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How essential is a utility room

(81 Posts)
NannyPhlegm Tue 16-Jun-15 11:56:12

We have bought a Victorian semi and are doing it up before moving in (it was completely derelict)

DH and I are currently arguing over designing the kitchen and we can't agree on just how essential a dedicated utility room is.

The kitchen is L-shaped. The rectangular bit is circa 5m x 2.5m and the L-shaped bit is 3m x 1.5m. The kitchen opens directly into a dining room/family area, very cosy with wood burner etc

DH would prefer the washing machine/tumble drier/dishwasher to be integrated into the kitchen design, but not have it enclosed with walls...his argument is that it will destroy the openness of the kitchen. I do want a utility room, but mostly because I've been to friends' houses and I like the idea of it. I do agree with him that we will be introducing corners and walls into a space that is actually very neat and with good proportions.

So, wise MN-ers, what would you do? And if you do have a utility room, do you love it or hate it?

Twooter Tue 16-Jun-15 12:02:23

Love it. Love shutting the door on the machine noise, having a room for cleaning outdoors stuff and shutting the dog the way if we have to.

justbatteringon Tue 16-Jun-15 12:02:55

I don't have a utility room nor have I ever but I would love one!

A dedicated sink for clothes a space separate from the kitchen where you can sort out all your washing and keep the kitchen tidy.
It would be amazing.

Hullygully Tue 16-Jun-15 12:05:19

Really useful, separate space to chcuk stuff, do washing, dry dog etc and it doesn't need to be attractive so can be rammed with storage and free up kitchen

momb Tue 16-Jun-15 12:06:10

I got rid of a separate utility to make a big living kitchen.
We can't do laundry on the days we entertain.
There's nowhere to hang things to dry out of sight.
It was very handy having a separate sink for washing willies and stuff in away from the food prep area.
I miss it.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Tue 16-Jun-15 12:07:44

We used to have one. Now we don't. MAKE ONE. It's the room I miss the most from our, much larger, previous house.

momb Tue 16-Jun-15 12:09:48

washing WELLIES FFS!

marshmallowpies Tue 16-Jun-15 12:11:07

We made room for a cubby hole which has a washing machine, and the boiler above it. Very little storage room apart from that, I wish I'd had space for a sink for rinsing hands from the garden/cleaning trowels etc. and make sure the soundproofing is good - you can still hear our washing machine from the kitchen. Better than it being in the room of course, but still annoying.

NannyPhlegm Tue 16-Jun-15 12:14:06

momb I am crying from laughing!!! I might be able to convince DH with the washing willies argument.

It's the idea of hiding the laundry from sight that is my main motivation. It gets on my nerves to have laundry drying on the side when neighbours drop in. Of course, they too have their laundry out when I pop in for a cup of tea, and I never notice (too busy chatting) which is why I wondered if I was making a mountain out of a molehill

Forgetmenotblue Tue 16-Jun-15 12:15:05

Had a conservatory added to kitchen because I was desperate for a utility. Use it for washing, dryer, feed pets, sink for dirty/ garden stuff, airer, ironing board, deep fat fryer (smelly, don't use it often), boots, garden toys, stuff waiting to be put away, swimming kit storage.

Kitchen now = food, eating, chatting.

Naoko Tue 16-Jun-15 12:17:19

I don't have a utility room but I'd kill for one. I'd do it like my mum's kitchen, dishwasher integrated in the kitchen (otherwise you'll be carting dirty pans to another room and that's just a pain in the neck), washer/dryer in the utility. Ideally a sink and some shelves to store little-used kitchen equipment, like the blender I use all of twice a year and my enormous stack of differently shaped baking tins. Keeps your actual kitchen tidier and you can shut the door on noise and mess.

peggyundercrackers Tue 16-Jun-15 12:19:25

we have one but I would do away with it in a minute. I think its a waste of space and it would be better to make more kitchen space.

I notice lots pps saying its for x, y & z to put stuff and that's what we use ours for but I think everything should have a place and theres no need for it all to be dumped in a utility room - it just ends up a bit of a shithole at times.

SnotQueen Tue 16-Jun-15 12:23:51

Had a utility in old house. Loved it.
Now we dont have one and I really miss it. It's the spare sink I really miss. All the gross things (willies et al grin) have to get washed in the kitchen sink now and I hate it.
I will be demanding an extravagant utility when we extend!

lovemygirl95 Tue 16-Jun-15 12:26:38

Its on my 'mandatory for a house' list, i think that if you have DC's its a must.

steppemum Tue 16-Jun-15 12:29:16

Our utility room is tiny (no sink, I would REALLY like a 'dirty' sink for football boots etc)
But we have a drying rack up near the ceiling, and room to stand a clothes horse, plus washing machine and tumble dryer.

It means all my washing is always out of sight. It is brilliant.

It also has an extractor fan, which means that the damp air from the washing never goes into the rest of the house, which is huge in terms of damp, condensation and mould.

OnlyLovers Tue 16-Jun-15 12:29:20

I dream of one!

We're all quite messy in our house so I suspect it would end up being more of a futility room. But I like my fantasy.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 16-Jun-15 12:32:08

It's not essential, of course it isn't. We recently gutted our downstairs and wanted a separate utility but we ended up not having the money to take the extension far enough. The kitchen works fine without it. Washing machine noise is the only hassle - and yes, it is a hassle, but it's not 'OMG I must move' hassle.

Pace out what space you'd be losing, mark it in tape and make a wall of boxes - that will give you an idea of the difference in space.

flowers123 Tue 16-Jun-15 12:33:56

I love my utility room. It is ideal to shut all the clothes in there that have not been put away yet. it is ideal for keeping the dog in there when she is muddy

WindMeUpAndLetMeGo Tue 16-Jun-15 12:34:05

I would love a utility room, even considered turning my downstairs toilet into one, when we bought the house (though being the only female I'm glad I kept the loo!)

mandy214 Tue 16-Jun-15 12:42:31

Do you have children OP? Sporty children? Muddy football boots? Stinking shinpads? Family of walking boots?!

I would never buy a house without one, or the space to create one. It is my one non-negotiable now for any future house purchases.

They don't have to be particularly big (its about 9ft by 4ft), mine doesn't have a sink, just stacked washing machine and tumble dryer, space for dirty laundry basket, stacked boxes for clean laundry. Molly maid from ceiling. Some storage for various stuff we don't have in the house.

Certainly if your kitchen opens out onto living space (as ours does) having the noise of a washing machine / dryer would drive me potty, as would having washing on display. I actually use it to dry most of our laundry (on the molly maid) which I couldn't have in the house, well not unless I never opened the front door incase it was unexpected guests / neighbours popping in. We are drowning under laundry at the mo (return from 2 week holiday) and I've been forced to use clothes airers in the kitchen diner as well as the utility room and I absolutely hate it. It just looks messy and honestly, just makes me stressed. If I had to live like that all year round it would genuinely drive me insane.

WaxyBean Tue 16-Jun-15 12:45:19

We turned our old coal cupboard (not sure what else to call it but it's a v small room off the kitchen originally used to store coal!) into a mini pantry/utility. It houses the boiler, the washing machine and a small set of shelves used for storing non-perishable goods. Fantastic to be able to shut the door on the noise of the washing machine (and chuck stuff in it when people are coming over). Would love a larger utility room.

JillBYeats Tue 16-Jun-15 12:48:11

have a great utility and yet if I ever build a house the utility will be the biggest room in the house! That's how essential I think they are.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 16-Jun-15 12:48:36

In my utility room I have washing machine, tumble dryer, dirty stuff sink, cupboards for cleaning stuff, lightbulbs, iron etc and recycling tubs. Also less frequently used appliances like the microwave and breadmaker.

I wouldn't detract from a nice big kitchen to have a utility though.

Baddz Tue 16-Jun-15 12:49:48

It's a luxury.
But a nice one!

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 16-Jun-15 12:53:53

Agree with Mandy214, it depends on your family. We have 2 DC and a large dog and a lot of watersports kit so it was super-high up our list when we did the renovations. In fact in many ways it's the nicest , most-sorted room of our house hmm, lucky dog! Also incorporates a downstairs WC (which we were told we didn't have room for, and actually it's massive.
Ours has accommodated buggy, scooters, wellies, wetsuits, dog bed & food, outdoor stuff like picnic blankets, lightbulbs, cleaning products, recycling, bike helmets, coats, shoes, wellies, car seats plus washer and dryer, none of which I want in the kitchen. It is SO SO useful.

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