The utility room has become an essential part of modern day life. Since open plan kitchen and dining spaces are now common practice, the majority of our clients wish to incorporate utility / boot rooms into their project plans. Whilst open plan living is perfect for modern living, the downside is that for every wall knocked through, precious storage space is lost and clutter thus ensues.
Carrying through the kitchen design into the adjoining or nearby utility room will keep the look and feel of the space consistent. Consider the paint colours, hardware finish and worktops especially if the utility flows off the main kitchen.
When considering the layout, typically the primary goal for us at Humphrey Munson, is to designate an area just off the main kitchen which incorporates storage, laundry appliances, a separate sink and tap as well as any overflow appliances required (second freezer / second fridge / second dishwasher).
It is worth incorporating a larger butler sink in the utility room as it leaves the main kitchen sink free for food preparation and washing up. If you regularly host parties, large gatherings over the holidays or are often busy with family life (aren’t we all?), you may also wish to incorporate additional refrigeration into the utility room as a useful overflow option.
Separating laundry appliances into the utility room frees up valuable space in the main kitchen. Laundry appliances work just as hard – if not harder – than appliances in the main kitchen and are well worth investing in. Miele are the go-to choice when specifying washing machines and tumble dryers due to reliability and ease of use.
They can also be stacked which means you don’t have to compromise on the number of appliances in smaller spaces. You can opt for the cabinetry to be open – which tends to be user friendly with multiple washing machines and tumble dryers, or concealed behind cabinetry (such as the Worcestershire project pictured directly above).
As well as cleaning, storage is a vital element to a utility room design. If you have space for nothing else, a utility cupboard is a godsend to house linens, towels and cleaning products. If more space is available a drying cupboard (like the one above at the Kent Project) can be a hugely beneficial piece of cabinetry that once you have it, you won’t know how you lived without it before.
A drying cupboard that is thermostatically controlled is the perfect final piece of the utility room specification as they are particularly useful for drying delicate items that cannot go in the tumble dryer such as cashmere or silk and ensures things can be dried easily and out of the way. A smaller detail that clients love is under sink racks which reside in the interior of the cupboard and keep cleaning bottles etc, tidy and out of the way.
A hardy paint finish that can be wiped down is definitely the way to go. All paint used at H|M is made exclusively for us by Mylands and is extremely easy to maintain, much the same as our wood finishes. When it comes to hardware, try to follow the same aesthetic as the kitchen, however it might be worth nothing that finishes such as aged brass will alter over time. Whilst this is part of the charm for some clients, others consider this a nightmare so we would recommend considering a lower maintenance finish such as polished nickel which can be cleaned with certain (non abrasive) products.
A utility room is often a well used, high traffic area. Much like a boot room, a utility room tends to have access to outside and so its worth considering a hard wearing floor. For example a wooden floor may not live up to the pressure of wet pets paws, muddy boots and soggy clothing as well as a hardwearing limestone floor such as neutral Brampton limestone by H|M Flooring Library.
To find out more about our design process or to arrange a consultation, feel free to call us on 01371 821300 or send us an email at email@example.com.