11 How to Design a Master Bedroom With Ensuite

Create luxury oasis with en suite.
11 How to Design a Master Bedroom With Ensuite
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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If you are planning to retrofit an ensuite into your master bedroom, you may be in for some surprises that will impact how you proceed with the project. There are many factors to designing a master ensuite, and forewarned is forearmed.

This article aims to give you an authoritative overview that will enable a higher resolution of your vision for your master bedroom ensuite.

We will answer many of your questions and present thought-provoking inspiration to make your design the perfect solution for your master bedroom ensuite. We don't pull any punches to allow you to create a visual dialogue that is the epitome of a well-thought-out and executed master bedroom ensuite.

Buckle up, and let's get into it.

Where to start?

With any home project, once you have an idea of the budget and are committed to the dollar value, you can start making a schematic of the master bedroom and the proposed master ensuite.

You will need to be able to initially visualize the space you are committing to the project from the bedroom and understand that every space you use for your ensuite is going to be lost from your bedroom.

When you have your schematic, mark the area out with chalk, not many people can actually visualize ㎡ , so marking the space will confit the area of your ensuite.

You will need a real drawing for yourself and your contractor to avoid gray areas that could result in a dispute.

The drawing needs to be accurate in terms of dimensions so it's wise to either get a professional to make the drawing or your contractor and then sign off on the drawing you agree to proceed with.

Be prepared for disruption

Your contractor may be very skilled and have all the best tools available to do a perfect job but the one thing he does not have is a magic wand! The contractor will need to run water to your master bedroom ensuite and take the wastewater away. Inevitably this means lifting the floorboard so he can connect to a water supply.

The new electrical connections for lighting will come overhead and are less of a problem.

Create a mood board

The drawing of your master bedroom ensuite is not the be-all and end-all of the project. You now need to consider a lot more such as how the ensuite will be decorated.

You may feel a mood board is from the 70s, but it's going to give you all of your ideas in one space so you can understand what's going where and what style you like.

Get samples

It's a mistake to go on catalog images and showroom mockups. The lighting is different, and the space is enormous.

You will need tiles in every color you envisage so you get the essence of how the ensuite is going to look and feel.


Use real stone or synthetic stone surfaces, you can even buy porcelain sheets that look exactly like marble, what's the benefit? It looks great and expensive and it's easy to maintain, grout lines between tiles can discolor over time making your ensuite look tired and in need of a renovation.

Keep walls straight, tiling small walls with strange angles is going to look cheap and nasty.


Long wall mirrors are out! Use mirrors that are framed and lights over the mirror for a fantastic look in your ensuite.

Communicate with your contractor 

Don't allow the lines of communication to break down with your contractor. A symbiotic relationship is crucial for you to create a spectacular master bedroom ensuite.

Inspiring ideas

Let's get into the body of the text and offer you some thought-provoking inspiring ideas that you may wish to use in your master bedroom ensuite.

1. Open plan design

If you have the space and the right room and open space ensuite is a glorious feature in a master bedroom, the ambiance of the bedroom changes with the expectations of what lies beyond the partition wall.

Moreover, in terms of disruption, this ensuite is on the minimal side due to the large area allowed for contractors to work.

The neutral tones of the timber and the floor-to-ceiling water insulation are a masterful use of materials from a craftsman's point of view and a classic design with the retro cabinet doors from the 80s.

This light and airy master bedroom and ensuite is a masterclass in making the ensuite and bedroom come together in a cohesive manner.

How to create this look?

Select natural tones for your mood board, nothing ostentatious to compliment the relatively simple but handsome master bedroom.

Use a medium color wood floor and lead the floor into the ensuite as a natural progression and invitation to enter the ensuite.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 9.

Unless you are just installing a basin, toilet, and shower don't expect any of these master bedroom ensuites to be an essay job, they will mostly be in the realms of a specialist contractor and interior designer.

2. Shades of intimate Asian design

Not all ensuites are enclosed with artificial light and this inspirational master bedroom ensuite is a sight to behold and a triumphant display of modern and aged architecture.

The uber modern bedroom and ensuite furnishings are complemented by implementation and Asian style screen that produces evocative shadows as you relax in your bath.

The dark color tones intertwine the bedroom and the ensuite brings a magical feeling to the room, the screen offers intimate peaks of the bedroom while you laze in the bath sipping a cocktail.

The two rooms work perfectly due to the clean lines and modern design with a touch of Asia.

How to create this look?

It's a perfect design concept and the screen is the focal point regardless of the other furnishings on either side of the screen.

Think modern and oriental and come up with similar inspiration, of course, it only works in an intimate setting.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 10.

It's a ten for the simple styling and the complexity of the screen throwing shadows across the ensuite.  It's a masterpiece of installation and design work and could not be completed by a DIY enthusiast.

3. Beyond the oak door

There is a common misconception that you need a huge square bedroom to have a functional practical ensuite. You can achieve a master bedroom ensuite with a smaller space and still be delighted with the outcome of the project.

This beautiful simple bedroom has a hidden secret behind the oak door, a well-designed and functional ensuite for your convenience.

The contrasting floor colors are a sublime effect giving a clear demarcation from the bedroom to the ensuite.

Adding an ensuite to your master bedroom is not only convenient for you but it will add value and appeal to your home if ever you decide to sell and move on.

How to create this look?

Think simple, nothing complex due to the angle of the roof. Place your shower unit central to maximize the height of the ceiling and basin and toilet against the adjacent walls.

Keep it bright with some contrasting tones if you wish or make the two rooms merge as if one.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 9.

It's another complex job and you should be concerned about water pressure when installing a shower on the top floor of your home, you may need a pump to lift the water pressure for an enjoyable shower experience.

4. White modern merges into rustic

It's an unusually shaped master bedroom but the crux of the matter is can you fit an ensuite into a master bedroom that is maybe on the smaller side? The answer is yes and you can do it well.

The natural wood floors run through this period property and revealing the natural brickwork with its years of oxidation and coatings is a masterpiece and makes this somewhat boring bedroom spring to life.

The vintage-style bath is a fantastic design cue that compliments the rustic urban theme with exposed brickwork. And natural wood surfaces in the ensuite.

Of course, the pure white master bedroom is elevated also by the exposed brickwork which brings the room to a solid outstanding conclusion.

How to create this look?

This urbanite master bedroom and ensuite is the epitome of city living, you are always searching for style cues to make your home stand out from the crowded urban scene.

Think vintage bathroom furniture, it will fit perfectly in the urban sprawl of industrial heritage.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 9.

It remains a high 9, and the complexity of creating an urban apartment ensuite may be harder than first appears as you will find tapping into the water a little harder than you expect.

It will be well worth the effort and should add value to your home.

5. The grand entrance to the ensuite

If you think all master ensuites are designed surreptitiously then you will be mistaken and a grand entrance into your ensuite certainly makes a statement and shows your design prowess to the maximum.

Many ensuites in the master bedroom seem to become dominant with their well-planned designs whereas the bedroom is a secondary consideration. If you want to make your bedroom and ensuite special you must devote the same energy and cash to both rooms.

The gorgeous relaxing tones of the bedroom and the clean lines accentuated by the dado rail is a victory in bedroom design. The maple wood floor with its warm hues of rich yellows can be an inviting entrance to the ensuite through the grand double doors.

Don't scoff at double doors to your ensuite, if you lack window space in the ensuite it's a good source of natural light and more importantly ventilation.

How to create this look?

Think grandeur and accessibility, if you are elderly and have difficulty maneuvering small entrances then double doors will make access easy to the ensuite.

If you are able-bodied then you will need to coordinate colors to make a spectacular bedroom to match your ensuite.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 9.

The complexity is not reducing! It's true that you need to put an equal amount of effort into your bedroom as your ensuite, it's easy to get carried away with the ensuite so create a balance.

6. His and hers

His and her design has never faded from being in vogue mainly because of the different grooming needs between him and her.

The vanity units in the ensuite are masterful in design compact for him with lots of storage with ample mirror and light for a smooth shave and for hey the vanity is extended making the ideal dressing table for adding your make-up. A simple but functional idea.

It's important to notice the door is not centrally located in the room so the vanities are likely custom-made to fit precisely.

Keep your master bedroom ensuite bright, you may wish to incorporate his and her vanity units where lighting is of paramount importance.

How to create this look?

Think of balance, the room should be balanced within reason and if you find yourself with a door that is not central then hide it to add dimension with mirrors and vanity units.

Keep the room bright so you are not squinting when applying your makeup.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is an 8.

If we just focus on this portion of the ensuite then there is a level of complexity with the cabinets but it can be overcome easily by buying vanity units and then changing the countertop.

7. Farmhouse meets modern ensuite

If you live in a period home such as a farmhouse you may feel the prospect of adding a master bedroom ensuite is a daunting task and you may be discouraged from proceeding. When the truth is it's no more complex than adding an ensuite to a master bedroom in a contemporary home.

This beautiful ensuite has some interesting design features that may have made the installation more complex and more costly. Try to keep walls straight, the dead space behind this bath is no benefit, and it's largely created by the odd-shaped wall.

It's much easier for the contractor to tile a straight wall without stopping to make cuts every few feet. To be clear, the ensuite is tremendous and would be an absolute pleasure to live with but it would have looked equally as good with the unnecessary three-dimensional wall surface.

How to create this look?

Keep it simple and use colors that are fresh and easy to keep looking clean and bright, the mosaic floor in the shower is a great addition to break the appearance of the larger gray tiles.

Keep cabinets period if you want to retain the heritage of the building.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 7.

It's a simple design and it looks fantastic, the wall would have been better straight, and it would have given the feeling of more space in the ensuite, but it's an excellent ensuite and relatively easy to achieve.

8. Deep in the south

Mixing historic elements with contemporary can be a daunting prospect, get it wrong and you have wasted a lot of cash, get it right and you have a design triumph in your home.

The wood ceiling and old-style tiles transport you back to when times were austere money was short but life was good, it's a perfect vibe to create in your historic home.

The lavatory door is incredible and almost industrial but back in the day everything had to be functional or it had no purpose in your home.

The beautiful roman blinds hovering over the roll-top bath frame the ensuite perfectly and the contemporary floor tiles offer the contemporary contrast needed but they fit in twitch the design perfectly

To create a room with austere industrial vibes mixed with contemporary tiles and furnishings is a remarkable achievement in an ensuite.

How to create this look?

This look is meant for a period home with some historic vibes, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea as you will need to emulate the feeling of years gone by.

Roll-top baths are available easily as well as the shower equipment but it is a hard look to create.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 10.

This type of master bedroom ensuite needs a lot of thought and design from the weight of the bath to finding a lavatory door of the period. It's more complex than it looks as is often the way with designs that look simple.

9. Do ensuite designs get any better?

Designs are subjective and you can never predict what rings a person's bell when it comes to an ensuite for the master bedroom but there are some designs that are so well thought out that every element has been encompassed and this ensuite design surely must be an award winner.

Beautiful rustic floorboards stained in a dark hue set the scene for a spectacular ensuite. The beautiful light gray tiles in the wet room which is separated by a clear glass wall reveal a traditional bathtub on legs and a double shower, no waiting around in this ensuite for two busy executives.

The cabinetry with double vanity and a marble countertop scream opulence with the wall lamps bringing the ensuite s modern vibe to a crescendo of glorious design, while maintaining simplicity and calmness.

How to create this look?

You will need the dark tones of the floor, wood or tiles would work, gray is the must-have feature in the master bedroom ensuite.

Marble counter tools could be replaced with porcelain to give the same appearance of synthetic quartz in rose would be a sublime contrast.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 7.

Despite the beauty of the design and the ensuite incredible looks it's a relatively easy design to copy and could be achieved easily by a skilled and accomplished bathroom fitter, hence it's a 7 for complexity.

10. Keep it enclosed

One of the biggest problems created by master bedroom ensuites is leaking water, the water rarely gushes out its more of a drip that is random but creates untold problems with ceilings below the ensuite, the water creeps between tiles through capillary action and before you know it you have a major repair on your hands.

But you can prevent this from happening by installing a wet room, wet rooms are completely sealed and enclosed keeping the water where it is supposed to be. They are stylish and functional and they look fantastic and can be customized to match your bedroom if required.

The wet room is away from the toilet and hand basins and provides a great way of installing a super special shower and bathroom for your master bedroom ensuite.

How to create this look?

Wet rooms are specialized as the glass will be cut precisely to fit the surrounding reveal isolating the water jets from the shower. You can select from a wide range of shower furniture and baths that best meet your design style.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is an 8.

It's a great way to complete your master bedroom ensuite, wet rooms are neat and tidy and look wonderful in anyone's ensuite, you will still need to add cabinets and vanities along with a toilet to complete your ensuite.

11. Keep it simple

No one said that your master bedroom ensuite has to be fit for use by an emperor, simple clean lines and a great shower experience are all that is really needed.

This simple Scandinavian design oozes style with its minimalist tones and makes the perfect ensuite for the modern master bedroom.

Keep the walls white and the tiles gray with a light floor and a hint of wood to bring the ensuite together.. There is no need for a double vanity unit, how many times do you brush your teeth next to your partner?

How to create this look?

Think simple clean lines of white paint and think like a Scandinavian, they spend their money on more important things like TVs, and Volvos.

Gray tiles are easy to accent if you wish to change the color scheme.

How easy is this look to achieve? Working on a simple scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest level to achieve these bedroom shelves is a 6.

The lowest complexity score so far, it is a great master bedroom ensuite and is functional which is all that is required, you enter your ensuite feeling jaded and leave feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

Did you find inspiration?

Creating a master bedroom ensuite is a process that needs to be followed, and you can't miss a step of the process otherwise, failure is inevitable.

In terms of style and design, there is no limit to what you can do depending on the size allocated to the ensuite. If you are an urbanite, then exposing the brickwork to create a rustic look is an awesome idea, but you may have to add some sealant to the exposed brickwork to stop the continuous stream of dust.

Design and style are personal choices, so create the ensuite that rings your bell, the number of tiles and styles of bathtubs and shower heads are amazing, and you will certainly find what you are looking for.

If in doubt, keep it simple, simple designs have a lot of merits. They are cheaper to install and often look just as amazing as an expensive ensuite.