Injecting some life and colour into that dull utility room

I have a small utility room off my kitchen but it has turned into a bit of a dumping ground recently! My washing machine and cleaning products are living among shoes and old clothes thanks to my teenage daughters and husband. I plan on giving the room a major overhaul this summer and I’m hoping to paint it. My kitchen has a burnt orange feature wall and the remaining walls are painted Milk White so what shade would you recommend for the utility?

I have a small utility room off my kitchen but it has turned into a bit of a dumping ground recently! My washing machine and cleaning products are living among shoes and old clothes thanks to my teenage daughters and husband. I plan on giving the room a major overhaul this summer and I’m hoping to paint it. My kitchen has a burnt orange feature wall and the remaining walls are painted Milk White so what shade would you recommend for the utility?

You are not alone when it comes to having a utility room that has become a dumping ground over time. The utility room is home to such tedious tasks that it tends to be a dull and boring room.

Most utility rooms contain a range of paraphernalia. My first recommendation is that you set aside a weekend and dedicate it to getting rid of all the clutter squashed in to that small space.

Charity shops will only be too delighted with your teen girls’ cast offs and that will free up a large amount of space in your utility instantly. Set aside all your products and cleaning paraphernalia then. If you don’t use it, give it away to someone who will or simply get rid. There is no point taking up valuable space in your home with things you ‘might’ use in the future. Consider migrating some larger items too. If you have a garden shed or garage then you could move big items that are rarely used into these for storage.

Once you have completed that task, you will hopefully be left with a small amount of items that you use daily or weekly. If you have built-in cabinets then these can live in there and if not, perhaps consider some shelving. Your local DIY centre or even IKEA will have plenty of storage solutions on offer. As we all know, washing and ironing isn’t the most exciting task in the world but there are shades of paint that can really brighten this space and help to lift you mood in the room.

Inspiring shades for a utility room are lemon yellow, lime greens and aqua blues. Orange Squash from Crown’s Easyclean Matt would be an excellent choice as it is lighter than a typical burnt orange shade like Amber Glow. Team this shade with a crisp white ceiling and skirting boards to make it really stand out.

If you would prefer something a bit different, then green is always a fabulous shade to work with as it is associated with harmony, peace and refreshment. Shades such as Soft Lime, Apple Mist or Olive Tropics would all work equally well to create the desired sense of balance for this room. Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially known for its soothing ability. It is a very calming colour and inspires clarity, mental control and is also thought to promote self-empowerment. Aqua blue shades such as Cool Aqua, Aqua Source and Oxygen would fit well in a utility room as a backdrop to your appliances.

Good lighting in a utility room is extremely important as it can bring up a dramatic difference in the space. Ideally you will have windows to allow lots of natural light in and allows air to flow.

A utility room isn’t just like any room because it is an active space that might be low in traffic but high on special-use wear. The floor you choose should be low-maintenance, resilient and be able to stand up to dampness and heat from the appliances. The best choices would be vinyl or tile flooring. Vinyl is very economical and practical although tile is continually a favourite for homeowners. Tiles can get wet without damaging the floor, are easy to clean and don’t show wear and tear easily. Tile floors are very durable which means saving money in the long term.

Although laundry is a dull task, you can make it enjoyable by taking yourself on a trip down memory lane. Consider creating a collage containing some of your favourite family holiday snaps, this will make the room feel more like an important room in your home, and not just a utility.

Remember your home should reflect your personality so don’t forget to let your creative side free. Whatever you choice, go for it and have fun to make this an interesting room for the time you have to spend in it. - Neville

Neville Knott is a celebrity interior designer and Crown Paints Colour Consultant. To receive regular updates and design tips from Neville, simply log onto www.crownpaints.ie