Utility Room Ideas and Designs

A well designed utility room can rise to become one of our favourite rooms in the house, boasting the accolade of existing solely to make our lives easier. Few of us are fans of chores such as washing, cleaning and ironing, but with a high-spec, well put together utility design they could be a breeze. For this reason, it makes sense to design an utility room to be as functional as possible, the very model of “everything in its place”, with carefully thought out utility room storage. That, however, doesn’t have to mean it can’t look nice – even super-utilitarian appliances like a washing machine, tumble dryer, laundry basket and recycling bin can be dressed up by their surroundings and made to look great as part of your utility design.

What do I need in my utility room?

Most utility rooms tend to be a small room just off the kitchen or hallway, so you are likely to be working with a compact space. Your main priority will involve planning utility room storage around your white goods. A utility room is usually intended primarily as a laundry room, so it makes sense to first install your plumbed items: the sink, washing machine and, if you have one, tumble dryer. If you run short of space and can’t afford to have a separate washer and dryer, then consider an integrated washer-dryer for your utility design. Built-in storage is a great idea in utility rooms to make best use of the available space, and you might want to also consider built in ironing boards, clothes airers and retractable washing lines. These items tend to be a bit cumbersome and are forever getting in the way, so designing special utility room storage for them or fixing them to a wall so they are easily folded away is an excellent space-saver and well worth the implementation. Free standing items such as laundry baskets and clothes hampers can be tucked neatly under specially designed worktops, and a selection of stacking plastic storage boxes, tins or wicker baskets can be used to help keep the room clutter free.

How do I decorate my utility room?

Decorating an utility room is the ultimate exercise in form meeting functionality. As it’s a room that, alas, invariably people spend a great deal of time in, you will want keep the utility room a calm and clean space. Utility room storage is essential for keeping this area tidy; attractively painted shelves and cupboards can be used to stow away all the bottles and boxes used for laundry and cleaning, as well as appliances such as vacuum cleaners and irons. An attractive country style utility design can be achieved by hanging bright or patterned curtains in front of wall mounted shelves – it will perk up the room and keep clutter hidden away. Floors should be hard-wearing and easy to clean (just think of those dirty boots traipsing in through the back door!) – to this end, stone, tile, laminate or vinyl flooring will be the most low-maintenance and durable. All in all, bear in mind that just because this is primarily a practical space doesn’t mean it needs to be dull – you can inject personality into your utility design in your choices of colour and decorative accessories. Consider quirky signage, blackboards for scribbling down shopping lists, and decorative bottles and boxes for stowing away household bits and bobs.

Do I need a sink in my utility room?

Utility room sinks are designed for those jobs that don’t quite belong in the kitchen – hand washing, dirty boots, watering indoor plants – and typically have a more industrial aesthetic than kitchen sinks. In fact, the iconic butler sink’s originally designated purpose was, as you might imagine, a sink for the butler, who was responsible for washing precious glassware and other items that required special attention and soaking. In case you’ve ever wondered, this is why butler sinks are so deep – for that matter, the only difference between butler sinks and Belfast sinks is the overflow built in to Belfast sinks which don’t feature in butler sinks. If the rustic charm of ceramic sinks appeal to you but your utility room would benefit a less substantial piece, French farmhouse sinks may be the perfect option; cast in French clay to produce a more refined finish, farmhouse sinks can be a thinner, more elegant alternative to their robust counterparts. As well as offering practicality, ceramic sinks make a beautiful statement centrepiece – utility rooms with a country or shabby chic feel will find the perfect complement to rustic wooden units with a butler or farmhouse sink. Smaller sinks are perfectly adequate if your utility room doesn’t demand as much from you, if you do the odd bit of rinsing instead of regularly being elbow-deep in heavy-duty washing. Stainless steel sinks are a practical choice that can withstand the bashing they will get in an utility room set up. Composite sinks are available in granite and quartz variations, both boasting superior durability and damage resistance; to boot, their smooth clean finish lends itself to an ultramodern style utility room.

If you’re still unsure on your utility design, take a look through the hundreds of photos for some utility room ideas from professional designers and other homeowners. You might find a design theme or some utility room storage ideas that will inspire you for your utility room makeover.
House for All Done Design

©Anna Stathaki
Practical Utility Storage if room is not possible. - sophieadams1311

Crystal Palace kitchen extension

Caitlin Mogridge
Compact & behind its own doors - alisoncrowley

Property and Interior Photography

Property Studios Ltd
Storage units - albeit no need to be this excessive. - ronan_lynch

Harvey Jones - Linear Kitchens

Linear kitchen - 57kumquats

A High Impact Makeover For an Old Country Mill

Richard Parr + Associates - Architecture and Interior Design - photos by Nia Morris
Utility room baskets - annemarie_o_sullivan

The Avenue

Utility room in family home with high ceiling. The space features a butler sink and flows seamlessly with the kitchen.
Utility - nicola_noonan56

Robinson Case Study

Roundhouse Urbo and Metro matt lacquer bespoke kitchen in Farrow & Ball Railings and horizontal grain Driftwood veneer with worktop in Nero Assoluto Linen Finish with honed edges. Photography by Nick Kane.
Shelf (over window) Door Handles Colour scheme - sorchaom

Gloucester Road

Sliding door. Too plain. Needs some design - mairshel

Modern Country no.7

16th Century Grade II* listed townhouse in Petersfield, Hampshire.
Machines hidden Window Walls Space Work top Bright - maryvjoyce

Ambler Road

Peter Landers
Stacked washer and drier behind sliding/folding doors - mairshel

Dog Wash shower and bed

Utility rom with Dog bed and area to shower dog after one of those muddy rural hikes in the South Downs.
dogwash - suzanneguinan84

The Architects House

Andy Haslam
Washer and dryer in wardrobe - webuser_221277488

Harpenden, New Build Kitchen & Joinery Design

New build house. Laundry room designed, supplied and installed. Cashmere matt laminate furniture for an easy and durable finish. Lots of storage to hide ironing board, clothes horses and hanging space for freshly ironed shirts. Marcel Baumhauer da Silva - hausofsilva.com

Modern matt lacquer kitchen with walnut elements

This Utility room with well designed kitchenette was fitted in the basement in this fabulous house in Clapham. Tall units to the ceiling provide plenty of additional storage and house the mega-flow . Appliances to include integrated fridge/freezer, induction hob and oven were installed to provide a secondary kitchen in this large basement. - Rational kitchen units - in hard wearing finish - Light grey colour scheme in matt laminate - 20mm Quartz worktop - Back painted glass splashback Photo - Chris Snook (Chris Snook Photography)
pattern tiles on utility room floor - mir29


Contemporary cloakroom and laundry room. Fully integrated washing machine and tumble dryer in bespoke cabinetry. Belfast sink. Brass tap. Coat hooks and key magnet. tiled flooring.

An impressive two storey extension

This property has been transformed into an impressive home that our clients can be proud of. Our objective was to carry out a two storey extension which was considered to complement the existing features and period of the house. This project was set at the end of a private road with large grounds. During the build we applied stepped foundations due to the nearby trees. There was also a hidden water main in the ground running central to new floor area. We increased the water pressure by installing a break tank (this is a separate water storage tank where a large pump pulls the water from here and pressurises the mains incoming supplying better pressure all over the house hot and cold feeds.). This can be seen in the photo below in the cladded bespoke external box. Our client has gained a large luxurious lounge with a feature log burner fireplace with oak hearth and a practical utility room downstairs. Upstairs, we have created a stylish master bedroom with a walk in wardrobe and ensuite. We added beautiful custom oak beams, raised the ceiling level and deigned trusses to allow sloping ceiling either side. Other special features include a large bi-folding door to bring the lovely garden into the new lounge. Upstairs, custom air dried aged oak which we ordered and fitted to the bedroom ceiling and a beautiful Juliet balcony with raw iron railing in black. This property has a tranquil farm cottage feel and now provides stylish adequate living space.

Schuller Kitchens

When space is limited, create narrow open shelves to maximise your space. Go floor to ceiling if possible. - chaicat

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