If you’re lucky enough to have a utility room, there’s a good chance it’s the hardest-working spot in the house. Show your laundry some love with efficient, well-planned storage and beautiful decorative touches to ensure it’s a place where you’ll be happy to spend time. And if you’re planning a remodel, you may want to consider room for these moves.
Related: How to Remodel the Laundry Room
1. Combine style with function.
In this utility room, the owners have chosen materials that are both attractive and practical. The countertops are a hard-working wood that lightens up the space, while the sink is deep enough for hand-washing clothes and scrubbing muddy boots.
The tiled floor is easy to clean, and the pretty decorative design elevates the room above the strictly utilitarian. The addition of ceiling spots, meanwhile, ensures a light, spacious feel despite the lack of windows.
2. Don’t forget to look up. Make the most of a utility room with a high ceiling by fitting a hanging clothes rack. In this galley-style scheme, the use of a pull-down rack ensures the room isn’t rendered useless when clothes are being dried.
3. Go dark. Light cabinets are the usual way to keep your utility room feeling fresh, but how about considering other options? A quick makeover with a darker shade, such as this elegant navy blue, imparts a modern country look, particularly when paired with aged brass taps and hardware.
4. Have fun with the details.
Since your utility room isn’t somewhere you’ll sit and relax — and, let’s face it, only your household will ever go in there — see it as an opportunity to have fun with color and accessories.
Here, a fresh, 1950s feel has been achieved with pretty, mix-and-match pastels, bright backsplash tiles and a retro wall sign, while the dark wood floor keeps the look grounded.
5. Mix it up.
While concealed storage is ideal for appliances and ugly cleaning products, open shelves allow you to show off prettier items, such as ceramics, vases and baskets.
If space allows, an open-fronted cabinet, such as the one in this Shaker-style utility room, enables you to store often-used items with elegant efficiency.
6. Zone the area. If your utility space is part of your kitchen, use paneling or paint to define the zone. Here, the half-height tongue-and-groove gives the area a country look and also helps to protect the walls against scuffs and chips.
7. Utilize racks and rails. In a compact space with a regular-height ceiling, a wall-mounted frame for drying clothes can be a convenient alternative to the traditional ceiling-mounted design. Heated options are also available, making the business of drying clothes quick and efficient.
8. Plan your storage.
Practical storage is one of the most important aspects of a utility room. If you’re laying out the space from scratch, it’s worth commissioning a cabinetmaker to plan storage cabinets for your exact requirements.
Allow space for taller, bulkier items, such as the vacuum cleaner, ironing board and mop, and include a cabinet shelf large enough to hold your ironing basket, so items to be ironed are nearby when the job needs to be tackled.
9. Include some hooks. If you’ve run out of cabinet and shelf ideas, consider the simple addition of a peg rail. This smartly painted version, attached to the upper part of the wall, provides options for hanging shoe bags, aprons and towels, as well as being a handy place to air items on hangers after they’ve been ironed.
10. Consider your cabinets.
Traditional ventilation grills in cabinet doors have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years with the popularity of Shaker-style cabinetry, but their original use was purely practical. This nifty decorative detail ensures cabinet interiors stay fresh, so is perfect for areas where linen and towels are stored.
If you can’t afford to replace existing cabinetry completely, speak to a carpenter about creating custom replacement doors that incorporate these clever cutouts.
Tell us: What would your dream utility room look like? And if you have one already, please show us a photo.
via Dream Spaces: 10 Ideas for a Get-It-Done Utility Room