Guess who’s back…back again…Chrome is back. CHROME is back, CHROME IS BACK!

You’d be mistaken for thinking that chrome had been banished to the naughty step for being too well…safe. It’s been a bathroom staple since the late 70s when it was cast to the shadows for its golden competition – brass. The 1980s saw brass come home in a big way, much like gold was the metal of choice for jewellery, soon to be replaced by a trend for platinum and silver. I think this move is set to happen again in the form of brushed chrome and nickel making its way through the door with icy blues and cool greens.

Tonal Palettes

As we think about how to use chrome with tonal colours in the form of sanitary ware, one beautiful piece springs to mind – the resin and marble vanity unit. Screaming Italian minimalism, it works as part of a master bedroom washroom. Pair this with a linear pattern in flooring.

If you are opting for brushed, polished or matt chrome, consider the surroundings, by which I mean the other elements in the room, to ensure they scream uber luxe. The colour of the hour, minty green, will merge into ice blues (I predict this will be a strong combo in 2020) and pairs well with freestanding marble basins along with weathered woods for freestanding towel rails.

How do I stop it looking cold?

Chrome can give the illusion of being awfully standoffish compared to brass. Particularly when teamed with flat greys it can resemble masculine and unisex spaces on the urban and commercial side. When I look at this for my client’s homes, we think about the 6am Monday morning shower and how we need to feel invigorated. Texture and warmth can be added in reflective, calm aesthetic tiles.

Consider wall art and wallpaper for a zone two space. Look at how this will bring all the cooler elements together consider large floral patterns. Start with the ceiling if you’re planning on having a bath, as the majority of your eyeline when using it will be on the ceiling above, so why not give yourself something to look at!

Freestanding baths also work well with chrome as V & A offer a bespoke colour finish option for the underside of the bath. Opt for high shine to contrast the matt finish of brushed chrome, or the opposite if you’re heading towards a polished chrome tap.

Which finish is the best?

When deciding on your taps and showerheads, start with the natural light in the room, and how that light is reflected. If you’re looking at an en-suite or master bathroom with artificial light, black taps and showerheads are going to absorb any light from the space – which could work in your favour if you choose a matt look for the cabinetry.

To help you on your way we have created the below colour suggestion chart, this will enable you to select a tonal base to build your bathroom design around.

Matt black Farrow & Ball ‘Smoked Trout’                      

Brushed brass Farrow & Ball ‘Calamine’

Brushed chrome Earborn “Toms bakery”

Brushed nickel Farrow & Ball ‘Borrowed Light’

Chrome Farrow & Ball ‘Matchstick’

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have alternatively email

With thanks to the following for the use of their beautiful product images.


So let’s chat ensuite’s, we’ve all been there, boutique hotel sitting in a roll top bath thinking how at peace you feel, that little luxury of space adjacent to the bedroom. Only to return home to piles of washing on your bedroom floor, makeup bags overflowing with product, precariously balanced on your bedside table.

OK. So here are the elements to consider when making a box room /dumping ground into an ensuite, and not just any ensuite, one that most boutique hotels would be envious of.

Let’s start with the What & How questions?

What’s the best size for an ensuite bathroom?

The best size for a box room conversion to ensuite bathrooms is 2m x 1.5m, at the other end of the spectrum, you can go as large as your space permits.  Our designs always allow for a standard shower tray (usually 900 x 900mm), wall hung toilet and vanity unit. Freestanding baths will work in space of a shower tray and frameless shower screen. The minimum width between sanitary wear we would suggest is 80 cm, or as I often describe to clients a person width, if you can turn in the space between the basin and the shower that’s your absolute minimum.

How much does it cost to create an ensuite bathroom?

The cost is dependant on the quality of your sanitary wear, your tiling design and most importantly the installer’s fees.  On average our entry-level ensuite projects cost £6,5000 inclusive of installation.

When looking at ensuite bathrooms, we often start with the need.

Why are you creating this additional room?  

Is it to ease the congestion in the family bathroom?

Are you looking for a sanctuary to retreat to after work?

The answer to the majority of these questions is …….


Think back to the boutique hotel ensuite experience, what were the elements of the bathroom design that resonated with you?  Was it the ability to chat with your partner whilst wallowing in the bath, or store your makeup in a JO Malone showroom style display? List these and then use them to plan the layout of the new ensuite.

Bathroom design points to consider

When creating the ensuite design, the key is to create a visual divide between the master bedroom and ensuite, allowing the bathroom to seem spacious, with an abundance of light. This can in the form of frosted glass partition doors or concealed pocket doors.

Wall hung fittings, such as vanity units and toilets, increase the floor space by fixing to the wall, and they, therefore, create the illusion of space. As seen here in our Surrey project we used wall hung toilet and a striped tiling pattern that draws the eye across the room.

Storage space comes in the form of built-in shower niches, these house all the bottles and jars in one space for ease of and most importantly stops them kamikaze onto your foot when entering the shower. Built-in niches ensure everything has its place, without encroaching into the bathrooms usable space.

So there you have it ensuites 101! The images featured in this blog post are from our Surrey project having implemented the above we achieved the boutique hotel vibe in our client home. 

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them. All photography & rights owned by . Thank you x