After kitchens the room that is most important to buyers of new homes is the bathroom. In many modern homes, where rooms are generally small, the bathroom can be a bit of an afterthought. As long as you can fit a bath, basin and WC the design doesn’t seem to matter. People may put up with that bit it’s not what they want.

There are so many beautiful bathrooms to choose from and specialist firms who will design and install your dream bathroom or wetroom, and often the cost is less than you think.

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.

Laura McCormack, bathroom category manager at Fired Earth, said: "Bathrooms are no longer regarded as utilitarian, purely functional spaces but tend to be seen as havens of relaxation, taking inspiration from hotels and spas, "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, these feature 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 remember after 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.

Brighton-based bathroom designer and fitter Barry Alsop, says: “Even in the bathroom technology is changing fast and small spaces can look quite stunning if designed and fitted professionally.

“A designer will include discrete storage spaces to lessen the clutter than tends to gather on the window sill or around the basin and spoil the look of an otherwise good looking room.

“There is an amazing choice of styles and colours. White is still the most popular choice with many people favouring a traditional style but I encourage my clients to be a bit more adventurous and think about whether it is a purely functional room, a quiet refuge, or somewhere for a luxurious pamper.”