- Architect Your Home
- 17 March 2016
A utility room can mean anything from a cupboard with a washing machine, to a room with enough space to do the ironing, hang up your washing and store all of your appliances. One thing we can say for sure is that a utility room is a very task-orientated space – but how do you achieve the right one for you?
The first thing to consider is how much space do you have and what can you realistically hope to achieve with the room. As simple as a utility space seems, it’s important to scope the room out and question if the environment is suitable for your needs.
If you’re going to have a steam dryer in there, are there any windows for ventilation? If you’re going to be hanging wet clothes up to dry, is there enough air flowing through the space? Solutions to issues like this could be solved by simply installing a wall-mounted dehumidifier, which are very effective and surprisingly inexpensive.
Another environmental consideration is noise - something that is often forgotten when setting up a utility room. Though modern appliances are generally quieter than in the old days, they still make some noise and are often run through the night – so perhaps think about the proximity to the bedrooms and social spaces, to establish whether acoustic insulation is worth considering.
Make a list of everything you will want to store in your utility room and design suitable storage places for these things (you won’t want to have to move the ironing board, or a pile of muddy boots every time you want to use the tumble dryer).
Once you’ve grasped the environmental considerations of your utility room, you can start thinking more creatively, and plan how you want your utility room to look. It might be a practical space but it should still be one you enjoy spending time in! A good arrangement when space is tight is to make a wall of utility deep enough for all your appliances, sinks, cupboards etc. As for a walk-in utility room, the minimum effective width is about 1400mm. This means that you will have about 600mm for your appliances, and 800mm to move in. Add an additional 400mm for a wall of shelves for the other side of the circulation space, and you could have a very efficient space.
One last thought for you to bear in mind is that, as a utility room is a very ‘task-orientated’ space, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough light to see what you’re doing. You don’t want to be in your own shadow when standing at the sink or loading the washing machine (that’s often how those odd socks get lost) – so allow suitable consideration for lighting where these tasks will take place.
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