7 Utility Room Features Designers Recommend
Four pros reveal the essential inclusions that will take a laundry room from so-so to super-functional
“Having a decent amount of worktop space is a godsend in a laundry room, giving the homeowner room to fold and sort clothes, pop a clothes basket down and more,” Brett Patterson, senior designer and managing director at The Renovation Broker, says.
“Ideally, you’ll want the worktops to be at least 600mm deep – or 650mm deep if you have the room – so you can include a decent-size sink, as well as worktop space to put baskets and folded clothes on top,” he says.
“Professionals often forget to factor in space for a laundry basket in their design,” Anthony Pillinger, director at Swell Homes, says, “which means dirty washing has to be stored elsewhere, creating clutter throughout the laundry or in other rooms in the home.
“A pull-out washing basket fitted into cabinetry, with dividers to separate colours, darks and whites, is the ideal solution,” he continues. “A simpler and more inexpensive option is to include a recess space for a basket.”
Julianne Bull, principal designer at The Den Interiors, adds, “Pull-out laundry baskets make sorting laundry easy and keep dirty washing hidden out of sight. Sturdy plastic tubs can be integrated into the cabinetry and can be removed and cleaned as needed.”
“Installing drying racks or a drying cupboard in your laundry room design means homeowners can say goodbye to having those pesky freestanding drying racks all over the house,” Julianne says. “Racks can be purchased from storage retailers or custom-made, and placed over a heating vent or in a purpose-built cabinet.”
“If the space is small, you’ll need to plan the design of the laundry room carefully in order to fit in everything you need,” Brett says.
“If your client wants a multipurpose laundry that includes dedicated storage for the vacuum cleaner, brooms, ironing board, mops and baskets,” he continues, “then you may need to incorporate smart storage solutions, which can bump up costs, but will result in a more tailored and efficient storage solution.
“Another tip – if you include power points in the broom or vacuum cleaner cupboard, a hand-held vacuum cleaner can be charging while it’s tucked away,” he adds.
Giulianna del Popolo, principal designer at GDP Interior Design, says, “In a compact laundry room, having specific, purpose-built areas is key to making it functional, particularly in a busy family home. For example, if your client only irons sporadically, a fold-away ironing board in a drawer is great for single use, rather than storing a large, clunky design.
“If pets are fed or toileted in the laundry room, then appropriate drawers for food bowls or space for litter trays can be accommodated with a little planning,” she says.
A hanging rail installed above a worktop makes drying shirts easy and reduces the amount of ironing,” Julianne says.
“A simple solution is to install the rail underneath the overhead cabinets, or make it a feature by installing it to hang from the ceiling,” she says. “Just be sure you allow for enough clearance between the rail and the worktop for shirts to hang.”
More: 20 Utility Rooms with Clothes-drying Rails
“When it comes to flooring, I always recommend tiles that have a patina or stone look, as they’re great for minimising scuffs and smudges that regularly occur in a hardworking spot such as the laundry,” Giulianna says.
“If budget allows, solid-surface worktops, such as Corian, with integrated drainers make a lovely feature,” she adds.
With fixtures, I recommend washing machine connections are concealed and direct bypass draining to reduce visual clutter,” Giulianna says. “Pull-out hoses are great in this application.”
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