If you think these utility room ideas require a huge kitchen, doing an expensive remodel or having a handy utility already built into your home, then we have some good news! A utility can actually be squeezed into the smallest of spaces, and it can make a huge, positive difference to your home.
Ideal for keeping laundry tasks, washing machines and the like a little separate, a utility space is now becoming a standard requirement in modern homes.
So if you are getting any work done to your kitchen, designing a utility room makes sense, if you have got the space.
Experts at Argos (opens in new tab) explain more, 'There're lots of ways you can use a utility space; laundry room, a place to hide away cleaning equipment, somewhere for the bins to go, kitchen storage spill-over... think about what will make the biggest difference to you in your home.'
And if you aren't planning on changing your kitchen too much, let these ideas show you creative ways you can add and best use a utility room in your current space.
22 utility room ideas
1. Zone your utility room
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 (opens in new tab) (above) includes a handy pull-out shelf for a clothes airer, a washer and dryer stacked one on top of the other to save space – and a wet area. Clever.
2. Fit out every inch of a narrow utility room
While we'd advise against this when designing 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
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.
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.
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 idea. A spiral wine cellar, complete with one of the best wine fridges, is an entirely natural cellar that can be installed under any ground floor room, and doesn’t require an existing cellar or basement.
6. Make yours 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 (opens in new tab). The decorative glass makes it a seamless part of the kitchen design as it isn’t completely closed off from the cooking and dining area. Plus, it allows natural light to flood the room which is uplifting to say the least.
If you're already having nightmares about eating to the hum of a washing machine, don't panic as we know some of the best quiet washing machines out there to help.
7. Think ergonomics: design a washing machine cupboard
Schüller (opens in new tab)'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
Mix and match your utility room storage options to create a space that works for you. For practical utility room ideas, 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 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 in your sparkling clean bathroom.
If you are seriously thinking about designing a boot room we've put together a detailed guide of how to do it.
10. Invest in a laundry sorting unit
Another clever utility room idea from Schüller (opens in new tab) 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 out.
11. Copy ideas that suit the style of your home
If your home is traditional in style, then include a utility room, pantry or larder that suits this. We love the idea of creating open shelf pantry storage from reclaimed wood – try Beechfield Reclamation (opens in new tab) – to store kitchen equipment, and using wicker baskets to organise laundry. You get the best of both worlds.
12. Create smart storage space with pegs and shelves
We love how this utility room idea has been given a smart look with a grey colour scheme, a mix of baskets and kitchen 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.
Experts at Argos explain, 'This works really well in practical spaces as you can see where everything is without having to open and close doors - you can always add storage baskets to keep smaller items together.'
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.
14. Build in space for your pets
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 may need somewhere quiet to sleep during the day in their favourite pet bed? 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!
15. Choose cute but practical flooring for your utility room
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 – and tiles are the best choice, but be sure to go with interesting tile patterns to add a little character.
16. Create hanging space for lost socks
Losing socks all the time? Us too. This genius utility room idea consists of creating a lost sock area for single socks to hang out until they get reunited with their long-lost partner. Genius.
Argos explain more: 'Attach a couple of pegs to a flat surface so you can store missing socks until they're reunited with their partner. A pin board or small storage basket would work just as well.'
17. Use jars and containers to store products
Argos recommends to 'keep washing powder, pegs or pocket-clutter (loose change, hair grips and LEGO bricks are the usual culprits) in storage jars or baskets in your utility room. They'll keep surfaces tidy for a more polished look.'
One of the easiest of our utility room ideas has got to be using glass jars with a scoop to store your detergent. They will instantly make your laundry room look more together. Always keep jars safely closed and out of reach of your little ones on a top shelf or locked cupboard.
18. Bring in a bookcase for extra storage
In need of extra storage? Simply bringing in a bookcase, cabinet or console is one of the simplest of all the utility room ideas.
Or if floor space is at a premium, you could add built-in open shelving or cupboards to store clutter.
19. Create a dedicated utility area in your kitchen
No room for an actual utility room? Create a utility space instead for your laundry baskets and accessories, either by clearing out a cupboard, or adding a kitchen trolley cart.
A cart with wheels can be moved over to your washing machine when needed and stored away the rest of the time. Genius.
20. Hang a drying rack on the wall or ceiling
If you have limited floor space and have had enough of cumbersome clothes horses, why not hang a clothes dryer on your wall or ceiling?
You'll find clever designs like the one above from Garden Trading (opens in new tab) that will keep both utility room accessories tidy and your laundry neatly hung up. Plus, when it's not in use you can neatly tuck the extendable dryer away.
20. Use a sliding wardrobe as a utility space
If you don't have a utility room, you could use a fitted sliding wardrobe to house all that utility clutter. It's an instant solution for stress mess – all you need to do is slide the door closed to and peace is restored. Ah, bliss.
21. Stick to a utility room colour scheme
Your utility room will look and feel much tidier by sticking to a particular decor theme. In turn, you might even want to visit it a little more often and keep on top of the ever growing laundry heap.
22. Use wall hooks to hang laundry baskets
Nowhere to hang up your laundry hampers and accessories? Follow IKEA (opens in new tab)'s lead as above and add wall hooks that fit in even the smallest areas of wall-space.
Keep it simple with simple wooden hooks, or look for a quirkier series of hooks to create a more eclectic feel.
On the lookout for some great laundry tips now you've sorted your utility room? Scroll this way for our best laundry hacks of all time.