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  • Lydia Elder

Utilise Your Utility

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Tips to make the most of a small laundry space

The main reason we bought The Layton was that it had a utility room. Ok, maybe that’s stretching the truth a bit – but it’s certainly the reason I ruled out numerous other houses, based on utility room deficient floor-plans alone. Having two boy toddlers (one of whom loves to play Picasso with his dinner) and one very large, very sweaty husband, my washing machine is on constant duty. In our old flat we had a very open-plan kitchen, diner, living room and hallway. This meant that my knickers would often be hanging up over our heads as we ate breakfast, and our freshly-washed bedding would smell like whatever we’d had for dinner the night before. Yuck!

Now we are in the new house, one of my top priorities has been to transform our little utility room into the perfect laundry room, a place that is both pretty and practical. Here are my tips and hacks to really utilise your utility!

Overflow Kitchen

We placed the microwave in the utility room to free up counter space in the kitchen. It works really well as we don’t tend to use the microwave that frequently, and they are always super bulky.

Over-head Hanging

If floorspace is limited, you don’t want to have a standing airer blocking the way. Instead, look at how you can incorporate rails above head height, so you can hang your laundry up to dry and still be able to use the room. This was my husband’s brainchild. After looking at quite a few made-for-purpose options, we went cheap and inventive and purchased the IKEA TJUSIG Hat Rack (£19). It can be used two ways, as you can either drape items over the rails to dry, or use hangers to hang shirts down from the rails – its high enough that I can still use the microwave, put in another load of laundry and go in and out the back door even when the laundry is hanging.

Display Shelves

It can’t be all practicality can it?! We found these brilliant Cusko Grey Floating Shelves in B&Q (£7 each) and they are the perfect grey gloss to match our Cashmere cabinets. When I got my husband to put these up, I’m pretty sure he thought they were to store washing powder, fabric softener and stain remover within easy reach. However, as we have so much storage space in the kitchen, the cupboard in the utility is free to be used purely for laundry products and I decided the shelves would be much better as ornamental ledges. There is, however, a beautiful little key dish on one of them to make locking the back door easy!

Ironing Board Storage

I think that ironing board storage is an issue for everyone, particularly those without a surplus of large cupboards. We do have a tall storage cupboard in the hallway, however I wanted to keep the iron and board in the same place as the rest of the laundry. The Brabantia Iron Holder (£14.99 from John Lewis) is the perfect solution –   its made out of heat resistant material to safely store your iron and features an adjustable hook to hang up an ironing board. It was very easy to fix to the wall and we placed it behind the door so barely notice it’s there until we need to use it!

Odd-Sock Dilemma

This is something inspired by my mother-in-law’s boot room. She uses little drawers to store all those mysterious lone socks that inevitably wind up in every load of laundry. I found this Gold Grid Basket Set in TKMaxx and immediately thought they would be perfect. My kids’ odd socks go in one, and my husband’s considerably larger ones go in the other (I myself never seem to have the odd-sock dilemma?!). They are then happily reunited with their other halves after the next wash!

So there you have it – the transformation of our utility room! I have some wallpaper that needs to go up but that adventure will be a blog for another day. We also still want to put up a trolley maid on the ceiling over the unit so that we can hang even more laundry, but are yet to find the perfect one. If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please let me know in the comments below!

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