What Do You Call Yours?
Utility-room, laundry-room, mud-room, whatever you want to call it, this room can certainly be a popular feature to have in any home, so when it comes to design, careful planning is vital, as under normal circumstances, space is usually at a premium in this area of the home.
Funnily enough, for a space that is such a popular feature to have, it’s actually a prime example of a room that is usually forgotten when it comes to design and budget. In my experience, it tends to be a little bit of an afterthought, a let down even.
Choose Quality Products
This workhorse of a room will most likely be well used every day and so the products that you choose will need to be robust enough to withstand this level of abuse.
More often than not it will also be a through passage leading to the rest of the home, with either a side or back door from the garden or a direct door from an attached garage. With either option being the case, you can bet, dirt, grime, mud, leaves, you name it, they’re going to be dragged into this room via muddy shoes and boots or even blown in with the wind as the outside door is opened.
Something perhaps to consider when choosing frontals is, unlike the kitchen, the utility-room cabinet frontals certainly don’t need to be making any kind of design statement. This room is usually not open to view from the rest of the home, therefore style can be less of an issue or a priority.
Cabinet liners are always a great idea for any base units. These cabinets will likely be home to multiple cleaning products, and you can bet there will be spillages over time. These liners will help save the base of the units from possible damage inside and will also make them far easier to clean.
Free Standing Appliances
If we assume that the visual aspect is less of an issue for the cabinet frontals, the same principle can then be applied to the appliances. Being in a room that is separate from the kitchen, hidden away from sight, appliances like washing machines and tumble dryers really don’t need to be integrated and can be free standing, which for an appliance is usually a better choice anyway. To help in a condensed space, it might be a good idea to stack the laundry appliances.
As well as closed cupboard storage, open shelving is always a brilliant design idea in a utility-room, allowing frequently used items to be right at hand. Raising the height of the open shelving and installing hanging rails underneath is also useful for clothes and hangers and if the room is large enough, a storage bench/seat for shoes, with coat hooks on the wall above for jackets, will start taking the design and functionality of this area to the next level.
In my opinion, one of the most important features in a utility-room if not the most important, is the choice of flooring.
This floor is definitely going to get wet. Wet from kids, wet from dogs, from laundry, from cleaning and yes, you can bet your bottom dollar, that washing machine is going to leak at some point in its lifetime. Trust me, this is not the time nor the place for cheap laminate.
Through living in North America, I first came across the idea of the laundry style utility-room being upstairs on the same level as the bedrooms. At first, my thoughts were how weird this seemed, then that quickly changed in the coming weeks to how fantastic it was. Why is this not the norm? Most, if not all laundry is generated on this level of the home, therefore why do we cart it all downstairs to wash, to then cart it all back upstairs to put away? Crazy, right?
Laundry is never going to be the most loved sport at home and so the more functional and efficient you can make this room, the easier it’s going to be for everyone and the more they will love the space that’s been created.
For a designer, having the ability to design a killer utility room could actually be your statement piece.
Everyone expects the kitchen design to blow them away but imagine being able to wow someone as they walk in the back door!