Utility room ideas: 13 ways to make the most of your space

Looking for utility room ideas, whether to complement an open plan kitchen diner or as part of a new kitchen extension? You've come to the right place...

Neptune utility room ideas
(Image credit: Mark Wilkinson Furniture)

You may well be looking for utility room ideas if you're redesigning your kitchen or planning a kitchen extension. It's more than likely that your new utility room, while giving you tons of added value, might not be as big as you'd like and it might even have a dual purpose, perhaps doubling up as a boot room, too. So how to get it right? We'd suggest trawling the internet for as many clever utility design ideas as you can... starting right here. 

Oh, and reading our guide to planning and designing a utility room will help, too

1. Invest in clever utility room ideas for storage 

If your utility room is narrower than you'd like, if it's clearly visible from the kitchen or hallway, or if you have to pass through it to get to the garden, order is key. A great utility room design idea is to divide your space into zones, helping it to look neater and feel more organised. 

A row of tall units or large cupboards are a good option for narrow spaces providing storage for all your washing needs, plus you can hide everything away behind closed doors. 

This design from Burlanes includes a handy pull-out shelf for a clothes airer, a washer and dryer stacked one on the other to save space and a wet area. Clever.

Find more must-have kitchen storage ideas in our guide.

Utility room in grey with washing machines by Burlanes

Utility room designed by Burlanes

(Image credit: Burlanes)

2. Fit out every inch of a narrow utility room 

While we'd advise against this in a galley kitchen, in a narrow utility room function trumps form, so built-in floor-to-ceiling storage on both sides that helps you maximise the space you have is a worthwhile investment. A combination of open shelving and cupboards with door fronts will allow you to keep what you use all the time to hand, and clutter you're hoarding hidden away. 

Small, galley shaped utility room by Schüller

Utility room design by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

3. Make wall space to dry clothes

Short on floor space? One of our favourite and very simple utility room design ideas is a wall mounted-airer that folds away when not in use – a practical option for drying clothes. Hang above a radiator to speed up the drying process, or above a sink or draining board so your clothes can drip dry.

Find more clever clothes storage ideas in our guide.

Utility room with fold down clothes rack designed by Burlanes

Utility room design by Burlanes

(Image credit: Burlanes)

4. Build in a washing basket on wheels

Even if you’ve got a laundry basket elsewhere in the house, it’s a good idea to have another one in the utility room. A basket on wheels, which can be tucked under the work surface when not in use, will help keep floor space clear and the room neat-looking. 

Utility room idea with a moveable laundry basket

Utility room designed by Beau-Port Kitchens

(Image credit: Beauport Kitchens)

5. Make space for a wine cellar (you know it makes sense)

If you like to have a glass of wine when you’re doing your ironing (just the one, health and safety and all that), then you’re going to love this utility room design idea. A spiral wine cellar is an entirely natural cellar that can be installed under any ground floor room and doesn’t require an existing cellar or basement. 

Built from engineered concrete, a Spiral Cellar can either be fitted cleanly into a finished room, or form part of a new house build, extension or refurbishment project.

Is now a good time to mention our round up of the best wine fridges, you know just in case this is a bit extra for you?

Utility room idea with built in, underfloor wine cellar by Spiral Cellars

Utility room with wine cellar by Spiral Cellar

(Image credit: Spiral Cellars)

6. Look for Utility room ideas that make it part of your kitchen design

Utility rooms can often be dark and windowless, which is why we love this glass walled design by Masterclass Kitchens. The decorative glass means it isn’t completely closed off from the kitchen and dining area, and allows natural light to flood the room. Plus, we think it looks great.

Copy this utility room idea and you'll want to invest in the best quiet washing machine, too.

Utility room idea that is separated from main kitchen

Kitchen with built in utility room by Masterclass Kitchens

(Image credit: Masterclass Kitchens)

7. Think ergonomics: design a washing machine cupboard

Schüller's clever utility room ideas allow you to save yourself from backache by raising the washing machine and tumble dryer to mid height, as well as fitting a sliding shelf underneath (for your laundry basket), eliminating the need to bend over to load and unload. Genius.

Utility room design idea by Schüller

Utility room by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

8. Plan utility room storage carefully

Mix and match your utility room storage options to create a space that works for you. Anything you regularly need should be within easy reach and incidentals placed on a high shelf or out-of-the-way spot. If you’re planning to have a sink in your utility room, it’s a good idea to place it near the washing machine so that you can transfer anything left to soak without water dripping over the floor. 

Utility room by Schüller

Utility room design by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

9. Combine your utility room with a boot room

Utility rooms aren't just for washing and ironing clothes. If you don’t have space in your hallway, or simply don’t want the entrance to your home filled with coats, fit some hooks in your utility room to keep them out of the way in a combined utility/boot room space.

Got a dog? If there's room, a gigantic sink to shower them off in saves hosing down the pooch in the garden on a wet winter's day... or up in your sparkling clean bathroom.

If you are seriously thinking about adding a boot room we've put together a detailed guide of how to do it. 

Utility room and boot room design idea by lewis alderson

Utility room design by Lewis Alderson

(Image credit: Lewis Alderson)

10. Always be thinking about clever utility room ideas

Another clever utility room design idea from Schüller is this laundry sorting unit. Through the open slots in the door, dirty washing can be passed through and sorted (whether by washing temperature or colour) into laundry baskets that can be taken.

Utility room by Schüller

Clever utility room design idea by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

11. Look for utility room ideas that suit the style of your home

If your home is traditional in style, design a utility room (or larder) that suits this. We love the idea of creating open shelf storage from reclaimed wood – try Beechfield Reclamation – to store kitchen equipment and using wicker baskets to organise laundry.

If you are lucky enough to have room for a larder, you are also going to want to check out our practical pantry storage ideas too. 

cottage utility room shelving

To DIY some utility room shelving source some reclaimed wood from  Beechfield Reclamation and you can pick up similar brackets cheaply at Ikea

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

12. Create smart storage space with pegs and shelves

Loving how this utility room idea has been given a smart look with, a grey colour scheme, a mix of baskets and cabinets and a neat peg shelf. The storage shelf provides display and hanging space that's ideal for making a utility room practical and good looking. 

Have a look at our wall panelling design ideas and advice to find out more about creating this look.

Neptune utility room

Utility room by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

13. Hide utility room clutter with a curtain 

If you are looking for small utility room ideas for a space that you had to shoehorn into a nook, hanging a curtain beneath your worktop is a handy space-saving trick – and looks pretty, too. You can use it to hide clutter (well not clutter as such, but stuff like detergent and cleaning bits). Or you could use a curtain to hide a washing machine if you keep it just off your kitchen or hallway. On that subject, see our pick of the best washing machines in our buyer's guide.

utility room ideas: a curtain hides appliances

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

More clever utility room advice: