Designing your space-saving utility room

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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In a perfect world, every room, nook and cranny in our homes would be just so—perfectly appointed with all the right furniture, perfunctory and tasteful, each space harmoniously gelling together to fuse a gloriously lavish finished scenario. For the most part, we throw all our weight behind the rooms with the most exposure—the living rooms, the kitchen, and if we have the time or inclination to know what’s good for us, the boudoir too. But it’s those supplementary rooms that often let the team down, the ones too often overlooked—the bathrooms, the WCs, and of course, the utility rooms. So ignored and unheeded is the poor laundry in most scenarios that we barely even make the space for one! We need to wash our undies and socks somewhere, and we might as well make sure we’re doing it somewhere nice.

The following examples show just how easy and worthwhile it can be to go the extra yards—give your utility space a little extra love and make sure it doesn’t get left out of the beautification equation.

Hide-away appliances

Appliances can be ugly things, even the most attractive washing machine doesn’t look much better than a giant white robot, taking up space and rumbling around on the floor. If you want a home utility space that is sleek and chic, then consider covering up your appliances within cupboards or custom made joinery. Hiding away laundry appliances can have multiple benefits as well, not only does it stop unsightly marks appearing on your white tiles, as its inevitably bounces about, but it can decrease the noise of the machine as well. Moreover, if your utility room is within your bathroom, or you live in a smaller apartment space, the cupboard housing your appliances can greatly diminish the impact the laundry has on your aesthetic or décor.

A place for everything

scandinavian Bathroom by Elfa Deutschland GmbH
Elfa Deutschland GmbH

Endlich wird Wäschewaschen zum Vergnügen!

Elfa Deutschland GmbH

Conversely, you may have space for a large utility room, and therefore, you need to consider how to ensure everything is within reach, easily accessible and smartly designed for optimum functionality. Consider this example where the occupants have employed a shelving system that is simple, customisable and effective in ensuring everything has its space and its place within the room. If you are lucky enough to have a generous sized laundry, then ensure you integrate a well thought out system of storage to ensure the space does not become cluttered with clothes and other messy items.

The kitchen/utility combination

With today’s apartments becoming smaller and smaller in size, it is increasingly difficult to secure a space for a separate utility room. This example has effortlessly and stylishly incorporated a washing machine into the kitchen unit which ensures it is central, useable and above all, functional. The natural reaction to a washing machine in the kitchen is one of disparagement, we feel awkward cleaning our clothing in the same place we prepare our food, but the reality is that it can work quite successfully. The machine can blend in with the surrounding appliances, such as the dishwasher and cooker, easily whilst creating noise in a space that is generally the cacophonous centre of the house. Choose a light toned kitchen, with Scandinavian influenced design that will ensure the appliance is recessive and the space is simple and effective.

The bathroom/utility combination

Apartment London:   by Studio Kiran Singh
Studio Kiran Singh

Apartment London

Studio Kiran Singh

Often we are limited when it comes to where we can put out washing machine—in rental properties, or older style houses, the fittings are often in one place, and that decides where the utility space will be located. However, just because the washing machine is located in an undesirable location, does not mean it has to stand out as an eyesore to the remaining space. This example shows how the washing machine is located in the bathroom, and although not covered by a cupboard, or located away from sight, is still recessive and relatively unobjectionable. To ensure your washing machine doesn’t become a horrid monstrosity in your sensibly designed home, try keeping it free from blemishes and ensure it stays very white. Moreover, if it is covered in bumps and scratches, try drawing attention away from the washer with a well-organised bathroom or domestic space and add other interesting elements to avert the gaze to other areas of the room.

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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