We don’t know about you, but here at Futon Company we’re big fans of anything to do with property. Whether it’s watching the newest – or old – episode of Grand Designs, scouring an interiors magazine for home hacks, or devouring interior trends online, we’re a sucker for everything and anything space related (not the Brian Cox kind!). So when we came across a feature in The Sunday Time Style Magazine by Helyn Denton, our interiors antenna stood to attention. Called The new home status symbol? The utility room, of course!, in the article Helyn writes: Practical, functional and a thing of ‘true beauty’ – a utility room has become the most unlikely interiors must-have of the year so far…. Blame Sarah Beeny. Thanks to her cavalier Noughties attitude to knocking down walls on Property Ladder while house prices went through the roof, the past 15 years in design have been about open plan living. But then we all suddenly had to sit at home all day, carving out little corners for conference calls, and so broken-plan living – the art of screens, partitions and the building of stud walls – became the look. Now it has gone one step further, and with the realisation that looking after your home can sometimes be a joyful pursuit in itself comes the unlikely re-emergence of the utility room, where jobs get done – and their tools get hidden – out of sight…. Utility rooms are the engine of the house, the beating heart. A place for all the bits for chore-related activity that would otherwise clutter your life, when the rest of the house is strictly for fun. A ‘clear out of the way and deal with it later’ kind of space…. Pinterest has seen a 35% year-on-year increase in searches for utility rooms (particularly popular are those with dog showers), while retailers have reported sky high sales of laundry-room cabinets and boot-room benches.
The best utility rooms are Bond-like in that everything pulls or folds out and has several uses. Skinny drawers become ironing boards, rails slide out to hang clothes off and everything is tucked away out of view… Part of the utility room’s appeal is that anyone can have one, or the essence of one. A democratic solution could be installing a washing machine and dryer with stacking shelves above in a cupboard under the stairs….. Any bit of storage can have a utility vibe… A home is only beautiful if it functions how you need it to. And a good utility room is a thing of beauty.
Futon Company says: Futon Company HQ is based in London, so most of our office-based staff live in London-sized homes e.g. compact/ svelte/ cosy/ snug (insert other words for small)! And as is the case for many of us, while the prospect of a utility room might seem like a faraway dream, as the article suggests there are definitely ways to bring the utility room vibe into your space – however svelte. Getting back to basics, the essence of a utility room is a place to stash the stuff that helps keep your home ordered, so savvy storage is absolutely key. Think multi-functional furniture where you can stash your iron, sewing kit, washing power and clothes hangers ,and more versatile kit like hooks and rails to dry washing. If you’ve got a dog, this could also be the place to dry him off after a muddy walk, so think about shelving to store his dog towels. Bringing a utility vibe into your space is simple: close your eyes, get practical, dare to dream and imagine ways of organising your functional space.