Oversized baths: Wallow in luxury

Splash out on some spa-chic for your home

Now that our houses have plummeted in value and it looks like we are all going to be living in them a lot longer than we planned, it's probably time to start tackling those home improvements. And where better to start than with a fabulous bathroom – which will also add value to the property. Time to wallow in luxury not misery.

Alternative Plans (020-7228 6460; www.alternative-plans.co.uk ) sells a very large round bath – called a UFO because it looks like a flying saucer. According to the company's owner, Laurence Pidgeon, there is a real trend at the moment for oversize baths . "It's not just to do with the feeling of luxury but, perhaps, people who have converted a bedroom into a bathroom feel they have much larger space than normal," he says. "The UFO is fantastic and takes up to 14 people"

But it does come with a hefty price tag of £9,741.

Alternatively, if you have a large bathroom, you can install two cheaper baths at right angles to each other. That way no one has to worry about sitting at the tap end, and if you've got children who fight over space, the problem is solved.

For a real sense of glamour, how about a free-standing shower? Based on a design from the 1920s, a huge glass shower box costing £15,000 from Drummonds (020-7376 4499; www.drummonds-arch.co.uk ) can be placed in the middle of a room.

If you don't have a huge amount of space, you can still find room for a huge showerhead. Invest in the Jumbo Rainshower, £811.63, from Grohe (0871 200 3414; www.grohe.co.uk ). It is 40cm wide and has 252 nozzles. Or you can go for a Roca's (01530 830080; www.roca-uk.com ) Vintage XL, which is also designed to create the rainfall effect but is fitted with a flow restrictor, using 13 litres a minute instead of the more usual 20. Beware though, the rain effect means this is a more gentle shower and not one that is designed to pummel you into a state of wakefulness in the morning.

Double basins add to that hotel bathroom feel and the Stratum by Roca is both contemporary and big. It also comes with storage underneath so there's no excuse for your other half nicking your moisturiser on the basis that they can't find their own. The basin costs £390, and with the unit included it comes to £912.

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