The main purpose of a utility room is to house larger household appliances and perform tasks that would otherwise create mess and clutter in other parts of the house, primarily the kitchen. With the rise of open plan living the popularity of the utility room has grown to the point of being an integral part of most new home designs.

If you are thinking of adding a utility as part of your new kitchen build, you will need to find the ideal location. Usually, the best place is at the back of the house with direct access to the garden, making it an ideal place to kick off muddy boots and hang coats. You may decide to utilse an unused hallway or outbuilding or if you are having a new kitchen extension, space for your utility can be build into the design. We’d advise not to staeal too much space from your kitchen.

What a utility can be used for

A utility room accessed from the outside of your property is an ideal place for kicking off muddy boots, hanging coats and drying wet dogs before they enter your home. They are also ideal for storing away big bulky appliances such as a washing machine, dryer or a freezer. It is also practical to keep the big white goods all close together for ease of use and laundry waiting to be ironed can be left in a basket without cluttering up your main kitchen.

The additional storage space in a utility is useful for your laundry detergents and any other cleaning materials such as a mop, brush and your ironing board. A sink comes in handy for washing dirty hands and muddy paws. Open shelving can look stylish whilst proving a space for storage tins or boxes, vases and other larger items that take up too much space in your kitchen.

Before deciding on a utility room, it should be said that there are some fabulous fully integrated appliances on the market with models from Bosch and Siemens that will fit seamlessly into your kitchen. They will however still take up valuable storage space or a space where you may want a dishwasher or double oven.

When deciding on a separate utility or not, here are the main scenarios we come across when designing a new kitchen/utility for clients:

The large open plan kitchen diner

This type of space is usually a large open space with a natural flow from the kitchen area to an open plan dining area. This layout is perfect for entertaining as the cook never gets left alone on the kitchen whilst everyone else is enjoying themselves! In this type of kitchen, you don’t want the noise of a washing machine and dryer whilst enjoying your dinner or relaxing at the table with friends. Also, if you remove the white goods from this area you could provide space for a large island unit and potentially a bigger dining area and more storage space in your kitchen area. So, in this type of kitchen, we would recommend a utility area off the main kitchen.

Smaller kitchens with no dining area

In this scenario, the situation is much the same as above, apart from you have less space so moving the white goods out makes perfect sense. However, if you have to steal space from your kitchen to create a utility, then you may lose more than you gain.

Small kitchen such as a galley kitchen

In small kitchens, space is a premium and generally we will design these type of kitchens prioritising the main wishes of the client, e.g. if the client is a keen cook, we will try and find space to fit a larger hob or a double oven. If cooking isn’t your thing then storage and seating space will be prioritised. One clever trick we used recently in a smaller kitchen was to place the washer and dryer on top of each other in a small area just off the kitchen. We even found space for a slimline freezer too.

So, in conclusion, a utility room is a bonus but probably not at detriment of losing kitchen or dining space. At the start of any new kitchen project with a client we will carry out a thorough survey of available space so we can give you the best possible advice to meet your brief.

Planning a utility room

If you have decided that a utility is right for your home and you have space for one, we can start planning. Even though this area is generally closed off from your main kitchen, we wouldn’t advise that you skimp on the quality of cupboards and worksurfaces. Your utility room will be a hard-working area of your home so using cheaper finishes may not be a great economy.

You can choose to use the same style kitchen cupboard doors as your main kitchen but maybe in a different shade. If you have chosen an on-trend dark toned kitchen such as an indigo blue or slate colour, we’d suggest using a lighter contrast for your utility area, say a dove grey, stone or almond colour.  A paler colour will reflect the light as opposed to a dark colour which may make the space feel enclosed. We’d also advise on durable good quality work surfaces as they will be heavily used.

What to have in your utility room

  • Start with the non-negotiables, a washing machine and a dryer or a combo washer-dryer if space is tight.
  • A big sink is ideal for wellie washing or emptying buckets from floor washing. A deep Belfast sink is an option or a large stainless sink and drainer.
  • As this area will see some heavy traffic straight from the outdoors, a solid splashback on the walls is a sensible option as it’s easier to keep clean, no grout
  • cribbing!
  • Why not have tall open shelving for boots and shoes rather than letting then clutter the floor space.
  • Choose an easy to clean flooring, with a tall cupboard for a mop, brush and bucket to keep handy for any spillages and muddy footprints.
  • A space for coat hanging will help keep bulky coats out of your hallway, try having coat hooks under a wall cupboard or wall mounted coat hooks.
  • Another handy tip is to have a light switch easily accessible as you enter the utility from the outside.

Have a kitchen de-clutter

If you have never had the luxury of a utility before your new kitchen fit-out, you will be able to have a good kitchen de-clutter. Remove those big bulky items such as detergents or pet food out of the kitchen cupboards and into your new utility. Keep all of your cleaning products and accessories such as floor mops, buckets a vacuum cleaner in your new utility.

Once you have re-organised your belongings in your new kitchen and utility, you will wonder how you ever managed without a separate utility room. Any of our designers at Kitchen World will be able to advise you if it is possible to have a utility as part of your new kitchen, if you haven’t got the ideal space for a utility, we can advise you on how to best fit your white goods into a new kitchen design without affecting the overall flow and aesthetics of your new kitchen. 

In kitchens where there is no separate room that can be used as a utility, remember that some building work may be required such as adding a dividing wall, our team of designers can advise you on all aspects of your new kitchen and utility and will help you make the right decisions for your budget, home and family life.

We look forward to all new kitchen/utility projects as every client’s wishes are varied with every home offering us new design challenges which our team thoroughly enjoy. We love seeing your wish list come to life as we design and build your new dream kitchen.

Currently of course, our showroom is closed due to the current CIVID-19 crisis, however, our team of designers continue to work from home and have all of the tools available to design your new kitchen and provide detailed CAD plans so you can see your ideas come to life on paper. All we need is the dimensions of your kitchen and utility area plus your wish list and we can start designing.

So, if you want something to focus on whilst you are at home and have something to look forward to, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us start designing your new dream kitchen. In the meantime, we hope you are all staying safe and well with your families at home and we look forward to being able to welcome you back to our showroom, hopefully, in the near future.

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