When we bought our house, the utility room was one of the reasons I fell for it. Ok, ok, I realise that might not be everyone’s first attraction to their new home (especially those of you who are sub-40 and have a social life!!), BUT… this room, with its original 1930s fitted scullery units and old fashioned Sheila’s maid, really felt like the heart of the home. I could just imagine life going on in there all those years ago when the house was shiny and new and I was giddy at the thought of getting my hands (and a tin of Farrow & Ball’s finest) on it.
So that was over two years ago and the first room I wanted to redecorate has now become the final room to redecorate… why does it always work like that? We knew that the avocado loo installed in the WC just off the utility room would need to be replaced eventually, however felt that it was better to just tackle both areas at once. And since the old toilet has finally given up in its campaign to be the last proudly-avocado loo in town, I’ve been busy stripping old wallpaper and removing old tiles like there’s no tomorrow.
First up, here’s how the room looks now:
It has potential, right?
I’ve been lusting over utility rooms of dreams on Pinterest and Instagram for a long time now, in fact, since I lived in my old house which didn’t even possess such an area. (See what I said earlier about a lack of social life?! ;) ). Anyway, here are some of my particular favourites…
Loving the dark painted cabinets in here, you almost don’t notice the appliances… cute pup optional :)
This is more of a boot room, but I love the rustic feel to it and all those lovely tactile wicker baskets (not an ugly plastic tub in sight!). Oh, and another cute canine.
I really love this utility room in the home of blogger Rebecca over at Roses & Rolltops. It has been painted in Farrow & Ball Downpipe, which I love… and then there’s all that tile and accessory gorgeousness too…
This utility room set up is ideal for the laundry side of the chores. Love the idea of the hanging rail for freshly ironed shirts… who am I kidding? Those shirts live at the bottom of the ironing pile!
Our own utility room acts firstly as our laundry room. It’s where the washing piles up, goes into the machine, is dried on rainy days and is sorted into five piles, before the entire process is repeated (it’s otherwise known as ‘being a parent’). With the gorgeous original scullery in there, it’s also the place where we store our cleaning products, pet food, extra drinks, wine, crafting and gift wrapping supplies, as well as our good dinner set and glassware (the latter mainly because it kinda looks pretty sitting in the upper glass cabinets!). It’s a busy, hardworking, place in the house and in many ways, still at the beating heart of the home. It needs to be practical and functional, as well as being a nice room to spend a lot of time in and to come into from a cold outdoor walk or from working in the garden.
To make sure my thoughts and ideas stay on track, I’ve decided to pull together a little concept board for the room, much in the same way that I do for my interior styling clients.
I can already see that I’m naturally attracted to a more traditional utility room style, perhaps because I feel it’s more in keeping with the past heritage of the house… but with some modern rustic touches; lots of woven baskets, textured linens and natural wood accents. It’s that country home meets city home thing – probably because I’m a country girl at heart!
I love the idea of dark painted cabinets and fresh, light walls. I’m wobbling between F&B Railings and F&B Downpipe at the moment – I love the deep navy of Railings as I already have it in part of my kitchen, but I’m always drawn to the warmth of Downpipe, too. Decisions, decisions. I also really want to paint the inside of the back door in a soft peachy pink. Loving Setting Plaster, also by F&B, at the moment.
When the original loo was removed a couple of weeks ago, we discovered a lovely terrazzo floor hiding under the ugly floor tiles. Delighted at the prospect of not having to retile the area, I decided to remove the rest of the old tiles, however we soon realised the terrazzo didn’t stretch all the way through from the WC to the utility area, so we’re trying to decipher the best way forward. We may have to retile or simply lay nice tile-effect vinyl over the top for now, or we could clean up whats there and settle with a modern/rustic terrazzo meets polished concrete combo? It’s a work in progress so will keep you updated on my Instagram Stories (perfect viewing if you’re having trouble sleeping at night!)
During my downtime from removing said pesky floor tiles, however, I’m enjoying shopping for lots of lovely accessories for the utility room which I’m going to show you in my next blog post on the topic. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, it’s back to priming and painting! See you on the other side…