A utility room is a hardworking area of your home, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be all function over style. In fact, with the right design, you can make your utility space more practical as well as beautiful. No matter how you use this area of your home, whether it’s for laundry, storing cleaning supplies or as an area to keep muddy boots and pet baskets, these are a few handy tips for creating a stylish yet functional utility room in your home.
Install ample storage
A utility room is more than just a space for storing your washing machine. It’s a valuable area of the home that can be used for storage too, so installing shelving units will maximise the space you have available. Floating shelves are a great way to make use of vertical space that will otherwise go to waste, or you might want to install recessed shelving units that ensure you can use alcoves and nooks in the room to full effect.
Another alternative is to add in cupboards below your work surfaces which will give you the opportunity to hide away cleaning supplies and equipment that you don’t necessarily want on show. If you go floor to ceiling with your storage, you can add in a step stool or a wooden ladder for an aesthetic but easy way of accessing everything in the room.
Add durable flooring
No matter how you use your utility room, whether it’s for washing clothes, cleaning muddy pets or as a place to store wet coats and umbrellas, you need it to be easy to clean. With mud, water and spillages likely, vinyl floor tiles are an easy but highly effective way to jazz up a functional space but also keep it practical.
You can replicate classic styles that you’d normally associate with wood flooring, such as parquet floors, but replace the wood with vinyl floor tiles that are easier to maintain in a utility room where moisture will be present. As one leading flooring supplier explains, “flooring can transform any sized space, and there is a design for any interior. Parquet celebrates geometric design, creating a contemporary, cool look that flows seamlessly throughout open plan spaces or within smaller areas for an eye-catching style”.
Bring in as much light as possible
Utility rooms are often afterthought spaces, or are added in with extensions to make the most of the floorspace, which means they don’t always have windows. This can leave a utility room feeling drab and dingy, so adding light in again will make it more practical to work in and a nicer area of your home. Under-cabinet LED strip lighting is a great way of creating a softer, more ambient light that makes it an enjoyable space to be in, even if you’re doing the chores. Alternatively, why not add wall lights that don’t take up much room but create a warm atmosphere.
Another option is to steal light from the next room on – while you may not have windows to the room itself, you may be able to add a window to the adjoining room or even add a glazing wall to maximise natural light and create a feeling of more space.
Stack appliances to save space
Got a smaller utility room and want to make the most of the space you have available? A great tip is to stack your washing machine and tumble dryer on top of one another instead of installing them side by side. It makes the most of the room and gives you the chance to install a wider work surface or add more cupboards and shelving, while still having access to both appliances.
You might have tall units in place that you can use to stack your washer and dryer, or you can use a stacking kit to keep them in place. Just make sure your washing machine is on the bottom as these are heavier appliances and are designed with a concrete block in them, so that they prevent movement when on a spin cycle.
Go old-school with a drying rack
Not only are drying racks eco-friendlier than tumble driers, but they can also save on space and money. A suspended clothes rack that is suspended from the ceiling and can be maneuvered up and down as needed. They’re surprisingly effective, since heat rises in the home so your washing dries quicker than if you were to dry it on a standard clothes horse on the floor.
Wooden drying racks suspended from the ceiling add a traditional, farmhouse style to your utility space, plus they’re relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Kitchen designer Humphrey Munson also recommend installing a drying cupboard for items that can’t go in the tumble dryer and a rail for freshly ironed clothes to keep them out of the way.
Practical design meets beautiful decor
Utility rooms are really handy to have and if you’re lucky enough to have space in your home for one, thinking about how you’re likely to use the space on a daily basis should be your first step in designing a stunning room that suits your lifestyle. Whether you’re in need of storage, a low maintenance room that’s easy to keep clean and tidy, or you want to maximise a smaller space to its full potential, planning will help you consider the layout more carefully before you invest in storage solutions and decor pieces.