Google the phrase “utility room,” and the first million or so links contain the phrase “laundry room.” But a good utility room is much more than just a station for your washer and dryer. An overlooked aspect of home improvement, the utility room often sits between the garage and the main area of the home. At its finest, a utility room reflects the crucial aspects of both of those spaces. There are a few things to consider when designing the space.
Protect Your Floor
As discussed in the article “Ranking the Rooms: Which Ones Need a Floor Mat?,” think about your utility room from the ground up – literally. Because of its probable proximity to the garage, your utility room is a magnet for caustic fuels and chemicals, cleaners, solvents and outside soil that will inevitably be tracked into your utility room. A floor mat is simple, right? Then how come it’s so frequently overlooked?
Easy access and reduced clutter is the name of the game in your utility room. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it absolutely does need to be organized. With multi-sized shelves, you can organize vertically, save crucial space on the floor and in any drawers or cabinets, and ensure that you have easy access to everything you need. Shelves make rooms functional, and utility rooms – above all else – should be functional. Your shelving can be an out of the box DIY job – no home contractor needed.
Light and Paint: Go Bright!
Utility rooms are always in constant danger of looking dingy – even spooky. They’re often small, they house unsightly machines like hot-water heaters and they can be damp and dark. Choose bright colors and make sure your lighting covers the entire room and doesn’t throw shadows or leave dark patches.
Create the equivalent of countertops any way you can. Large, flat spaces are crucial to functionality and ease of use. Resist the urge to clutter precious surface area with knick-knacks, trinkets and tchotchkes. In the utility room, less is definitely more.
You don’t need a home contractor to improve one of the most underrated and frequently used rooms in the house. Your utility room should be functional and neat – but don’t be afraid to make it your own.