Utilitarian spaces like laundry rooms and mudrooms seldom receive the attention they deserve, which is odd when you consider how often they are used. A properly planned utility room can be a complete housekeeping area that simplifies your household chores.
These rooms may even serve multiple purposes. A mudroom may double as a grooming center for the family pets and a storage room for sports gear. An overhead rack in a laundry room can be used for drying flowers as well as clothes, and the sink can be turned into a potting center.
Here’s how to make the most of these hard-working spaces.
Leverage the space. A mudroom is the ideal storage space for shoes, lunch bags, sports equipment, and pet essentials such as food dishes, leashes, blankets and toys. You don’t even need an entire room to reap a mudroom’s benefits. A narrow hall, a partial wall, or even space carved out from between wall studs will do just fine.
Supply smart storage. Instead of letting a mudroom become cluttered, take advantage of its potential. Counters, tables and benches can serve as storage pieces that collect and organize both day-to-day and seasonal items. A built-in cabinet that resembles a set of lockers will allow individual family members to have their own space. Other essentials for the room might include an umbrella stand, boot tray, baskets, and a chalk or message board.
Organize on a budget. Many cost-effective storage solutions are tailored specifically for utility spaces. Home centers and container stores offer a wealth of inexpensive storage ideas, such as wall-mounted racks for boots, shelving for hats, and hooks and baskets for sports gear.
Make it multi-functional. A full-sized laundry room offers flexible options beyond just doing laundry. If there’s space for more than appliances and a sink, add a table or table-height shelf for folding laundry, wrapping gifts, or potting plants. Add extra shelves or cabinets to store supplies. A drying rack over the sink that folds up against the wall makes it easy to hang clothing directly out of the washing machine.
Paint the walls. You may spend a lot of time in this area, so make sure it’s attractive. Paint the room a vibrant color that draws you in, or a soothing color that calms. Wall sayings or murals are a fun way to add interest.
Contain it. Laundry rooms are more functional if organized. Use clear jars or colored pottery for clothespins, sewing items and detergent. Choose various heights to add interest.
Play it up. “Dirty Laundry” never sounded so good as when sung in the utility room. Make sure you have access to music for some background interest. This utilitarian space should be just as interesting as the rest of your home.