Utility room ideas: 15 ways to organise your laundry room | Real Homes

Utility room ideas: 15 ways to organise your laundry room

Looking for utility room ideas, either to build into your current space or as part of a new kitchen extension? We've got you covered...

Utility room ideas separated from main kitchen by Masterclass Kitchens
(Image credit: Masterclass Kitchens)

Maybe you think utility room ideas means you need a huge kitchen, or doing an expensive remodel or already have a handy utility already built into your home, but they really don't have to. A utility can be squeezed into the smallest of space and can make a huge difference to your home. 

Utility rooms are almost becoming a standard requirement in a modern home, so if you are getting any work done on your kitchen it just makes sense to add one in if you have got the space. And if you aren't planning on changing your kitchen too much, let these ideas show you creative ways you can add a utility room into your current space. So how to get it right? We'd suggest 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 

Utility room in grey with washing machines by Burlanes

(Image credit: Burlanes)

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 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.

2. Fit out every inch of a narrow utility room 

Small, galley shaped utility room by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

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. 

3. Make wall space to dry clothes

Utility room with fold down clothes rack designed by Burlanes

(Image credit: Burlanes)

Short on floor space? One of our favourite and very simple utility room 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.

4. Build in a washing basket on wheels

Utility room idea with a moveable laundry basket

(Image credit: Beauport Kitchens)

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. 

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

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

(Image credit: Spiral Cellars)

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 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?

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

Utility room idea that is separated from main kitchen

(Image credit: Masterclass Kitchens)

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.

7. Think ergonomics: design a washing machine cupboard

Utility room design idea by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

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.

8. Plan utility room storage carefully

Utility room by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

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. 

9. Combine your utility room with a boot room

Utility room and boot room design idea by lewis alderson

(Image credit: Lewis Alderson)

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. 

10. Always be thinking about clever utility room ideas

Utility room by Schüller

(Image credit: Schüller)

Another clever utility room 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.

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

cottage utility room shelving

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

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. 

12. Create smart storage space with pegs and shelves

Neptune utility room

(Image credit: Neptune)

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. 

13. Hide utility room clutter with a curtain 

utility room ideas: a curtain hides appliances

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

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.

14. Build in space for your pets

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

If your new utility room is going to function as a boot room too it might be worth considering building in a place for your pets. Maybe you need to keep them separate from the house at night? Or they need somewhere quiet to sleep during the day? If you've got the space and can give up a couple of cupboards then we love the idea of this cosy under-the-counter space for furry friends! 

(If you would just rather throw down a pet bed, check out our pick of the best pet beds.)

15. Choose cute but practical flooring for your utility room 

nordic house kitchen shelves

(Image credit: Nordic House)

Utility rooms are practical spaces above all else but that's not to say you can't make them pretty spaces too. Your utility room flooring is the perfect place to add a bit of style – tiles are the best choice but go with a pattern to add a but of interest too. 

For more patterned tile ideas head over to our gallery. 

More clever utility room advice: