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11 Utility Room Ideas That Are Both Practical and Stylish

a utility room idea with a library ladder
(Image credit: Humphrey Munson)

Searching for utility room ideas to help liven up your space? While your utility room might be a functional place of washing, cleaning and organising, that doesn't mean it has to be dull in its design. 

Whether you opt for something bold and exciting, a stylish and classic design or just look for a way to maximise your storage in clever ways, there's plenty you can do to bring some 'wow-factor' to your utility room. 

(MORE: Get a quote on a new utility room

We've pulled together 11 ideas that will change how you look at your utility room, helping to make doing the laundry a little bit less of a chore. 

1. Create an Effective Lighting Scheme for a Utility Room 

a utility room idea for lighting

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

Utility rooms in existing homes are often afterthought spaces, so can end up with no natural light other than an external rear door. With that in mind, your lighting scheme has to work harder for all occasions. 

As a functional space, bright downlighters will help illuminate the utility room for tasks, but softer, ambient light — from under cabinet LED strips in this Higham Furniture kitchen for example — will make the room more enjoyable to be in at other times and round out a well-formed lighting scheme. 

2. Save Space with a Suspending Drying Rack 

a utility room idea with a suspended clothes drying rack

(Image credit: deVOL)

Search for any utility room ideas on Pinterest, and we bet you'll find a suspended drying rack, but are they functional? If ceiling height allows, these devices can be winched out of the way both when in use and when not in use, while keeping the rack close at hand whenever it's needed.  

As heat rises in your home, you may also find your washing dries quicker at its elevated level and you can position your rack in front of a window for even quicker drying times. 

Wooden suspended drying racks add a definite aesthetic quality to your utility room too — take this beautiful space by deVOL Kitchens as an example. 

3. Install a Clothes Rail to Make Laundry Easier 

a utility room idea with a clothes rail

(Image credit: Lifestyle Floors)

Want to do your ironing in your utility room? Even when short on space, such as in this room featuring Lifestyle Floors flooring, you can install a clothes rail to make keeping your clothes crease-free as easy as possible. 

4. Open Storage Ideas for Better Flow in Your Utility Room 

a dark green utility room idea with basket storage

(Image credit: Neptune)

Where utility rooms are often less generously sized than kitchens, you may need the space to work harder for a seamless flow when working in the room. An idea such as switching out some cabinetry, with doors that open out onto you, with open shelving can be an effective way to make the space easier to use. 

In this bespoke Neptune utility room design, baskets have been designed into the room which could also be used effectively to store then transport laundry around the house. 

5. Pack in as Much Storage as Possible 

a utility room idea with an access ladder

(Image credit: Humphrey Munson)

While good looks are still important, utility rooms are much more functional spaces, so packing in as much storage as possible is the key to a room that works well for your home. 

In this Humphrey Munson utility room design, bespoke floor to ceiling cabinetry maximises the amount of storage. Include a step stool, or in this case library ladder, in your design to ensure that you can reach those very top cabinets. 

6. Add Some Fun with Colour 

a utility room idea with green painted wall

(Image credit: Little Greene)

Even if your kitchen design is a neutral paradise, a colourful utility room is a great way to add an unexpected twist to your interior design and make the space less bland. 

Whether that's a feature wall, painted kitchen cabinets or some well placed artwork, your home's small and concealed spaces are the perfect canvases for the more creative side of your interior design tastes. 

7. Create a Boot Room 

a utility boot room idea with green panelling and open shelving

(Image credit: Martin Moore)

What is a boot room? Functioning like a cloak room for storing shoes and coats, a boot room reaps extra benefits by doubling up as a utility room. 

With a sink for clearing up muddy shoes, the washing machine for those post-football match kits to go straight into and durable materials which will stand up to a wet dog shaking when coming back in from their winter walks, the overlap in uses is worth exploring.  

This Martin Moore design uses bespoke storage for an effective and stylish boot room idea. 

8. Divide Your Utility Room with a Partition Screen 

a utility room idea with a partition crittall-style door

(Image credit: Martin Moore)

Separating your kitchen from your utility room is a good idea, especially in openplan kitchens where you like to spend your time. Laundry appliances and dishwashers, often located in utility rooms, can be noisy, and you'll want to be able to prevent smells from cooking permeating any clothes drying nearby. 

However, keeping both spaces connected and open is a great way for your home to feel bigger. Pocket doors and glass partition doors both work effectively in offering the best of both worlds.

(MORE: Crittall-Style Doors

9. Go Classic with Utility Room Panelling 

a utility room idea with classic wall panelling

(Image credit: Neptune)

Panelling is a smart idea for a functional utility room. Not only does it look good, a painted timber finish will be more durable when dealing with water splashes and mud than a matt emulsion wall. 

From traditional butt and bead panelling, as seen in this beautiful Neptune utility room, to more contemporary panelling ideas, try using it around the sink and near the back door when not opting for even tougher tile or stone surfaces in these areas. 

10. Install a Laundry Chute

a utility room idea with a laundry chute

(Image credit: Pete Helme)

When self building or renovating, why not take the opportunity to factor in a laundry chute in your plans for a utility room? This design created by Hush Kitchens incorporates a chute hidden within cabinetry, ensuring dirty washing is delivered directly to where it needs to be. 

11. Does a Utility Room Need Integrated Appliances?

a pink utility room

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

In many contemporary kitchens, appliances are integrated into cabinetry as, let's face it, they're far less attractive to look at than a nice Shaker-style door. Ask yourself whether this is necessary for your utility room as it's a space less inhabited by visitors to your home. This Harvey Jones Linear utility room still looks smart without integrated appliances, for example. 

Integrated appliances may cause more obstructions in a small utility room, making it harder to transfer from washing machine to tumbler dryer, for instance, or operate appliance controls, especially with your hands full. 

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