Make Your Utility Room Functional….But Still Fabulous!

Inner City living means that every inch of space has to be carefully allocated to a particular function. For that reason your utility room has to serve as many functions as possible: from storage for cleaning items, to laundry, to housing our little canine or feline friends.

Urban life can often mean that your utility room – however small or spacious – can be either on the ground floor or below ground level in a basement. But, regardless of its location, there’s no doubt that your utility room can be functional and fabulous!

‘The look’

As with any other room in the house, when it comes to choosing suitable materials for your utility room, you can let your imagination run riot! Materials such as tiles and stainless steel are particularly popular – mainly due to the fact that they’re not only durable, but easy to clean.

Colour

Due to the small nature of many utility rooms, white and light wood shades are often used as these will make a small space feel larger. That doesn’t mean, however, that the look has to be bland or impersonal since you can inject personality by using different textures such as canvas, metal and wood, and adding personal touches such as designer Rie Sterling has in this utility room with the glass bottles above the sink and a patterned rug. Bold colour can also make a very powerful statement. This utility room from Artistic Designs for Living is a great example, with its lime-green paint tying all of the cabinets together.

Storage

With such a restricted space in which to work, it’s vital that you keep everything in the utility room organised and easy to access. Floor-to-ceiling cupboards will conceal household machinery and allow laundry items and cleaning fluids to remain out of sight. If you don’t have floor-to-ceiling cupboards, opt for a free-standing dresser as this will serve the same purpose. Invest in wicker hampers to keep your laundry tidy and a range of storage baskets in various textures and colours to house all of your essentials. Or, why not create a storage wall? With floor space at a premium, put the wall to good use by installing a versatile wall-mounted storage system that can handle anything from mops to hammers. You can take ‘going vertical’ a stage further by making the most of a room’s ceiling height by placing your washing machine and dryer on top of each other. Doing this not only makes great use of space, it looks really neat too. Look at this example. The built-in cupboards have been cleverly used to conceal the washing machine, ironing board, linen and towels, while the built-in bench provides both storage and a working platform. The wall-mounted wooden rack provides hanging space for accessories and laundry. A brilliant use of a small space.

What do you think?

Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

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