If ever there is a room where shelving is super important, it's the utility room.The clue is in the name – you want to be able to UTILISE everything easily, and shelves ensure that everything is within easy reach.
These most practical of spaces need to be organised and also safe – which is why it's better to have detergents and cleaning products safe and away from little ones and pets, either up high or behind closed (and child-locked) doors.
Get your beautility on point with more of our utility room ideas
Most things, however, can be popped on shelves. If you hate clutter, you might prefer to use baskets or tins on shelves. That way, items are hidden, but still accessible.
Utility room shelving ideas
Bespoke shelving is worth investigating if your utility room is small or an awkward shape, as it will help you get the most out of a space. It needn't be prohibitively expensive either – a local carpenter may be able to create a simple carcase with adjustable levels for less than the price of an off-the-shelf shelving system.
That said, a simple piece of wood mounted on two brackets is likely to be the most budget-friendly way to introduce shelving. Keep it the same colour as the wall if you want to keep your scheme simple and spacious. Or choose shelving in bright colours or an industrial mix of wood and metal if you'd prefer your shelving to be a feature.
Read on for more of our practical and pretty utility room shelving ideas.
1. Build a multifunctional shelving unit
Create a space that offers multifunctional usage. IKEA is a great place to look for utility room shelving components that offer different uses but be adapted to work on the same frame. This smart laundry room features wall-mounted rails that can be used for all your laundry room needs – from simple shelving, clothes airers and larger baskets.
Savvy shelving solutions allow you to make the space completely bespoke, tailored for your own needs – depending how you plan to use the space. It's also an affordable way to build bespoke shelving.
2. Fill one wall with stacked shelves
Ensure you have a place for everything by filling an entire wall with useful shelving. If you're going to the effort of putting shelving up you will benefit from making them fill just one wall to keep the look neat, while providing maximum storage. When filled with vases and decorative objects the shelves fashion a thoughtful display/feature wall.
3. Pigeon hole essentials
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.
4. Utilise space under the stairs with floating shelves
Place shelving in an under-stairs cupboard to provide a compact utility room solution. Simple floating shelves are adequate enough to house cleaning cupboard essentials and storage baskets. Ensure they are securely fixed in place and be mindful not to overload the shelves with heavy quantities of products.
5. Choose matching baskets in different shapes and sizes
Find a corner in your home for a touch of laundry loveliness. Woven jute and coir baskets work beautifully in this open laundry area to store towels, throws and linens in an array of neutral tones. Label with swing tags to keep everything super organised.
6. Place slim shelves behind the sink
Your sink is likely one of the busiest areas of your utility room. If you're always using it for jobs like hand washing laundry/cleaning pets and children(!) it makes sense to have the things you need just a stretched arm away.
A slim rack like this can squeeze behind any sink, and rails stop any taller bottles from falling out.
7. Install shelves on brackets for cute country style
These slim shelves on rustic brackets enhance the look of this stunning space, and are a super-affordable storage addition.
8. Keep items organised in tins
If carefully curated displays aren't in your wheelhouse, don't fret. A set of enamel tins in the same colour will look coordinated and smart, while keeping your laundry room essentials in check.
9. Build a bespoke solution
Aah the dream! This lucky family has a commissioned a made-to-measure, wall-to-wall shelving solution. Notches allow the shelves to be moved up of down so the cubbyholes can be adapted to just the right size.
This helps to make everything more organised and its placing deliberate. It also helps to accommodate taller items like wellies or a laundry basket when needed.
10. Take the door off standard units
When your budget won't stretch to bespoke, head to your local DIY 'shed' and pick up a standard kitchen cupboard carcass. There's no need for a door, as now you can just grab items and get on with whatever you're doing.
It's a really affordable idea that looks smart – especially when you don't overdo it, cramming things on. This clever homeowner's display is pitch perfect.
11. Choose a vertical unit to make more of space
A tall unit of shelves is ideal to make the most of space, a particularly good small utility room idea where space is premium. A sturdy metal storage unit provides a good base for stacking cleaning essentials safely.
12. Style a vintage 'shelfie'
Choose retro style jars and containers to complete the look. Empty household and laundry essentials into labelled tins and boxes on shabby chic shelves to keep the look neat, tidy and streamlined – worthy of a laundry room shelfie.
13. Make a little shelving go a long way
Bare walls can make a room seem much bigger, so you may be wary of adding too many shelves. Popping a couple in the corner still gives you a pretty little display area, without overwhelming the space.
14. Use crates to collate items
Let's be honest, most of your utility room is going to be used to store very practical and not very pretty things like your ironing board and handheld vac. And that's fine. But, take a crate or two – either attaching them to the wall or just resting it on the worktop – and this rustic shelving can be used to 'frame' and display a small collection of attractive items like plants. Gorgeous!
Try this! Smart ways to decorate with crates
Always beware of how much weight your shelves can hold. Check the manufacturer's guidelines if you are buying shelving and be very careful if you're making your own.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
5 plants to prune in December to start the New Year with a healthy and happy garden
Give your plants some TLC this winter
By Lauren Bradbury
5 mistakes experts say to avoid when squeezing a Christmas tree into a small space
Say hello to the mistakes you’re making if your Christmas tree is in a small room
By Kayleigh Dray
Argos is having a huge sale on festive bedding – and prices start from just under £20!
Bundle up this Christmas for less
By Jullia Joson