Smoke & Mirrors

The latest edition of Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine features a contemporary master ensuite designed and installed by hobsons|choice, Swindon.

The article, written by Rachel Ogden, eloquently describes how the design of the master ensuite encapsulates the style and functionality desired by our clients. 

Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms – Feb 2019 

Wandering around a pretty Wiltshire village steeped in history and surrounded by idyllic countryside, you’d never guess the elegant, yet modern, redesign one of its chocolate box properties conceals. However, contemporary is what you’d find if you peeked behind the door of the family home belonging to Sue Willcock, a stay-at-home mum, and her husband John, a company director.

Not only is their striking ensuite a departure from the dated bathroom previously in its place, designer Philip Harrison at Hobsons Choice has also made the most of its limited space. Where once was a cramped, narrow room, his new scheme uses a multitude of visual techniques to make it feel wider, more open, and — above all — modern. Here, Philip explains how the transformation came together…

 A contemporary master ensuite by Philip Harrison, hobsons|choice Swindon

Did the couple have a specific style in mind?
“When John and Sue decided to update their bathroom, they wanted an on-trend look and finish. They found Hobsons Choice online, but it was when they visited our Swindon showroom and saw our bathroom displays that they felt our style was exactly what they were looking for.

How did you plan the new layout?
There were two main reasons the couple undertook the renovation. Firstly, the existing master ensuite had a bath with shower over it, and while the couple’s preference was for a large, open design, they had no need for the bath in this room but used the shower every day. The other driving force was that the existing scheme was starting to look dated and they wanted a more modern look. I also redesigned their guest bathroom at the same time, which does have a bath should they ever need one. Due to the long and narrow shape of the ensuite, the options for where we could position the new shower were limited. The logical location was along the back wall, but there was a window there which made it less than straightforward. To work around this, I suggested a simple, hinged clear glass panel over the window to protect from any splashing and a Corian-clad windowsill for durability.

How did you make the most of the awkward space?
It is a good size for a shower room, but the long, narrow layout needed some thought to make it seem less like a corridor. My solution was to include a decorative Rimadesio screen. This not only turns the shower into a feature but adds definition, helping to reduce the visual length of the room. As the Rimadesio panel isn’t designed specifically for a bathroom, it’s paired with a minimal shower screen from Majestic which is hinged, so the back face of the Rimadesio can be cleaned easily. The reflective mirrored cabinets also help provide depth to the space. John and Sue particularly asked for good lighting in this area, so I added an LED light strip to the underside of them, which works really well.

Can you explain more about the decor?
John immediately picked out the grey textured tiles from Porcelanosa in the showroom as his favourite. Sue also liked this look, so the bathroom took shape around these. As they are fairly dark, I suggested combining the design with lighter painted walls as a counterbalance rather than having them in the whole room. We looked into all the options for the vanity unit material and decided grey oak also provided a nice, warm contrast. Finally, the Bisque radiator creates a feature on the secondary wall opposite the mirrored cabinet. In terms of tying in with the rest of the house, the renovations were undertaken prior to the bedroom —but the theme is, of course, contemporary throughout. John and Sue are very pleased with the finish. The new bathroom feels both inviting and relaxing to be in, and although small — it certainly is a statement.”

Click here to see more images of this stunning space.

Photo Credit: David Barfield, A Fitting Choice Photography