Give your utility room a scullery chic makeover

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  • Is your utility room looking a bit tired and neglected? Here's how to make the hard-working room as pretty as it is practical.

    The humble yet hard-working utility room is often over-looked when decorating. Yes, you need to create a dedicated space that is well organised but practical doesn’t’ have to be dull. A vintage 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.

    A simple approach with good storage and quality features are key to pulling off this look. Take a look at our ideas that will help you give your uninspiring utility room a ‘scullery chic’ makeover Mrs Carson (she’s in Downton Abbey BTW) would be proud of.

    Fit a ceramic utility butler sink

    Country utility room with butler sink

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore for Ideal Home

    Choose a butler sink to lend a timeless look to a country-style scullery. Set it into a chunky wooden work surface against a wall with a tiled splashback, or into an island unit. These sinks look beautiful combined with vintage-style kitchen mixer taps and streamlined painted cabinetry. These deep ceramic sinks are hard-wearing and large enough to cope with any utility room cleaning task.

    Buy it now: Downton Abbey Butler Kitchen Sink, £289,

    Add rustic shelving for laundry lotions and potions

    Neutral Utility Room with Wooden Storage Rack and Butler Sink

    Image credit: Mark Scott for Country Homes & Interiors

    Make washday a pleasure with a dedicated utility area for laundry. Fit wooden shelving above the sink so that you can keep everything you need to hand. Store and display ironing water, soaps, cleaning liquids and wooden dolly pegs in attractive bottles and practical glass kilner jars.

    Larger items such as boxes of washing powder can be stowed away in classic enamel containers.

    Buy it now: Wall shelf with hooks, £19.99, Wayfair

    Use an over-the-door rack for cleaning brushes

    Neutral Utility Room with Vintage-style Cleaning Accessories

    Image credit: Mark Scott for Country Homes & Interiors

    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.

    Buy it now: Double ball over door hooks, £9.99, Argos

    Cut and arrange fresh flowers

    Neutral Utility Room with Wire Mesh-cabinet

    Image credit: Mark Scott for Country Homes & Interiors

    Create an area where you can indulge your love of fresh flowers and arrange them beautifully. Choose a white, mesh-fronted wall cabinet with shelving and place on a worktop or wooden garden table. Use it to store flower room essentials such as scissors, string, gloves and glass stem vases, and display your country-style arrangements in pretty enamel jugs nearby.

    Buy it now: Large white mesh fronted wall cabinet, £58.95, Melody Maison

    Add fitted boot room storage

    Traditional Utility Room with Painted Cupboards

    Image credit: David Cleveland for Homes & Gardens

    Design your utility space to include storage for boots and shoes. 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.

    Buy it now: Mizzle No.266, £43 for 2.5l, Farrow and Ball
    Buy it now: Chedworth boot and welly locker, £265, Store

    Fit an extending wall rack to dry laundry indoors

    Organised Neutral Utility Room with Pale Moroccan Tiles

    Image credit: James French for Ideal Home

    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.

    Hide clutter with a café curtain

    Rustic Utility Room with Painted Brick Wall

    Image credit: Adrian Briscoe for Homes & Gardens

    Hang a country-style café curtain beneath 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.

    Buy it now: Rackerty side board, £525, Loaf

    Choose neutral, country-style cabinetry

    Country Utility Room with Boot and Coat Storage

    Image credit: David Merewether for Ideal Home

    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.

    Buy it now: KitchenCraft Living Nostalgia 3 kg Metal Laundry Powder Tin, £18.80, Amazon

    Whitewash a rustic exposed brick wall

    Modern kitchen with white washed exposed wall

    Image credit: Malcolm Menzies for Livingetc

    Bring the outside in with an area of exposed brick, whitewashed for a fresh garden-room feel. This beautiful space flows seamlessly from the country kitchen, complete with island and bar stools, into a more relaxed utility area where cleaning equipment is casually propped up alongside a retro sofa. Pale wood flooring completes the light and spacious look.

    Buy it now: Newgate the luggage clock, £50, Houseology

    Tile a utility splashback with glazed brick tiles

    White kitchen with open shelving and metro splashback

    Image credit: Darren Chung for Beautiful Kitchens

    Tile the splashback above the sink in your utility space with glazed brick tiles for a vintage scullery 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, such a vase of fresh flowers, jugs or framed wall art.

    Buy it now: Bevelled brick white gloss wall tiles, £9.96 per square metre, Walls and Floors

    Introduce even a few of these ideas, and the results might just might light work of those chores that need doing.

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