Your en suite dreams are made of this...
Don’t settle for a bog standard bedroom, says Brooks. Get comfy using a whole floor as a sanctuary
They started off as a rarity, and turned into a requisite: an en suite to complement the master bedroom is bog standard these days. But while we may have previously been happy with our cupboard-like shower and space-saving loo, the en suite – and indeed, the entire master bedroom – is starting to turn into an opulent place of escape, day or night.
London-based architect Paul Archer has coined the phrase “supermaster bedroom suite” to describe this trend. He defines it as “the slightly extravagant use of floor area in a family home. I found that clients were perfectly happy to sacrifice a bedroom to get a bigger private space that’s just for themselves.”
An extravagant en suite has moved rapidly up the wish list, both in terms of space and spec, along with an overall increase in size of the whole master suite, to include spaces for dressing, working and relaxing. Archer puts it down partly to the influence of hotel design, where ritzy guest suites show the full design possibilities of the bedroom and bathroom areas. But it’s also to do with the wider shift between “public” and “private” in the domestic sphere. As our downstairs living spaces have become more open plan, with knocked-through rooms and kitchen-diner extensions that see the whole family sharing one big sociable area, the result is the desire for a parents’ private refuge upstairs.
“Clients want to create bedroom sanctuaries, inspired by hotels, as a place to unwind,” says interior designer Joanna Wood of Joanna Trading. “We are often asked to incorporate televisions and seating areas into bedrooms, and even desk areas, creating a real sense of multifunctional living in the bedroom.” For Wood’s clients, “the six rooms that make up the super-suite are: a master bedroom, two dressing rooms, two bathrooms by Ruark Audio (ruarkaudio.com)
Awash with space: a grand bathroom in a house in Holland Park, above; and designer Peter Mikic’s own house in Notting Hill, main
Ruark R7 radio £2,000,