To squirrel away all the more practical, messy aspects of home life and keep the kitchen as a place just for cooking and socialising is a very valuable thing.
A utility room can be found on many a home wish-list and leading design house, Neptune, have compiled design pointers to help this functional asset live up to its potential.
Firstly, remember that function and form co-exist. Many new-build properties, which are quite commonly designed with a utility room in tow, have a tendency to make your kitchen’s neighbouring space a cold, clinical environment.
Your utility room will no doubt do the task in hand, providing you with plenty of extra storage space, but will it be a part of the home that is enjoyable to pass time in while you take care of a chore or two?
Every inch of your home is deserving of looking good and making you feel good, and sometimes utility alone is not quite enough.
If you are renovating your utility room, talk to your designer about whether you want it to feel like an extension of your kitchen or a different space altogether.
It is usually a wise idea to keep the flooring the same so that there is a sense of flow between the two rooms, but there is no rule to say that you need to stick with the same style or colour: the key is to ensure any contrasts are sympathetic.
For example, take the colour that you used on your kitchen island and carry that through to all of the cabinetry in your utility room, giving you contrast with a sense of continuity.
And remember, you need not settle for the same cabinetry that you have in the kitchen if you feel it does not function as well as it could in the utility space.
Some naturally will, like wall cabinets and the sink cabinet, but you may well want one or two designed very specifically for a job you have in mind: take, for example, the cabinetry in Neptune’s laundry collection.
It includes a full-height cabinet created to house a washing machine and tumble dryer on top of one another – so they are not taking up two spots of floor space.
Reinforced to carry the weight, they have ventilation channels to make sure nothing overheats.
If putting the dog in the kitchen sink, washing muddy football boots in a bucket in the garage, or handwashing delicates in the bathtub are all common tasks in your household, why not migrate them to the utility room?
Invest in a deep Belfast sink (or Butler sinks as they are also called ) – a double one if there is room to spare – and you won’t look back.
With all this talk of utility rooms, know that this is very much a generalist term.
If the notion of having a laundry room sets your heart aflutter, then run with it and have it designed in a way that is dedicated to that cause alone.
In fact, consider that upstairs might in fact be the best place for one of these, as it is where most of your laundry is created.
If you want a boot room, then leave the washing machines and baskets where they are and go big with Pembroke shelving for boot storage and a bench for popping shoes on and kicking them off.
Whatever you decide to use the space for, remember that while it is primarily utilitarian by name and nature, there is no reason that your utility room shouldn’t spark joy.