This is called everyday luxury! Being able to wash, dress and prepare for the day before leaving your room, or rooms! No more running along the landing with towel trailing, waiting for the previous occupant of the bathroom to finish, hurrying so you don’t keep the next user waiting etc….
So, you want a dressing room and en-suite. If you are fortunate enough to have a really huge bedroom you could think about sub-diving it and making space for these within the original bedroom size, but do think really carefully about this, because if you live in a house where all the rooms are large you won’t want to make this the room that lets the rest down. Think of resale value and whether this will add to the value or not.
Another way of obtaining these rooms is to make use of a spare bedroom, with a doorway built between the rooms and the original doorway to the spare room blocked off you will have complete privacy within your suite. Maybe you could think of altering a built-in cupboard, this is something to think about in chalet bungalows where eaves space is often wasted.
Size is very important when considering how much you can squeeze into the space you have and if you have any slope to the ceiling remember you cannot put a full height shower against that wall. With careful planning though you can place a fitted bath against a dwarf wall as long as you have a minimum of 1.2m height before the slope starts. Toilets can be placed with the cistern backing onto a dwarf wall as long as the slope is not too shallow, it is not pleasant to rise from the throne and bump one’s head! It is also not a good idea to place a basin under a sloping ceiling as you can’t put a mirror on the wall above as is usual. Often rooms are planned on paper, which doesn’t have the height element and it is not easy to work out where the ceiling will come so do take extra care, and if necessary work out where a ceiling would come in relation to your existing toilet or shower and see if it is workable. Generally, the bigger the space you have the more scope you have for design. A hanging rail works really well under a sloping ceiling so it may be better to use this part of the room as a dressing room, leaving more ceiling height for the en-suite.
Depending on how your layout works you may be able to have an en-suite and dressing room next to each other, both with doors leading off the bedroom, but another quite acceptable option is to access the en-suite through the dressing room. This usually works better if you have a longer narrower space. The downside of this is that anyone accessing the en-suite has to walk through the dressing room which means it will have to be kept tidy. Often an in between room like this may not have a window and you don’t want to be falling over shoes in your haste!
The two options for the interior fit-out of a dressing room are wardrobes (generally built in but could be free-standing) along with chests of drawers or skeleton closets where you have hanging rails and shelves with no doors to hide your paraphernalia. The former type is better for a walk-through style arrangement but the latter is excellent for a separate dressing room, where everything is on view and you can see at a glance what you are looking for.
To make sure you allow enough space for your clothes etc make sure you assess how much space they take up at present; measure how much rail space the hanging clothes take and how many drawers / boxes etc you are using. Ideally allow a lot more than you actually need as this allows room for spreading out and having everything super-organised instead of having to rummage – it also allows room for expansion. (Definitely necessary!) You could have a section of rail with shelving above for out of season items and space for footwear beneath, or you could have two rails, one above the other, with less used clothes
and space for footwear beneath, or you could have two rails, one above the other, with less used clothes above where they are high up and a section of wall with floor to ceiling shelves and baskets or boxes holding the various different types of clothes. Shoes are ideally stored on shelves where all are visible. The actual framework for this skeleton closet can either be homemade from timber uprights and contiboard type shelving with rail and fixings purchased from any DIY store or you can buy purpose made modular metal components which can be used to optimize the space. This option would work out a lot more expensive but would give the project a more professional finish so it will depend what your priorities are.
As the idea of the dressing room is to have separate area from the bedroom you will want some kind of screen in place. This can be a regular door or you could use a curtain to match your window dressings, or a voile curtain which matches the room.
The ultimate: have a side table, or just a space on your dresser, for a kettle and tray – wake up to a cuppa while you shower and dress!
The layout of your en-suite will largely be governed by the plumbing and space available. Unless you have a good knowledge of how this will work it will be necessary to get a plumber to advise you. Showers have to have a minimum fall over a maximum distance and toilets need to be placed where the waste can be linked to a soil pipe. Decisions you will need to make will be things like whether to have a shower or bath or both or a wide ended shower bath to save space. Wet rooms are increasingly popular, with the floor gently sloping towards a drain in the floor and a screen to keep most of the water in the right place. Generally the room would be tiled throughout to make it waterproof so a high quality tiler is an absolute necessity for this, as any poor workmanship will result in leaks under the tiles.
If you are planning a luxury en-suite and you have plenty of space you might want to include a bidet and if you share a bedroom with your best beloved two basins are a real touch of class.
Avoid carpet in an en-suite as it tends to get wet however careful you are; if you find tiled floors too cold consider electric underfloor heating as this can be set to come on when you are likely to be using the room and a tiled floor is much more practical.
To add a real touch of wow, how about having the bed towards the middle of the room with a piece of wall behind it and you enter the dressing room on one side and the en-suite on the other!