for certain types of wood flooring that are impervious to moisture. Examples of these are bamboo and teak.

For those who truly want a luxurious element in their bathroom, you can invest in radiant floor heating. Some of these can be automatically activated through Wi-Fi.

ensuite bathroom with same tiles for floor and wall

Rule #4: Invest in lasting fixtures

Choosing the right fixtures can make or break your ensuite design. After all, fixtures that break or tarnish easily can make your bathroom look cheap and dilapidated.

Here are some tips you can follow when choosing fixtures:

Tapware: Buy fixtures that follow the interior design style of your house. For modern homes, pick sleek fixtures with clean, angular lines. Those who live in more traditional spaces can opt for more ornate and curvy tapware.

Basin: Most ensuite bathrooms are designed to be used by couples. Try fitting two basins or vanities so that you and your partner don’t have to fight over space in the mornings.

For those who are designing a tiny space, you can try installing wall-hung or corner basins. These keep the floor space open, promoting an open and airy feel.

ensuite bathroom with double basins

Vanity: Newer homes typically have frameless mirrors or mirrors with thin metal frames. This makes the vanity area look sleek and modern. If your bathroom suffers from poor ventilation, consider adding a fog-free mirror.

Make sure that you have lighting fixtures on both sides of your vanity mirror to avoid being distracted by shadows while shaving or applying makeup. Alternatively, you can try adding an illuminated bathroom mirror.

ensuite bathroom with illuminated vanity

Toilet: Same with basins, you can try installing wall-hung toilets to save space.

Shower: Investing in a high-quality showerhead is important. Just like the tap, both of these fixtures can cost you quite a bit of money if either one of them breaks or starts leaking.

Aside from the fixtures, installing a glass shower enclosure is the way to go. It acts as a separator that keeps the rest of the bathroom dry without making the space seem cramped. 

ensuite design for small space

Bathtub: Modern bathrooms typically come with a free-standing tub. If you have to work with limited space, consider having a shower-bath combo. There are also some people who don’t mind having their bath in the bedroom itself, just like in luxury hotels.

Lighting: Not many people put enough thought into the lighting fixtures that go into their bathroom. But by adding decorative lighting like pendant lights or chandeliers, you can instantly make your bathroom look and feel more elegant. Plus, taking a bath in warm, soft lighting is a great way to relax after a long day.

bathroom with chandelier

Doors: If you are trying to save space, opt for pocket doors or sliding doors. That way, you don’t have to worry about clearance whenever you open or close the door.

Decorations: At the end of the day, your ensuite bathroom isn’t just a loo. It’s also a place where you can let down your hair and express yourself. By adding interesting pieces of art as accessories, you can really add a personalised touch to your space.

bathroom with mural

Rule #5: Design for the future

If you’re thinking of an ensuite design for your forever home, consider adding some features that will make it easier for you to age in place. For example, add accessible furniture and safety handlebars. The door to the room should also be wide enough for a wheelchair.

bathroom with handlebars

Hire a professional to create an ensuite design now

Coming up with an ensuite design requires careful consideration. You have to fit all the fixtures and design elements in a compact space. Plus, you have to make sure to echo the style of your master bedroom.

At Superdraft, we can connect you to experienced interior design and home builders who can help you design a stunning ensuite. We also give you access to a stunning inspiration gallery where you can look for ideas for your next home renovation project.

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