Today, as the second in a series of fantastic guest bloggers, we’re excited to welcome Jen Stanbrook. Jen is the creator of the incredibly popular award-winning UK interiors blog Love Chic Living, as well as a freelance writer and television presenter. Here, she speaks to us about her recent loft conversion with en-suite bathroom and shares her tips on what she’s learned in the process.
Undertaking any kind of home renovation or improvement can be a very stressful time. There are so many decisions to be made and builders want immediate answers. One of the trickiest can be how to decorate a bathroom or en-suite, simply because these aren’t decisions we make very often, and most of us aren’t professional interior designers.
I was faced with this dilemma last year when I renovated the attic in my Victorian home and created a new master bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The pressure to get it right was huge, not least because bathrooms can be costly, and their décor rather permanent.
But there were many things I learned along that journey, and hopefully by sharing them, I might make your decisions easier and more informed.
Why Add an En-Suite?
There are many reasons why you might choose to add an en-suite bathroom or indeed a 2nd or 3rd loo into your home.
This plays a big part in a decision like this, particularly if you have a family home. With a house of growing girls and only one bathroom, the morning routine was becoming more and more difficult. Plus teenagers (and their mums!) like a bit of privacy, and the one family bathroom just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
Having looked at other houses in our area and seeing what kind of developments they were undertaking, it was clear that families liked having more than one bathroom in the house. Speak to an estate agent before taking on the work was also very useful and gave us an indication of how adding the en-suite would increase the value of our home.
Tips for Designing the En-Suite
Designing the space was more difficult than I envisaged, mainly because space was quite limited. Making the most of the available space and ensuring we added all the necessary elements as well as making it look great took some time.
Some of the main points I considered included:
Whilst I really wanted the room to have some wow factor I also knew it needed to function effectively. It would be no use to anyone if the shower door didn’t open far enough, or you knocked your knees on the sink whilst on the loo! To avoid these issues we drew out the space on the floor, mostly so I could visualise the dimensions correctly, and this really helped see how much, or little space we really had.
As were dealing with quite a small space I wanted it to look as big as possible. After lots of research I decided on using tiles in the whole room for continuity. It’s well known that a larger tile makes a small space look bigger so we chose the same style for both the wall tiles and the floor tiles. Originally I’d been interested in acrylic panels for the shower area but on seeing the actual space it became clear that this kind of disjointed design was going to break up the space too much, and make it feel smaller than it was.
Sticking to a budget was crucial as with any build, but I chose to make savings in some areas and splash out in others. It has meant the room takes on a more luxurious feel overall, but didn’t cost as much as it could have. Hunting out bargains and finding ways to save costs gave me such a kick, particularly when I look at the finished result and realise how pleased it makes me.
Making design decisions on an en-suite can be tricky, so it’s worth doing your research and trying out different products and ideas. Don’t forget, recreating your space to the actual dimensions is imperative to get a true feel for how your ideas will hang together.
For even more tips on choosing tiles for your bathroom, check out the following posts:
Jen Stanbrook is a blogger, writer and presenter. She is the founder of Love Chic Living, a multi award winning, top UK blog focusing on style and design for a family home. You will also find Jen writing for well-known high street brands, sharing her love of home interiors with a much wider audience, and as a brand ambassador on live TV. She is a full-time blogger, Pinterest addict and Mum to two girls aged 9 and 12.
All images copyright Jen Stanbrook and used with kind permission.