Considering a utility room?
Whatever your kitchen style, the best-looking kitchens are always those with the least clutter, so keeping mess to a minimum is the ideal way to get a magazine-worthy looking space.
While we often speak about the heart of any home as a place to cook, relax, eat, and come together, one thing we rarely focus on. The fact that our kitchens are also often a place of utility.
This wonderful space which is synonymous with food and enjoyment is also often the same place in which we undertake other work such as washing and drying our clothes. This often means washing baskets cluttering the area, or the constant background hum of the dryer – not to mention trying to shout over the washing machine on full spin cycle!
Enter the utility room.
Many householders are now looking to create a dedicated utility room in order to better separate their kitchen and laundry areas.
But a great utility room can be more than just an area to house your washing. With proper planning, it can be a location that offers you somewhere to store those extra pieces of cooking equipment that are not always used, leave muddy boots and shoes, and space for undertaking tasks such as ironing.
Whether you are considering adding a utility room as part of a kitchen extension, or want to convert some of your existing space, we uncover some of the best ways to create your perfect utility room.
Why have a utility room?
There are numerous benefits to incorporating a utility room into your home, not least the fact that creating a separate space for laundry and other activities provides more room in the kitchen area for seating or adding extra kitchen units (even an island for those who crave one).
Additionally with the rise of the open plan living/dining space, creating a quiet nook where the noise of washing machines and dryers is kept to a minimum allows you to better enjoy spending time in the heart of your home.
The value of a utility room also goes beyond enjoyment for your own household. It can also increase interest when looking to sell your home, and potentially add value to your property.
What can you have in your utility room?
While we often consider a utility room to be a space for a washing machine, drying facilities and perhaps a separate sink, you can get more creative with the space.
Consider adding pantry style kitchen units into your utility space for those store cupboard ingredients that you do not use every day – such as that squid pasta bought on holiday – or jars of homemade chutneys from your summer glut.
It is also an ideal area to store those everyday washing accoutrements such as your mops and even hoover, so consider having tall kitchen units in your utility room to house them. For those with larger families adding a second freezer or even fridge in a utility room can be a lifesaver, especially around periods such as Christmas.
For those who have pets, a utility room can be the perfect space to incorporate food bowls and even bedding to create a relaxing place for your cats or dogs to rest and chill out.
Consider whether you want to incorporate space for an iron and ironing board (or even add a pull-down solution), so that your laundry is all kept in one simple space, rather than having to lug baskets of washing from your laundry room to other areas of the home.
The beauty of creating a utility room is that you can use it as best works for you.
Should your units match your kitchen units?
It’s entirely up to you whether you decide to match the units in your utility room to your existing kitchen units.
One of the biggest benefits of matching the style of cabinet to your existing space is that gives a feeling of continuity between the two rooms, making it look seamless.
One style that seems to be in vogue is to add darker kitchen units to your utility or laundry space, incorporate darker tones. A fine example is our solid wood Aldana graphite painted units.
In terms of materials for your utility room units, it’s wise to think about cleanliness. After all, you may be undertaking activities that are likely to well… splash. So, choose units that are easy to wipe down and keep clean. Many of our kitchen doors offer anti-fingerprint and stain technology making them easy to keep clean and wipe down.
Replace kitchen doors
If you want to breathe new life into your existing kitchen at the same time as creating your utility room, but without too much additional cost, consider replacement kitchen doors.
Here at Kitchen Warehouse, we offer you the opportunity to purchase new kitchen doors, without having to completely replace your existing kitchen units.
Replacing your kitchen doors is a great way to bring a fresh new look into the space, without the high cost of a complete kitchen overhaul.
How to plan your utility room
Just like when designing a new kitchen, the first place to start when planning a utility room is by thinking about how you live and for what you want to use the space.
Generally speaking, at a minimum, you are likely to want space for a washing machine and possibly a separate tumble dryer, plus a sink. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you have a hot and cold-water supply and waste for the sink and washing machine.
Depending on your drying requirements, you may need to consider ventilation for a tumble dryer – particularly if there are no windows in the space.
Many homeowners are creating a utility room that serves as a mudroom/boot room – so think about the type of storage you might want – for example, shoe racks, or a bench for taking off those muddy wellies.
If you are going to be using your utility room to clean off mud-splattered shoes (or even pets) think about sink depth. A deep ceramic sink can both look stunning, but also serve a very practical purpose.
Is a utility room the same as a laundry room?
While a utility room will generally house your washing machine and dryer, turning a utility room into a true laundry room may include additional features.
You may wish to include specific storage spaces for drying your laundry and keeping things like an iron and ironing board close.
Adding base units with drawers can allow you to make your laundry room a space where essentials such as spare bathroom towels and bedding are kept, giving you back space in upstairs airing cupboards and bathrooms.
An excellent feature to add to your home is a laundry chute. Put simply- you create s chute upstairs in which you can chuck your dirty linen, coming out straight into your laundry room. No more trekking downstairs with big baskets of washing.
Can I have a larder?
Why not? Adding more space in your utility room for a larder or pantry is a great way to add additional storage space for those ingredients which, while not necessarily used on a daily basis, feel like you’re cooking essentials.
Consider adding larder kitchen units into your utility room as somewhere to store those extras that are always spilling out of your kitchen cupboards such as your exotic spices, or fifty shapes of noodle.
Combining stunning kitchen units with clever larder mechanisms in your utility room gives you that extra space needed in the kitchen itself to store all of your essentials.
Can you create a utility room within an existing space?
While utility rooms are often created as part of kitchen space, any underused space in your home can serve as a place to create a utility room.
Under-stairs spaces are often used as a bit of a dumping ground for our shoes, coats and general “stuff”, so if it’s not being used to its potential – consider whether a small utility space could be incorporated.
Another prime space these days is unused garage space, as we so often use our garages for almost everything (except parking an actual car). Side garages can be an ideal spot for situating a laundry or utility room as they offer easy access to the kitchen, but also to the garden for taking out washing during the summer months.
In some cases, it can be possible to even create a mini “utility area” just by creating a nook where at least a washer and dryer can be housed away from your main kitchen space with a good solid wood cupboard.
Whether a utility room is being added as part of an extension or is being converted from existing space in your home, it’s always easier and more cost effective to site your utility room close to existing drainage and ventilation.
What is the best type of flooring?
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the utility room is the workhorse, so durable, easily cleaned flooring is a must-have.
This is not a space for easily damaged or ripped flooring. Consider instead hard-wearing vinyl and tiles which are made to withstand a lot of mud, water and potential spills.
What type of storage for a utility room?
When you are planning storage, think about which items you are likely to want to keep in the space and ensure that your chosen units are large enough to accommodate them.
For example, do you want to keep mops and buckets in your utility space? If so, tall kitchen units are key to ensure that there is adequate storage for them.
If you are short on space in your utility room, it can be worth considering handleless styles of units to maximise the available room to move around while undertaking your household chores.
Incorporating units that house baskets is another great way to save space in your laundry room. Simply transport clothes into the baskets for distribution to appropriate wardrobes when finished.
Plumbing and electrical
Whether you are creating your utility room from an existing space or building one in as an extension, careful consideration should be given to the services. This includes water supply, positioning of wastewater outlets, plugs and sockets and heating.
You are likely to need advice from both a plumber – particularly around relocating or extending your existing pipes, and also an electrician regarding power points and wiring for your appliances.
Ventilation in a utility room
In an ideal world, it’s great to have a window in your utility space, not only for ventilation but also to allow natural light into the area. However, in many cases you may be fitting a utility room into space with no provision for a window, therefore you need to think about how you can tackle the heat and moisture caused by washing and drying clothes in a small space.
Under UK Building Regulations, any new utility room should include a mechanical extractor fan to reduce condensation, even where the room already has a window – so factor this in when planning your space.
Whatever your plans for a utility room, here at Kitchen Warehouse we have a huge range of kitchen units and replacement kitchen doors that help you to create a beautiful but practical space that will bring you joy for years to come.