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Clever designs and color schemes have transformed our most practical space

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Long gone are the days when utility rooms were unloved spaces where bulky appliances, ironing boards and piles of dirty laundry were either hidden or dumped. Luxurious cabinetry, custom hardware, and striking tile is quickly making the utility room the hottest new space in the home.

Searches for utility luxury are up 60 percent on Pinterest, and celebrities like Pearl Lowe and Stacey Solomon are proudly showcasing their recently revamped washrooms on Instagram. TikTok is also the spark of the trend, with laundry makeovers garnering more than 162 million views.

The must-have look of the moment? Tongue-and-groove panels. “It’s eye-catching and cost-effective,” says interior designer Emma Gurner. Bonus points if you paint it in mustard yellow (we like India Yellow, £52 for 2.5 litres, farrow-ball.com). Add a concrete sink (try thepouredproject.com) and copper hardware (check out the selection at shelfhardware.com) for a clean finish.

Don’t forget to hide bulky supplies like vacuum cleaners, ironing boards, and mops behind closed doors. Tall cabinets or lockers without a bottom panel are ideal for this – we love the selection on laredoute.co.uk. By choosing deeper drawers where possible, you also go a long way with housing needs such as cleaning sprays.

You can afford to be bolder with your colors, like the teal and deep red you see here. And why not try a drying rack

Reclaimed or salvaged wood flooring is back in vogue as the go-to for affordable upholstery and DIY cabinet fronts. They also help muffle the noise of washing machines and tumble dryers. Try lawonsyard.co.uk for a wide selection.

Sleek storage solutions like rattan baskets and built-in benches are smart space savers that will also add a decorative touch, while eye-catching hooks, shelving and rails are easy ways to decorate the space and hang your laundry in style.

COLORS

Unlike your living room or bedroom, a utility room is not a space where you will spend a lot of time, so you can afford to be bolder with your colors like teal and deep red. And who said drying racks had to be boring? Wall models not only have a striking look, but can also be used for drying laundry or hanging towels, but can also be neatly folded. View the offer on wayfair.com. For a similar shade of blue paint, try Teal Dreams, £32 for 2.5 litres, valsparpaint.co.uk.

WALLPAPER

A wall with wallpaper elements balances the sharp lines of your cabinets and countertops and gives your utility space the thoughtful feel that the rest of your home enjoys

A wall with wallpaper elements balances the sharp lines of your cabinets and countertops and gives your utility space the thoughtful feel that the rest of your home enjoys

For an unexpected touch, try a wallpapered feature wall. Not only will it balance the crisp lines of your cabinets and countertops, it will also give your utility space the thoughtful feel that the rest of your home enjoys. Stacking washers and dryers will maximize space and brass hardware reflects light all around for a more airy feel and to refresh the cabinets. These cabinets are from John Lewis of Hungerford. For similar wallpaper, try Cottagecore in Vintage Green, from £85 for 4m x 2.5m, woodchipandmagnolia.co.uk.

THE LAUNDRY

Here, an open-plan dining room seamlessly houses a laundry room too, thanks to tall cabinets that hide essentials and a shared color palette

Here, an open-plan dining room seamlessly houses a laundry room too, thanks to tall cabinets that hide essentials and a shared color palette

If space is at a premium instead of a room, why not have a utility room? Here, an open-plan dining room also seamlessly houses a laundry room, thanks to tall cabinets that hide essentials and a shared color palette. For similar cabinets, try made byhusk.com and enhance them by painting them a vibrant color. For a shade that reflects light, try Calming Peach, £21 for 1 litre, yescolours.com. Capietra.com sells pink tinted floor tiles.

STORAGE

Rattan baskets are perfect for storing practical items such as cloths and cleaning sprays.  Stacking them frees up space

Rattan baskets are perfect for storing practical items such as cloths and cleaning sprays. Stacking them frees up space

Rattan baskets are perfect for storing practical items such as cloths and cleaning sprays – try hm.com for something similar. Stacking them on top of each other frees up space, just like a hanging clothes hanger – check out pulleymaid.com’s selection. In a narrow room, color is everything – here a dark gray shade helps pull the cabinets back, while the lighter walls make the room seem wider.

DARKER COLORS

By painting a compact space in a darker shade, you create a cocoon atmosphere while having the advantage of not showing any dirt or splashes

By painting a compact space in a darker shade, you create a cocoon atmosphere while having the advantage of not showing any dirt or splashes

Utility rooms are usually small – and the “interior rules” usually dictate that we paint them in light-reflecting shades. By painting a compact space in a darker shade, however, you create a cocoon atmosphere while having the advantage of not showing any grime or splatter. Wall painted in Dark Brunswick Green Intelligent Matt Emulsion, £56.50 for 2.5 litres. Cabinets painted in Portland Stone Light Intelligent Satinwood, £79.50 for 2.5 litres, both at littlegreene.com. For similar floor tiles, try claybrookstudio.co.uk. Originalbtc.com sells a good selection of pendant lights.

LUXURY IN THE LAUNDRY

Who says it has to be a chore?

Peg bucket, £18, gardentrading.co.uk

Peg bucket, £18, gardentrading.co.uk

Detergent, £9, methodproducts.co.uk

Detergent, £9, methodproducts.co.uk

Wall-mounted drying rack, £148.97, wayfair.co.uk

Wall-mounted drying rack, £148.97, wayfair.co.uk

Seagrass basket, £65, toa.st

Seagrass basket, £65, toa.st

Pins, £3 for 20, wilko.com

Pins, £3 for 20, wilko.com

Storage basket, £35, Hay, skandium.com

Storage basket, £35, Hay, skandium.com

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