Practical advice: utility room ideas

Utility rooms are no longer just for big stately houses. Ideal for keeping the clutter and mess of everyday living out of open plan areas, a utility room is perfect for any home.

With open plan living increasing in popularity, many homeowners are facing a new dilemma; no longer being able to keep the clutter and mess of day-to-day living behind closed doors. The solution? Incorporate a utility room into your downstairs floor plan to enable you to conceal things like laundry, work top appliances that only see occasional use, and dirty outdoor clothing, so you can keep your open plan area clean and clutter free.

The benefits of a utility room?

A utility room not only hides clutter and evidence of day-to-day chores, but is a space where the washing machine and tumble dryer can run without disturbing dinner time with background noise. In a mutually beneficial way, laundry is protected from cooking smells. Having space to store and use an ironing board and iron is also beneficial, as it keeps everything for laundry in the same location.

Larger items of crockery, big pots and appliances like bread makers and ice cream machines which do not get used everyday can also be stored there, freeing up precious storage space in the kitchen for everyday items.

It is not uncommon for a utility room to function as a sort of overflow kitchen, to hide away appliances and gadgets. For this reason many people chose to include additional food storage, with a secondary fridge and/or freezer and cabinets for grocery overflow. If this is the case, it’s also a good idea to include a sink and some clear worktop area, so that you don’t have to travel far during food prep.


It makes sense to place a utility room as close to the kitchen as possible, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is much more convenient to have all the appliances in the same area, especially if you are using the utility room for storage of kitchen utensils or food and drink, and not solely for laundry. However, it is also much more affordable to have all the utilities connected even if your utility room is devoted to washing and ironing.

In addition, it’s a good idea to locate the utility room on an external wall, as then you can include a door to the garden. This is particularly useful as it then offers a place for muddy boots and coats to be removed before entering the rest of the living area, minimising dirt.


However you intend to use the utility room space, it will undoubtedly function as an overflow room at some stage, so it’s probably best to allow for more buy hydrocodone review storage space than actually needed.

Open shelving and floor-to-ceiling cabinetry will function well as a home for a vacuum cleaner, mops, brushes, bottled products, and recycling bins, to keep the utility area tidy and free from clutter. Hanging pegs, towel rails, and lidded boxes that double up as seats to put shoes on, will all help save valuable space in the room.


Importantly, even though the room is designed to be closed off at times, using the same cabinetry and colour schemes as in your open plan space will help it feel like a continuation of the room when in use.

It’s not always possible for the utility room to receive as much natural light as other rooms, so in these cases opting for a plain, neutral colour palette works best to give the space an airy and inviting atmosphere. Flooring should be hardwearing and easy to clean in order to make way for the wet coats and muddy boots in the winter months. Stone is a fantastic flooring option, and in a light colour will help the room feel more spacious.

What to consider when designing a utility room?

A utility room doesn’t need to be huge, but it does need to be big enough for all the appliances you want in there and for you to use them effectively. Make sure there is enough room for doors to open and for you to manoeuvre around them; for example you’ll need plenty of clearance around the washing machine and tumble dryer, so you can load/unload and fold items comfortably.

Storage is imperative. It will undoubtedly be a home to more than you expect; overflow from the kitchen, stacks of laundry waiting to be washed or ironed and all the miscellaneous things that could clutter up the kitchen, dining or living space. Incorporate a cabinet or two more than you immediately need, or leave room to put up shelving, as you might be grateful in the long term. Ultimately, think about how you want to use the space, and how placement of both the room and the appliances within it will be impacted; is there enough ventilation? Can water pipes be accessed? It might also sound obvious but make sure that there are ample power points for all your static appliances as well as ones that you’ll want to use once in awhile.