Admit it: you probably don’t think too much about your utility room, but you might want some utility room ideas. That little space behind the kitchen has a washer, a dryer and not much else, and it might seem crazy to want to upgrade a room that you’re barely in and your guests will never see.
However, home buyers can be wowed by a well put together utility room, and homeowners can find that they can de-clutter the rest of their home and save time on household chores- or even enjoy them.
How can you create a utility room that isn’t simply utilitarian?
Pick a style
The rest of your home can inform how you style your utility room, and it would be odd to go from an ultra-modern, sleek, angular kitchen to a cozy, rustic utility room, but the utility room is detached enough from the ‘flow’ of the rest of your home that you can mix it up in terms of colour and style.
Colour Follows Functions
Although you might have a unified colour scheme for your home, if you choose to mix it up you’ll want to think about what a room’s colour palette says. Kitchens and bathrooms will tend to have cooler, cleaner aesthetics- designers will want to emphasize cleanliness and light. Living areas, bedrooms and bonus rooms can often have warmer tones, dark accents and softer lighting, with shadows used to create texture and depth. Utility rooms fit into the former: they’re about cleaning, or at the very least storing things that clean, so a lighter, brighter palette would work better.
Personalise Your Storage
You might think that a one-size-fits-all approach would work better- after all, whoever buys your home after you will have totally different needs. However, you need to consider what they’re going to see when viewing your home: if you’ve built storage for three pairs of shoes and you’ve got five then the space is going to look cluttered, whereas if you have exactly the right storage everything will fit snugly in place and look well organized. Don’t forget storage for small items like gloves and scarves.
Depending on where it’s located in your home, your utility room might double as a boot room for putting on and taking off shoes. In this case, you’ll need to make some design changes to take this into account. You’ll be more restricted in terms of flooring choices, for one thing- carpets are definitely out, if they were an option in the first place, as is wooden flooring that isn’t very durable and well treated. Even artificial flooring that has a rough texture will pick up and keep dirt.
You’ll also want to have somewhere to sit to put boots on or take them off, giving you the chance to inject some comfort into what would otherwise be a pretty dull room. Obviously, you aren’t going to have a full couch in there, but a small love-seat or bench will work fine.
Since you’ll be tracking in mud, you’ll want to find some way of making it easy to clean your shoes and, in the process, keep the floors clean- a few sheets of newspaper near the door isn’t going to cut it in today’s housing market! An easy to clean doormat or even a foot-level washing station will make keeping the space, and your shoes, mud-free so much easier.
Man’s Best Friend
Here’s a great utility room idea: another potential use for the room is as a space for pets- you don’t want cat litter or a dog bed in your kitchen after all. Instead of just being pushed into a corner, pet beds can be a focal point of the room just as a mahogany four-poster can be the focus of a bedroom. It doesn’t just cut down on clutter, it shows a potential buyer that your home is a great place for pets- many people currently renting, particularly younger potential buyers, want dogs, since they often can’t have them in rental properties. You can also find places to store cat litter that reduces the smell and bad visuals while also making it easy for your cat(s) to do their business.
Cover It Up
Having top-of-the-line washers and dryers can be a draw if those appliances are going to come with the house, but if you have older appliances, or no appliances (say, if you’ve already moved them into a new home), or if you just want to create an old-fashioned, rustic looking space, then you might want to cover up your appliances. Specially-made cupboards that allow easy access- lighting inside the cupboard
Plants are an underappreciated part of a utility room. There’s often a good reason for this: sunlight isn’t a home builder’s first priority when building the room. If your room does have good quality natural light then plants are a great addition. You can start a small herb garden in front of a window to have fresh basil for pasta dishes, grow a miniature garden in an Ikea greenhouse or even grow your own vegetables if you have enough space.
Utility Room Ideas and ornamentation are often the complete opposites, but in modern utility rooms, this doesn’t have to be the case. Pictures on the walls, vintage containers and more knick-knacks than the mantle above a fireplace are now all acceptable in a room that used to be for the washer, the dryer and little else.
A utility room can be a place to put a few vital appliances and anything you don’t want in your kitchen, or it can be a space where you’ll actually enjoy folding the laundry or returning to after a stroll in the woods. Call us and we’ll help you through every stage, from design through to construction.