House tour: Glamorous bathroom with bath in the middle

red bath ensuite

‘Knock our socks off’ was the main part of the brief for this bathroom design for Ripples designer Sinead Hegarty – and I think you’d agree with me – she achieved this with flying colours.

I love how she has combined industrial elements, from the black brassware in the shower, with more glamorous pieces – such as that statement chandelier hanging elegantly above the freestanding bath in that deep red colour. Not only this, it combines the traditional with the contemporary – for example, she embraces the original fireplace that sits between two handleless, floating vanity units. To be honest, there’s almost too many things I could mention when talking about this bathroom design!

The ensuite is for a (very lucky) couple who wanted their Victorian property’s dated family bathroom to be transformed into a glamorous space just for themselves. I’ve spoken to Sinead, who tells me how this bathroom – with serious wow factor – all came together…

A bathroom design with freestanding bath

The centrally-positioned freestanding bath has become the focal point in the room

The design brief

“My clients wanted me to take their dated space and turn it into a glamorous ensuite to their master bedroom, which not only had wow factor, but would be extremely practical, too. They were slowly working on the house as a whole, and the bathroom was next on a long to-do list. They wanted something bold and weren’t afraid to look at new ideas, which was great for me as a designer. The couple asked for a large bath, a wetroom shower, and to experiment with colour. When it came to the brassware, I knew it wouldn’t be a case of regular chrome but something more unusual that you don’t see every day.”

A bathroom design with walk-in shower

The walk-in shower has a minimal appearance with the elegant screen and matching flooring

Creating the space

“The fireplace leant itself to being the focal point of the room and I knew that it and the new painted freestanding bath belonged together. So I moved the tub into the centre, and together they are now the first things people see when they enter. The shower was moved to the opposite corner to create a walk-in enclosure. The homeowners were concerned about steam from the shower making the walls drip with condensation, but I explained its new location and format, along with a new extraction unit, meant it wouldn’t be an issue.”

An original fire-place in a bathroom design

The original fireplace has become a feature within the room, mixing old with the new

“The couple originally wanted a double vanity unit, but with the layout I had planned I realised this wasn’t going to work so well – I took a risk and I separated them to either side of the chimneybreast. This gives great symmetry and balances the room, and – with the basin units being a matt black – they create interest without being too busy. They loved it. In fact, the entire design was a layout they hadn’t thought of themselves, and I’m happy to say they were delighted when they saw it.”

A bathroom design with toilet

The rimless Pro WC by Laufen was wall-hung. The flush was chosen in black, to match with all the other details.

The next stage

“The couple requested minimal wall tiling and a neutral paint scheme to coordinate the ensuite with their master bedroom, which is painted in Urban Grey by Little Greene. They chose Brinjal by Farrow & Ball for the bath, as they felt it both complimented the palette of the bedroom and gave a subtle colour accent which added warmth to the bathroom, too. They also requested a wood-effect floor tile – as dark as possible – and considered marble for the floor, too.”

Marble floor tiles

Carrara marble tiles in a basket weave design, by Ripples, frame the bathtub and draw the eye to the room’s centre.

“The great thing about the room is that, as it has so much natural light, we could go for dark colours without it being too heavy. I decided the two materials would work well together, so – to frame the bath –  I put Carrara basket weave tiles underneath, at the same width as the fireplace.”

You may also enjoy: 6 tips on choosing the right freestanding bath

Finishing touches

“With the couple’s ornate mirror, which bounces light around the space, staying put, the new layout cried out for a fabulous chandelier above the bath for added wow. The couple chose a limited edition Flos 30-arm design in matt black from David Village Lighting, to show off the ceiling height. It fills the space beautifully and can be dimmed, for a lovely warm glow in the evenings. Plus, it looks great reflected in the mirror.”

A bathroom design with freestanding bath

The impressive chandelier shows off the height of the ceilings

“The combination of colours from the dark wood-effect tile, the elegant veins in the marble, and the brushed black chrome on the brassware make the room such a unique experience. What makes it stand out for me is the effect it has on everyone who sees it, from its early stages in a flat plan drawing to the finished room, people were completely wowed by it – which of course was the main part of the brief.”

Photography: Paul Craig

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