Room Focus – Utility Room

In my last blog, I explored the world of the Garden Room, or outbuilding, if you prefer.  I looked at the planning and building control implications of such a project and how a garden room might sit in your garden. This week I'd like to look at the design of your new space, be it a gym, a spare bedroom, a home office or a den away from it all.

All our kitchen gadgets take up a lot of our kitchen surfaces
All our kitchen gadgets take up a lot of our kitchen surfaces

STORAGE

A large open plan kitchen looks great on social media and property photoshoots, but in reality you only really use a small part of it, with the rest of it being storage. If you looked at what you used day in and day out in your kitchen, it would probably fit into 3-4 cupboards. The rest of the cupboards are storing incidental items: The juicer that comes out for 6 weeks in January, the big slow cooker for the winter meals, the Christmas or “best” dinner sets etc. These items are stored in almost the most expensive furniture in the house and only needed every few months or so.  A Utililty Room provides a space, which can be fitted out more cheaply, where storage can be maximised, leaving the kitchen a place for food preparation and socialising, not storing big, bulky items. 


Laundry

In a busy family home not everyone has the time to keep everything tidy, so if the folded up washing stays in the utility room while you run out to work, it doesn’t make the whole house look untidy. I never want to create a room that’s a “dumping ground” but if there is a halfway house where the functional day to day cleaning and storing can be behind closed doors, it’s got to be useful. Right?

Planned hanging space allows you to dry clothes without taking up floor space.  If you plan to dry clothes indoors, look into humidity control ventilation.
Planned hanging space allows you to dry clothes without taking up floor space. If you plan to dry clothes indoors, look into humidity control ventilation.

Different Uses

Need a boot room, laundry room, pet shower and pantry?  The utility room can provide you with all these things in your new extension or home.  There are really clever ways of packing as much as possible into a utility room. Washing machines and dryers can be stacked, ironing boards that fold up against the wall of fitting ceiling mounted hanging systems to dry clothes. If you have room, a pantry could transform how you store your food and dry goods.  Full height cupboards provide the perfect place to hide away the vacuum cleaner (you could even have a power point in there to charge your cordless one).  If you have pets, a small dog shower in the corner means you can clean off dogs, kids, husbands, sports boots, wellies etc before they come into your home.

Here’s a great article discussing some further design ideas for your utility room.  https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/washing-machines/article/how-to-design-a-utility-room

A pet shower could make keeping the house clean a little easier. A hard wearing, waterproof flooring will help too!
A pet shower could make keeping the house clean a little easier. A hard wearing, waterproof flooring will help too!
A Pantry in the Utility Room can free up space in your kitchen.
A Pantry in the Utility Room can free up space in your kitchen.
Stacking the washing machine and dryer in a cupboard frees up extra storage space and creates a clean, tidy look.
Stacking the washing machine and dryer in a cupboard frees up extra storage space and creates a clean, tidy look.
Inbuilt clothes baskets keep floors tidy and make sorting darks and lights easy.
Inbuilt clothes baskets keep floors tidy and make sorting darks and lights easy.

https://www.dimensions.com/collection/laundry-room-layouts?1bf07b95_page=3

Check out dimensions.com for some small utility/laundry room layout ideas.

I think this blog makes a great argument to find space in your project for a Utility Room.  They provide a great space to carry out some of the essentials of home life – washing, storing gadgets, cleaning. Get in touch if you want to make your laundry/storage and kitchen dreams a reality.

https://www.maidenheadplanning.co.uk/feasibility-review

Posted on July 31st 2020

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