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Laundry rooms are a classic staple in a home, and often associated with more traditional homes. For this reason, country utility room ideas are the place to look for inspiration.
Utility rooms come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Even if you're considering a contemporary look, country utility room ideas can be a useful starting off point in your design.
A simple approach with good storage and quality features are key to pulling this classic utility room look. Aim to create a space which delights you. Laundry can be a tedious enough chore, so you might as well be working away in a beautiful room which also makes your life easier through useful details and practicalities.
Country utility room ideas
From the units to the blinds and accessories and everything in between, every detail counts when it comes to this timeless style.
1. Include a storage bench
Utility rooms often double as boot rooms - after all, it's not many of us that have the space or savings for both. Make the most out of the available space with narrow utility room ideas by building in a storage bench. Keep less attractive cleaning products and other essentials hidden away beneath its lid. Then you've also got a handy place to sit and put on or pull of Welly boots.
2. Lay flagstone flooring
Flagstone flooring is a country home staple. They're good-looking, hardwearing and incredibly practical. Also, they work incredibly well for utility room flooring ideas. With their uneven colouring and natural pockmarks, dirt is easily disguised, meaning you won't constantly be cleaning it.
When you do need to give it a wash, stone floors are easy and quick to get clean and bright again.
3. Add a traditional laundry maid
Indulge in a bit of a Downton Abbey moment while also space saving like a pro. Hanging clothes airers, known as Sheila's maids or laundry maids, add that rustic, vintage touch to your laundry room. Plus, unlike modern clothes airers, you won't be using up any precious floor space, making it perfect for small utility room ideas.
4. Factor in your furry friends
Is a country home even a country home without a dog? Think about your mucky pups when considering your utility room design. It's a bit of a luxury, but will make your life so much easier if you build in a dog shower. No more chasing your pooch around the garden with a house or tackling in the upstairs bath. Keep the muddy paws in one designated area and everything will run a lot more smoothly.
5. Panel the wall
Panelled walls are a must-have for country kitchens, so make sure to bring through into your utility room, too. They add texture and interest without being too busy and distracting the eye. Plus, they're easy to repaint should you wish to revamp your colour scheme.
6. Embrace the colours of nature
Keep the look understated but undeniably country with a coat of glorious forest green on the walls. The serene yet striking shade pairs beautifully with natural wooden cabinets and worktops to create a grounding country vibe. Choose classic white enamel storage caddies and fittings to keep the look clean and effortlessly coordinated.
7. Dress the decor with ticking stripes
Nothing says country-style quite like a classic ticking stripe. Use this faithful pattern to furnish your utility room to give the space an air of sophistication. Match the dominant colour of the pattern to your kitchen cabinet colour to keep the look cohesive. For on-trend navy choose brass fixtures and fittings to enhance the richness of the scheme.
8. Add stylish shutters
Shutters for dressing windows is the epitome of fine country-style. Smart wooden shutters are ideal for creating scullery chic. Keep the look understand yet smart by painting the shutters, cabinets and walls in a gradient scale of the same colour – keep the walls in the lightest shade, then choose a colour few shades darker for both the cabinets and the shutters. This painting scheme will help to add depth to the look, without having to use bold colours.
9. Decorate white goods with flower prints
Give bulky white goods a touch of country-style with the help of simple stickers. The blank canvas of white is the ideal place to add a decorative motif to soften the hardness of appliances. Team the look with floral print fabrics for under-cabinet curtains and textile accessories, to uniform the look.
10. Use open shelves for boots and shoes
Use your utility room as the place to clean and store footwear as soon as they are removed. Leave just-cleaned shoes to air or dry on a sturdy trolley before you return them to storage. A small pair of steps will helpfully double as a place to prop your foot when cleaning shoes.
11. Add flowers
Create an area where you can indulge your love of fresh flowers and arrange them beautifully. Fit shelves above the sink for storing flower room essentials such as scissors, string, gloves and glass stem vases, and display your country-style arrangements in pretty enamel jugs nearby.
Use the colourful blooms to inspire the decor. Add interest with a bright blind in a graphic floral print to inject a vibrant touch to enhance an otherwise neutral colour scheme.
12. Fit a Belfast sink
Country utility room ideas couldn't be complete without traditional Belfast sinks – best set into a chunky wooden work surface. These deep ceramic sinks are hard-wearing and large enough to cope with any utility room cleaning task. Combine with vintage-style kitchen mixer taps for a pleasing finish.
Make this signature sink the star of the show by dressing it to perfection. A decorative textile fashioned into curtains to conceal the storage below the worktops helps to frame the sink area.
13. Hide away ironing boards in an armoire
Keep ironing boards, brooms and vacuum cleaners out of sight in a dedicated cupboard. Choose a slim, classic country armoire to make essential storage feel more sophisticated. Hang up the feather duster and dustpan and brush on characterful wall hooks independently of the freestanding furniture piece.
14. Put up plentiful shelving
Organise your washing space with painted open shelves for folded linen and detergents. Paint basic wooden shelves in a classic cream to achieve a simple country look. The colour will provide a calming backdrop for natural linens, enamel storage caddies and attractive bottled laundry products.
15. Choose classic pigeon holes for storage
Use stylish pigeon hole shelving to make storing household sundries all the more chic. The fashionable storage units come in a variety of different sizes, from countertop to larger wall-mounted designs to suit all utility rooms. For a totally uniformed look you can even label each one to make it clear exactly what goes where.
16. Fashion a display area
One of the most pleasing qualities of having a dedicated utility space is that you can show off the finer details. With chic storage solutions such as glass Kilner jars, porcelain bottles and enamelware why hide it all away behind closed doors. Use open shelving to house beautifully decanted cleaning products and simple decorative accessories. Fit the shelving above the sink so that you can keep everything you need to hand.
Larger items such as boxes of washing powder can be stowed away in classic enamel containers or cupboards nearby.
17. Opt for a built-in utility cupboard
You don't always need a whole room in order to make use of country utility room ideas. A built-in cupboard is the perfect spot to make a miniature laundry area. Maximise the space you do have by including extending shelves so you have worksurfaces to hand when needed.
18. Conceal appliances with a curtain
Make a simple curtain to hide unattractive appliances or unorganised storage under a counter top. Sew a curtain with a narrow casing at the top and thread on to a net curtain wire or café rod. Not only will this idea instantly hide a bulky electrical appliance, it will also help to add a decorative touch through a thoughtful patterned fabric.
19. Incorporate a pet bed
Keep your pooch at their happiest by building them a new bed. After all, what is are country utility room ideas without a perky pup? A combination of built-in open shelving and drawers turns the smallest cubby hole into a utility area with space for a pet bed beneath.
20. Tile a utility splashback with glazed brick tiles
Tile the splashback above the sink in your utility space with glazed brick tiles for a classic country look. Combine with white walls, a marble worktop and a traditional-style mixer tap. A wooden shelf, fitted just above the tiles, finishes the look and provides a handy place to display decorative pieces, and beautifully packaged laundry and cleaning products.
21. Use an over-the-door rack for cleaning brushes
Make the most of vertical storage options such as over-door racks and country style hooks. These simple solutions are easy to fit and add instant extra storage in your utility room – and they make a great place to hang items such as teacloths, feather dusters and brushes, too.
When it comes to cleaning must-haves such as mops, bins or a dustpan and brush, even these practical items can add utility-chic if you opt for vintage-style accessories in cream enamel or rustic wood.
22. Build in fitted boot room storage
Design your utility space so it also works for boot room ideas. Fit wooden shelving and paint it in a subtle shade, such as understated sage green, to match the cabinetry. Alternatively, use a rustic metal rack or even wooden steps to prop up footwear by the garden door. Combine painted units with a wood-panelled splashback and stone flooring for classic boot-room style.
23. Fit an extending wall rack to dry laundry indoors
No country utility room is complete without a wall-mounted extending rack for those days when the weather does not allow clothes to be dried outside. Position a wall rack near the washing machine and sink for ease of use. If you have space for shelving, add storage boxes above, or fit an enamel wardrobe rail in an alcove for hanging up garments.
24. Hide clutter with a café curtain
Hang a country-style café curtain beneath the length of a worktop or console table to hide kitchenware, cleaning products or appliances from view. Choose fabric in fresh colours, such as striking florals or fresh stripes, and sew a simple curtain that will add instant zing to your utility room. Hang the curtain using a tension rod that fits the width of the open shelving unit.
25. Choose neutral, country-style cabinetry
Decorate in a neutral colour scheme for a timeless look in your utility room. Choose Shaker-style cabinetry - allowing plenty of space for appliances - and hardwearing stone flooring for a look that’s pretty and practical. Use country-style enamel containers for washing powder and to sort laundry. Add a peg rail for coats above a wooden chest or sideboard for plenty of storage.
26. Show off shabby-chic storage
Make washday a pleasure with a dedicated utility area for laundry. Store and display ironing water, soaps, cleaning liquids and wooden dolly pegs in attractive bottles and practical glass kilner jars.
Introduce even a few of these ideas, and the results might just might light work of those chores that need doing. Talk about effective budget utility room ideas!
How can I make my utility room look nice?
You can make your utility room look nice by adopting a country-style approach. The humble yet hard-working utility room is often over-looked when it comes to decorating. Yes, you need to create a dedicated space that is well organised but practical doesn't have to be dull. A vintage country-style look is a great style choice as it takes the room back to its roots. A scullery was a kitchen overflow for large, busy houses so had to be spic- span efficient.
What is the difference between a scullery and a utility room?
Although the names are very different, the utility room is simply the modern equivalent of a scullery. Traditionally, sculleries were used for laundry, washing dishes and as an extra kitchen space. Since utility rooms perform the same tasks they are essentially just a rebranded scullery!
In Australia and the States, however, you're more likely to find these spaces called laundry rooms than utility rooms.
Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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