Making the jump – mood board to ensuite design

It’s been a long time in the making. I started chatting in July about my plans to revamp our bathroom into a luxurious en-suite. An adult only space where I could retreat, recharge and pamper. That was my vision. We’ll see what the boys have to say.

Full of enthusiasm, I created a mood board for the space (as one does) and declared it to be ‘Modern Vintage Jungle’ (you can read all about it here). So what exactly happened from August till now? Life, other projects, finding a builder, waiting and creating a design spec.


Now that the renovation is nearly complete, I thought I’d share my exact design plans. To refresh your memory, this is what we are working with – a narrow space with little natural light and an awkward somewhat dangerous layout. Really, who puts a radiator in the exact spot where you step out of a bath? Many bumps & bruises, ouch.


So how exactly did I make the leap from my ‘Modern Vintage Jungle’ mood board to an actual design for the en-suite? I always start with the statement pieces and build out from there.



For the en-suite, it all started with the black and glass frame shower screen. Hello. I have been drooling over these sexy screens for years and it was top of my “lust list”. Perhaps its from my many years in NYC or the sleek clean lines of minimalist design, I have a thing for Industrial style.

The frame shower has bold sharp angular lines, so I paired it with some very faint curves in the wall light, the faucet, the mirror and the shower head to soften a bit.  One thing I kept consistent was the finish, nearly all black – it is my “neutral”. I said “no thanks” to the mixing black & brass throughout the space as I had bigger ideas (& to be honest, I didn’t have the budget). Eeek.

These are the key pieces of the en-suite design and if you only look at these pieces, you’d say its a solid Scandi Minimalist design. Each item needed to be able to stand on its own, regardless of the wall colour or tiles. It needed to last the test of time yet have the ability to adapt over the years. Imagine it paired with white walls, white wall tiles, and white flooring – simple beautiful design.

Tip: Think about the overall style, the angles & lines and finishes when selecting your key pieces. Do they compliment one another?

The pieces are: Drench Showers Frame Shower Screen; Tap Warehouse Shower Mixer; Maison Du Monde Mirror; Spark & Bell Wall Light; Crosswater Basin Tap; Nichba Design DK bath shelf.



With my last bathroom renovation, I learned that while I love the clean lines of minimalist design, I REALLY miss the colour and patterns. For the en-suite, I injected it all from the very start. I can hear you say “What?!” “Has she gone mad?!” No, it’s all about balance and scale when it comes to colours, prints and patterns.

Okay, let’s take baby steps. Take the above ‘luxe industrial vibe’ and add the bold monochrome floor tiles. I used the angular lines and the black and white to take your eyes from the floor to the frame shower screen.

Now baby step 2 thinking about wall colour & keeping it neutral … with a very slight twist, of course. Sure, I could have played it safe with white & grey. For me, the soft pink walls and a warm off white help to soften all the black.

Are you ready to take the leap? I’ll happily admit that the wallpaper is wild & vibrant but the design is actually delicate in size and scale. I fell in love with punchy green colour and the many softer shades of blue & green that gives this wallpaper real depth.

Tip: Think about size & scale when working in a small space. Get wallpaper, tile and paint samples. See how the combination makes you feel.

My winning design combo is a Bold Floor + Delicate Wallpaper + Fresh Neutrals.

The pieces are: Feathr wallpaper by Marcos Navarro; Farrow & Ball Calamine, All White, and School House White; British Ceramic Tiles Luka available at Tile Giant.



Yes, I’ve added another layer of colour and pattern. Why? I say Why Not. The easy option would have been to keep the midcentury unit as is and turn it into a sink. Everyone has done that. I thought it would be fun to do something surprising and I had been admiring Jen of Happy Retro Furniture work for some time. We met over coffee, I shared my vision for the space and the hunt began for the perfect Midcentury Modern dresser. It’s likely that I wasn’t the easiest person to collaborate with – I had very specific needs and desires. Jen was amazing, she was very patient and full of great ideas.

Together we used the wallpaper as our inspiration and selected Little Greene Paint Canton (deep green); Hellebore (lush pink); Basalt (decadent dark navy); Pall Mall (pale green); Trumpet (hello yellow); Berlin Blue (soft sky blue) as our palette. Once again – it’s all about balance between bold & soft & neutral.

Tip: If pairing multiple patterns & prints together … think about balancing delicate, faint, small, medium, large, bold so some designs pop and others add texture & interest.

My winning combo: Large design to pop against delicate wallpaper + Colours consistent with Wallpaper (No new colour).

That’s all I’m saying for now — I’m totally going to keep you hanging — watch this space in January for the BIG MEGA reveal.

It’s also a wrap for 2018. It’s been an exciting first year of the blog and sharing my design journey, my renovation & DIY adventures and antics of going to interior design school. Thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.

Wishing you all a very festive holiday break and a spectacular 2019.


Liz xx


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