Small utility rooms can pack a big punch.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time working in your utility room, make it a happy place. That’s the trend designers are seeing, with more people making their functional rooms as livable and pretty as the rest of their homes. It’s a great space to play with design, organizing details, storage, color and patterns.
“In this day and age, people are realistic about the kind of time they’re spending in these kinds of utilitarian spaces,” said interior designer Bebe MacKellar with Fanny Bolen Interiors and Buzz by Bebe in Oklahoma City. “And you sure want to be happy.”
MacKellar had some fun with the utility room she uses in her pool house, which is where she launders beach towels, blankets and other outdoor items. She also uses it for garden work — flower-arranging, pot-planting and more.
To decorate it, she started by picking out a fun Stroheim & Roman wallpaper by her friend Dana Gibson, a fabric and wallpaper designer. MacKellar also keeps happy things on shelves, like vases from her great-grandmother.
“The nice thing about it is that nobody goes in there but me, so I can keep it exactly how I want,” MacKellar said.
For the separate utility room inside her house, in addition to space for laundry and other work, she included a space where she could work on school projects with her son without the materials spilling out into her kitchen.
A utility room doesn’t have to match the rest of your house, said Claire Miller, showroom manager and interior designer for Ketch Design Centre in Oklahoma City. It can be an extension of your overall design, but it can also be a place where you go bold and fun in design. Include a stunning window treatment, find creative ways to store your belongings or hide practical items like an ironing board.
She encourages people to treat utility rooms as “anything, really, to make laundry less daunting.”