Easy ways to give your utility room a boost

Make washing and cleaning a breeze with these simple ideas

Doing the laundry may not be top of anyone’s ‘fun things to do’ list, but there’s no need to make it any more of a chore than it already is.

By name and nature, the utility room area has to be a functional space, equipped and ready to tackle the washing, ironing and cleaning. But with a bit of planning and a few bright ideas, a laundry room can make those tasks a little more pleasant.

The most important issue to think about is storage, because with everything from a mop and bucket to the cat’s litter tray shoved in there, it’s hard to keep everything neat and tidy.

Don’t neglect the finer details though. Pretty the space up with vintage soaps, a vase of fresh flowers or a picture or two. Then get to work…

What’s in store

Consider what you need and make sure everything has a place. Dirty clothes sit in a basket, cleaning products should be stored together and dirty tools are best tucked away. Don’t rule out open shelving: it keeps everyday items close to hand and in the right storage can be put on display.

Seamless flow

Many utility areas are small spaces just off the kitchen. Keep the whole area unified by painting both in the same colour scheme so there is a flow from one room to another. Use the same worktops and cabinets to ensure they blend seamlessly.

Sink feeling

If the budget allows, build in an extra sink so some items can be washed away from the cooking area.
A butler sink is ideal as it makes it easier to do a spot of handwashing or rinse down muddy boots (or even a dirty dog!).

Hide away

If you don’t have a separate room you can dedicate a corner of the kitchen to all things clean. If you don’t want appliances on show, have a go at sewing a colourful curtain to hide everything away.

Keep it sweet

If you’re lucky enough to have the space, try to put the ironing board somewhere that makes it easy to put up and down. And make the chores more pleasurable by shunning functional plastic for pretty accessories: a floral peg bag, wicker baskets and linen water for a sweet-smelling washday.

On display

A traditional ceiling clothes dryer is great for drying items without taking up floor space. But why not put it to use when washday is over? There are so many gorgeous tea towel designs around you could create a swish display with them.

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