If there’s one room in the house where you should make a splash it’s the bathroom, as leisure is just as important as lathering.
This space should double as a practical area for the daily wash-and-go,and also as a sensual home spa where we re-energise or de-stress.
“Bathrooms are no longer regarded as utilitarian, purely functionalspaces but tend to be seen as havens of relaxation, taking inspirationfrom hotels and spas,” says Laura McCormack, bathroom category manager at Fired Earth.
“There’s an increasing demand for luxurious, eye-catching finishes, such as marble, polished nickel and hand-decorated tiles.
“Clever storage solutions really come into their own in the bathroom too, since unsightly clutter isn’t conducive to a spa-style environment and space tends to be at a premium.”
A recent survey by bathroom specialists Villeroy & Boch confirms that view, dubbing the space the ‘spathroom’.
It found that almost half of Britons say they consider their bathroom an important private space where they can relax, 18% believe it’s the one room in the house which can boost wellbeing, and 42% dream of a hotel-style spa washroom.
There’s no need to spend money like water to enjoy a wealth of innovative and luxury fittings and enhancements, as increasingly, thesefeature in collections offered by high street and online companies.
They can range from touch-pad controls for state-of-the-art showers and baths, through to fibre optic lighting, built-in televisions and surround-sound music systems.
Taking the plunge and redoing a bathroom is undoubtedly a sound investment, points out Trevor Kent, former president of the National Association of Estate Agents.
“Alongside the kitchen, bathrooms are key to the sale potential of a property. Interestingly, these are also the rooms clients most rememberafter they’ve viewed a property. They often leave a far stronger impression than living rooms, and can add as much as £15,000 to a home’s value,” he says.
Expert advice to achieve a bathroom to boast about includes adding a touch of bling with gold or bronze fittings and finishes to conjure up a luxurious feel.
“I believe minimalism, with cool white, chrome and stainless steelfittings, is waning, as people seek more cosseting spaces, particularlyas we battle tough economic times,” says Cheryl Gurner, creative director at Bathrooms International.
Splashing the cash on a spectacular free-standing bath or feature shower, using stone and wood cabinetry for a spa-like experience and opting for the clean simplicity of classic white sanitaryware that is timeless are also advised. Monochrome colour schemes are particularly popular at the moment.
Buy the best quality fittings you can afford or search for end of season ranges and internet deals to get the look without pushing the boat out.