Traditionally the ensuite was a small utility room adjoining the master bedroom, but we’ve come a long way from using bathrooms simply for washing.
“An ensuite is where an individual has the convenience of grooming and relaxing without sharing the space with the extended household,” says Daniela Santilli, Bathroom Marketing Leader at Reece.
Here are six more reasons why an ensuite should be top priority.
According to research by Reece, the shower is more crucial to the overall bathroom experience than any other element. “The impact of water connecting with your body has the ability to shift your mood,” Santilli said.
A popular style for ensuites is the twin. “It’s also called the marriage shower,” she said. “Men prefer a big overhead shower for the ultimate drenching, but women don’t always like to get their hair wet. Being able to switch between the overhead and hand shower provides the best of both worlds.”
Combination handheld and rain shower heads give couples both options.
If you have the space, a freestanding bath helps create a personal retreat. “Choose one with organic curves and a high back for head support during a long soak,” says Santilli.
While adding new towels and high-end accessories helps a bathroom look luxurious, tiles make up most of the hard surfaces and are the key to setting style foundations.
Winners of The Block main bathroom week, Courtney and Hans went for luxe by choosing terrazzo and large-format tiles once again in their ensuite. “These are two big trends at the moment,” says Vanessa Thompson, Strategic Designer with Beaumont Tiles.
Terrazzo tiles were a polarising choice in Courtney and Hans’ ensuite.
She suggests large tiles for floor and walls, with detail such as mosaic on feature walls and splashbacks. “Considering the overall style of the home adds to the narrative, and matching splashbacks across all wet areas is a simple way to do this.”
With tiles comes grout. “A contrasting grout will hero the tile, but a matching grout will create a seamless horizon-style look.”
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The ensuite is an extension of the main bedroom and is a very personal space, says architect Pedro Garcia of Tamospaya. “You have to feel comfortable and relaxed, it’s intimate and where you are most vulnerable,” he said. It should avoid feeling crowded and allow room for grooming and dressing.
Santilli agrees. “It’s where you can express and display items to suit your everyday lifestyle rather than have them on show for visitors who tend to use the main bathroom.”
An ensuite is a personal space that should be tailored to your use.
The ensuite is often small, so making it feel as light and roomy as possible can add a sense of proportion to the rest of the house.
One trick is to ensure two people can use the room at the same time. Santilli says a double wall-hung vanity, in-wall toilet suite and frameless shower screen will free up the floor.
Double vanities allow two people to use the space at once.
Tiles can create the illusion of space. Thompson likes to use a dark, timber-look on the floor, especially if it matches the rest of the flooring in the house. “Then use a lighter, large format on the walls to draw the eye upwards and out.”
The Block judges put storage at the top of the bathroom must-have list. In both main bathroom and ensuite weeks, the teams who installed eye-level storage behind mirrors and deep under-vanity drawers scored the points.
Ample storage is a must in any bathroom.
In an ensuite, scrimping on storage and work surfaces such as the bench surrounding the vanity basin is a common mistake.
Garcia’s top space-saving tip is to take space from the main bedroom by installing a double wall. “It should be 300-400mm thick so you can conceal shelving and lighting in the wall.”
“An ensuite is generally the first solution to installing an additional bathroom, and some buyers won’t even look at property if there’s no ensuite,” says Megan Smith, Residential Sales Consultant with Ray White Balmain.
Including both a bath and a shower adds value.
She said many entry-level properties don’t offer a second bathroom, but some buyers are looking to install down the track. “I’ve had situations where we’ve engaged a builder to provide an ensuite installation quote to advise potential buyers.”
“My top tip would be to have a separate bath and shower if you have the space.”
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