Utility room colour ideas – the best colours to use to brighten up this space

Our utility room colour ideas cover fabric, paint and flooring – something for everyone whatever your style

utility room colour ideas, Red utility room with white ceramic sink, boot bench and grey floor tiles
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Utility rooms might be a bit of a luxury, however, if you've made the effort to carve out a dedicated space it deserves to be treated with respect and some beautiful utility colour ideas.

Utility rooms are very much in demand; there’s even potential for utility room ideas to add value. Imagine a space for the laundry, the muddy boots and a second sink (and that’s before we talk utility room storage ideas). But who says such a practical space needs to be dull? Our utility room colour ideas can transform this practical room into a stylish space that you might even find you enjoy doing the chores in! 

‘Thanks to Instagram, these new must-have spaces are being decorated with the same consideration and care as more public rooms, despite their utilitarian purpose,’ says Original BTC director, Charles Bowles.

Utility room colour ideas 

'Utility rooms are quickly becoming the latest space to add value to your home, offering great potential for both style, storage and colour,' says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers.

Discover how you can make your utility room a colourful space – and one that will make those household chores more enjoyable. 

1. Be versatile with apple green

utility room colour ideas, green and grey utility room with bespoke cabinets white tiled floor, coat stand, bike

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

Apple green is a lovely shade to consider for a utility room, easy on the eye and warming too which makes it ideal if the space is north facing and a little dark. 

'Green has quickly become a staple shade; earthy and elegant, it gives a classic twist to traditional neutrals, while adding depth and balance. It’s a colour we associate with the outdoors and, when used correctly, it can breathe life into the heart of the home. 

'An ideal choice for a utility room, create a statement by pairing green cabinetry with dark grey walls. This contrast of colour allows the units to take centre stage,' says Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr.

2. Jazz up a white scheme with tiles

utility room colour ideas, white utility room with blue pattered floor tiles, cabinets and bench seat, peg rail

(Image credit: Carpetright)

If you love your existing paint colours in your utility but fancy a touch of pattern then research flooring for a decorative touch. 

'Practical flooring is essential in any utility room,' says Jemma Dayman, hard flooring buyer at Carpetright. 'Vinyl flooring, known for being easy to clean and maintain, is an ideal choice of flooring for a utility room, which sees the comings and goings of a busy family life. 

'Many vinyl flooring options are also slip and water-resistant, perfect for a room which houses laundry equipment. Offering an endless array of colours, patterns, and designs, vinyl flooring is not only practical but can also be used to enhance the look of your utility room.'

3. Mix gloss and matt paint finishes

utility room colour ideas, orange utility room with matt and gloss paint finishes, bench seat, open shelving, peg rail

(Image credit: Paint & Paper Library)

Whether you pick a pretty pink, pale blue or bold orange, you can add a further design feature by having a play with paint finishes, especially if you want to create a stand out utility space – let's give them the love they deserve!

‘Paint finishes, from high gloss to chalky matt, have a profound effect on colour,' says Andy Greenall, creative director, Paint & Paper Library.

'I love to see finishes used in surprising ways; the same colour set side by side in contrasting finishes will create a contemporary moment in a traditional space. Consider juxtaposing the chalky matt Architects’ Matt with our high sheen Architects’ Gloss.’

4. Choose mid-tones for a Shaker style look

utility room colour ideas, blue green utility room with tongue and groove, wood work top, peg rail

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If your home is classic then follow that through in your utility room. Traditional colours of blue and green have an elegant feel and look great with a warm wood worktop. 

Add in a peg rail in a contrasting light colour like off-white and the result will be a nod to the iconic Shaker style we know and love so much. 

5. Can't decide on a colour? Opt for monochromatic

Dark grey kitchen units with belfast sink and wall panelling with peg rail shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Black and white is clean and fresh colour scheme that's worth considering. It's striking and practical. Keep the black on the cabinetry and the white from the worktop up. 

If you want to add in a touch of colour consider blush pink or pale green as a subtle accent. 

6. Pick creams for a small space

utility room colour ideas, cream utility room with quartz worktop, floor to ceiling cabinets in cream, double sinks

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Small utility rooms do benefit from pale colours, if you don't want to go for a crisp white then take it down a notch with a creamy shade that will still do the job. 

Forever versatile, there's a wide spectrum of creams from cooler tones to warming options – you could even consider stone, oatmeal or beige. 

7. Opt for shades of green for farmhouse style

utility room colour ideas, green utility style cabinet, green walls, stone tiles

(Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

Can't decide on one single colour for your utility room? Pick two shades instead. Use one for your cabinetry and the other for the walls.

'One of the most popular colour choices for cabinetry is dark green,' says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers. 'Often combined with a neutral backdrop it’s a colour that feels elegant and timeless, utility rooms are quickly becoming the latest space to add value to your home, offering great potential for both style and storage.'

8. All over white for a crisp finish

Utility room lighting ideas

(Image credit: Matalan)

There's something so classically beautiful about white, it uplifts and freshens which makes it a suitable choice for a utility room! But how do you choose which white to pick? 

‘White is often one of the most difficult shades to choose, mainly because there are many nuances and hues so finding the right tone of white can be a challenge!' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director, Little Greene

'Many people make the mistake of using a ‘Brilliant White’ but this can be very harsh, too bright and often a little sterile so I would certainly steer clear of pure white and recommend considering ‘off-whites’ - whites with an undertone of another colour, or soft neutrals, these will be easier on the eye and more complementary within a design scheme, such as ’Linen Wash’, a lovely gentle white.'

headshot of Ruth Mottershead
Ruth Mottershead

Ruth Mottershead, Creative & Marketing Director of Little Greene, has been working in her family’s business for 12 years. She is responsible for creating concepts and ideas for upcoming paint and wallpaper collections, choosing colours for new cards and browsing archives at the National Trust for new wallpaper collections. 

9. Create a modern look with inky blues

utility room colour ideas, dark blue utility room with sleek modern doors and cabinetry, Belfast sink, plants, rug, grey tiled floor

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

Utility rooms can be dark and dingy, so the thought of using a dark colour may seem counter intuitive, but, if you pick the right shade and add in some white for balance it can look fabulous. 

'Dark colours can still work well in a smaller utility room,' says Rebecca Nokes, design director, John Lewis of Hungerford.  'Opt for a deep navy or dark grey and team with a white sink and pale wood detailing for a contemporary look.'

10. Go bold with vibrant red

Red utility room with white ceramic sink, boot bench and grey floor tiles

(Image credit: Furnbury Interior Design)

Utility rooms are often hidden away rather like a pantry, and can be decorated with leftover paint. But how about you treat yours to a colour you've always yearned to use but don't feel it works in your kitchen? 

A bold red will be eye-catching to say the least, break it up with crisp white so it doesn't feel overpowering. 

11. Go for a lime green

Green and yellow utility room with wooden features

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Make natural wood units zing with a fresh utility room colour scheme. Try a lime-yellow shade for the walls, with a softer peach tile. Panelling is a great practical utility room design idea for a hardworking utility room, but protect any high-splash areas with a splashback or tiles.

Work in touches of black to give definition – like a black tap or wall brackets for a shelf up above your sink area.

12. Add pops to an all-white space

White utility room with washing machine

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your home is white, why not add hits of bright colour to your utility room through accessories? Colourful towels, baskets – and even wellies – can bring style to shelves. 

Open shelving is a great choice for a utility room storage idea, allowing you to easily see things immediately, however you’ll need to be tough and not let them become cluttered, especially if your utility room leads off from a living area used by visitors.

13. Update units with an electric blue

Cobalt blue cupboards and splashback with sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Looking for bright utility room colour ideas? Try painting wooden units and panelling a bright cobalt blue – it’s a great partner to natural wood and materials. It is a smart budget utility room idea, that will make the space look more expensive. 

Brass handles look striking contrasted against the blue, while white walls help keep the space fresh.

Fit a shallow low-level shelf around your walls, providing utility room storage space for essentials as well as room to display a few frames, helping to create a space with personality as well as practicality.

14. Be brave with classic navy

Navy blue utility room with white sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Often in small utility rooms, we shy away from dark shades, whereas they can help create a unified space that feels bigger. Take the colour from floor-to-ceiling on one wall, balancing with white on the others; this will help visually push the wall further away. 

Bring in plenty of texture, with wicker, seagrass and oak, balancing the darker shades. A peg rail makes the perfect space to display essentials with that utilitarian look.

15. Add colour with a splashback

Blue and white utility room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Splashbacks will protect the walls of your utility room, while offering the chance to bring in a new colour. Try a teal blue with darker base units, using oak worktop and shelving to define the splashback space. 

Painted panelling in a hardwearing eggshell looks great, but if you need something more durable, then try a splashback in coloured glass or tiles. 

16. Opt for a bright teal in a tiny space

Blue utility room with wooden hanging rack

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Blue and white always make for a clean-looking scheme, so why not paint the walls of your utility room a soft teal shade? White marble tiles look crisp, while a black window frame and radiator help to create a touch of drama in this practical space.

Don’t overlook the warm honey tones of natural wood and wicker – sometimes it can provide the perfect accent colour while providing a texture boost at the same time.

17. Add colour with a blind

Patterned blinds over white sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

For a quick utility room makeover, try a roller or Roman blind in a retro-inspired print, which can be echoed in kitchen linens and even your choice of mug! Look for a design that has the same background colour as your walls and units – the motif will really pop.

When choosing fabric for your blind, decide on the look you want to create for your utility room. Try a retro-inspired design or a shabby chic print – it’s an easy way to change things up. Home decor discount codes are worth a look to help cut down on the expense here.

18. Link your utility to your garden

Green and white wallpaper in utility room

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Utility rooms are often the last room we walk through en route to the garden, so why not be inspired by nature, with a green colour scheme and a hero leaf wallpaper design? It’s a great combination for rooms that are naturally light and fresh. If you need more light, there are plenty of ways to increase utility room lighting, such as spotlights or a central pendant.

Paint units a rich jade colour, keeping worktops and the sink crisp white. Line shelves with vases and gardenalia, helping to bridge that indoor/outdoor gap. 

How can I brighten my utility room?

Avoid the temptation to quickly run for the nearest white as there are so many other ways to brighten a utility room. 

'Don’t opt for a brilliant white to brighten, as this could feel a little chilly, opt for a more nuanced white or a neutral shade,' says Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador, Farrow & Ball.

'A smart pale grey mint like Cromarty will feel very fresh, or even opt for the subtlest of earthy pinks, Pink Ground. Both will add just a little character while keeping the look and feel clean and fresh.'

What is the best colour to paint a utility room with no windows?

It's actually quite common for utility rooms to either have no windows or a small one, leaving the space lacking in natural light. 

'This may sound counter-intuitive but you can go really dark here,' suggests Patrick. 'A deeply dark blue such as our petrol-hued Hague Blue or ambient Green Smoke could feel super smart, just keep in mind your artificial lighting. If going dark feels wildly terrifying, opt for the warmth of a cheery but not overly bright yellow like Sudbury Yellow.'

What’s a good colour for a utility room?

There are several colour camps you can choose when it comes to utility room colour schemes. White and bright plays to the sense of ‘jobs’ and ‘cleanliness’ associated with the use of the space while making a feature of your washing machine and white goods; you could inject personality and style by bringing in colour that you’ve been keen to use (or already use) elsewhere in your home, while dark, more practical colours, can be forgiving if you’ve children and pets.

‘Depending on your personal style, the utility room can be an area to inject a little personality with dark sumptuous colours such as forest green. Or, if you’d prefer a space that feels fresh and open, an off-white might be better suited,’ says Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr.

What type of paint should you use in a utility room?

This depends on the surface you are painting as well as how durable you need it to be. A tough eggshell is a must if you are painting exiting unit doors, priming first if recommended by the manufacturer. The same applies to any woodwork or panelling, especially if it’s likely to get marked easily.

If your utility room gets quite humid from the tumble dryer, then use a paint designed for kitchens or bathrooms on the walls. Likewise, if your walls are likely to get scuffed, try a washable paint, helping you to keep your utility looking its best.

Jennifer Morgan

Jennifer Morgan is an award-winning editor, writer and stylist, with over 25 years’ experience writing, styling and editing home interest magazines. Jennifer was the deputy editor of Ideal Home from 2008-2010, before launching Ideal Home’s sister title, Style at Home in 2010. Jennifer went on to launch several craft magazines and websites, before going freelance in 2016, with a client list that includes John Lewis, Dunlem and Nordic House. Today, she writes for Ideal Home, Real Homes, Waitrose, Woman & Home, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Homes & Gardens. But it was during lockdown that Jennifer realised her dream of publishing her own magazine – Simply Scandi.