Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

8 beautiful ensuite bathroom ideas to inspire

Monday, 15th November, 2021 // Tips & Advice

Plus, layout advice from an interiors expert. – by Lucy Francis

While certainly a mark of luxury rather than an essential, an ensuite bathroom is much like a slow cooker: once you’ve had one, you won’t want to go without.

First things first: a bit of expert advice to kick us off. We asked Sophie Bowers, managing director of Sydney-based interior architecture and design firm, Strutt Studios, and owner of a gorgeous, small-space bathroom, for some tips.

“Whilst the kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home; the bathroom is undoubtedly the soul. A successful bathroom design is all about function, and a clever layout is particularly important in small-space bathrooms.”

According to Sophie, our ensuites benefit from what’s referred to in the biz as an L-shape formation. “Ensuring that the main plumbing fixtures such as the basin and mixer taps, and the shower taps and head are positioned side-by-side (and preferably along the “long” wall of the room) will create a clear circulation path. The other main fixtures (i.e. the toilet and bath) should be fit in around the doorway and windows,” she says.

“By placing a toilet near the doorway, your focus will be drawn to the more decorative elements such as the basin and vanity or bathtub.”

And if it is indeed a small space you’re dealing with, mirrors will be you best friend. “The opportunity for storage is usually limited, so mirrored shaving cabinets are an excellent solution to maximise light and add storage without cluttering the room.”

So, whether you have your sights set on an ensuite reno, or a brand new bathroom creation, we figured a bit of good old inspiration never goes astray. Feast your eyes on these eight ensuite bathroom designs.

1. Open to the elements

Image: Maree Homer /

If an outdoor bathroom appeals but you don’t have the means, an ensuite that’s partially open to the elements is the next best thing. In fact, combining the luxuries and convenience of being indoors whilst still letting in a bit of sunshine, greenery and breeze is surely the perfect middle ground. Whether it’s a private courtyard or balcony space, as above, soaring windows, or even well-placed skylights, it doesn’t get much more zen than this.

2. Go bold or go home

Image: Nikole Ramsay /

The definition of an ensuite, generally speaking, is an exclusive single or double use bathroom that is directly attached to and accessed from a bedroom. That being said, it’s the element of privacy that is perhaps an ensuite’s biggest drawcard – and from privacy, comes personality. You have total free reign over this room in your home, so by all means, fill it with colour and make bold choices when it comes to materials.

3. Space conversion

Image: Armelle Habib /

Really have your heart set on an ensuite but have a floorplan without one? This clever living room conversion slash private bathroom is the next best thing (or possibly even better)! The sky is the limit when it comes to creating your dream ensuite; sectioning an existing room that you don’t have a purpose for allows you to truly create your vision from scratch.

4. A dedicated wet zone


Nothing says “ensuite luxury” quite like a dedicated wet zone. The inclusion of walk-in showers and bath zones partitioned off with a custom-made glass screen (as above) have become the new hot trend, and it’s not hard to see why. Who would say no to this?! Make the space extra functional by adding built-in alcove shelving, and be sure to keep drainage and ease of cleaning front of mind.

5. Pattern play

Images: Maree Homer /

Patterned tiles are all the rage at the moment, and they aren’t showing signs of going anywhere. If pattern is your thing, this is your excuse to have a play. Combine two types of tile to create variety, as above, go with something a bit more subtle, or even paint your own – the floor is yours (literally!).

6. Keep it minimal

Image: Simon Whitbread /

If your style is more minimal, simplistic and contemporary, select materials and textures that will speak volumes. This replaces the need for colour or interest in other areas – concrete slabs, handmade tiles, timber finishes and brushed steel or matte black tapware will do the trick.

7. Go for contrast

Image: Geneva Vanderzeil /

If you’re worried about committing to colour, opt instead of dramatic contrast – both in tone and in shape. Large, dark tiles on the floor and smaller, light tiles on the walls will help to create the illusion of space. You’ll be left with a blank canvas from which to accessorise with plush towels, greenery and your favourite bath products.

8. Double act

Image: Tom Ferguson /

If your ensuite is used by your and your significant other, having a vanity large enough to house two sinks is an indulgence worth giving in to. Not only will the double sink set up mean you’re not fighting for space as you try to dry your hair while your partner brushes their teeth, you’ll have double the storage space!


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