Do you already have a utility room that’s in need or refurbishment? Or Are you planning to create one as part of your kitchen extension? If the answer to either question is yes, then Pronorm’s new range of utility room furniture will be of interest to you. Based on Pronorm’s the ever popular Proline 128 range of cabinets, this utility room furniture is available in a wide range of colours, finishes, sizes and configurations. So finding the perfect style and layout for your home won’t be too difficult.
Of course, you’ll need a good designer to maximise the potential of your room. I’ve designed hundreds of utility rooms over the last two decades and the most successful were the result of a healthy collaboration with my clients. Preparing a clear brief prior to meeting a designer is hugely beneficial. With a little thought and pre-planning, you’ll dramatically reduce the design time and frustration that can come from an unfocused stream of consciousness.
Before you can begin to design a utility room, you must fully understand its intended use and any physical constraints that might compromise your plans. Many of the utility rooms pictures I’ve seen on social media have suffered from “after thought” syndrome. That’s never a good thing. When I approach utility room design, I want to know I’ve looked at all the possibilities and come up with the best solution.
Let’s begin by looking at the immovable items. The available space, the plumbing and the access to electricity. If this is a new build there’ll be much more flexibility. Ideally, you need to bring together your architect and your kitchen designer and let them both work through the overall design for you. Then critique the results to make sure the room works for you. This is all about having an open dialogue that values everyone’s input but focuses on your needs as the homeowner.
If this is a retro-fit or a refurbishment, there may be a long list of limitations that will have an impact. Do you have physical space for all the features you want to put into the room? Here’s a list of popular utility room items that you may want to consider:
Are any of these items on your list, or have you something else in mind altogether? The thing to do is write down your wish list and then determine what’s possible.
in my experience, utility room space is always at a premium. No one wants to have a larger utility room at the expense of a smaller kitchen. On top of that, an existing room will already have water waste and electrical points in place. Moving the waste outlet and and electrical sockets is nearly always possible but good plumbers and electricians don’t come cheap, so you’ll need to factor in extra costs for moving pipes, lights and plug sockets.
If you don’t have access to design software, then a piece of paper and a ruler will do the trick. Measure your room with a tape measure. You’ll need the length of each wall, ceiling height and positions all the immovable objects, including doors, windows and plumbing.
If you use graph paper, it’s relatively straight forward to create a scale plan of the room for you to play with. Most washing machines will be around 600mm wide, as will the majority of the cabinets you might want. The depth of any work surface is likely top be around 650 mm and you need plenty of space to move around the room without hitting any obstacles. It’s not rocket science but a lack of planning can create some unexpected problems later down the line.
Whilst utility rooms can be beautiful, they must also be practical. Storage needs to be easily accessible and sensibly positioned. Surface space should be maximised and sinks need to be located where it’s best for you, whilst being considerate to the existing plumbing.
Pronorm offer a wide range of cabinets in all sorts of sizes. The versatility of the furniture makes it possible to create multiple design layouts. I like show my clients a number of layout ideas so that we can have a broad conversation that covers all the options.
Using standard size units could make it impossible for you to achieve the best design for your space. That’s one of the reasons I chose to work with Pronorm. They offer me the scope to create individual cabinets of any size. If I need additional height, reduced width or increased depth, Pronorm gives me the freedom to do what’s needed.
I’m a big fan of integrated appliances. At the end of the day, I’m a furniture lover and would choose a beautifully veneered door over an exposed washing machine any day. But there are drawbacks with integrated appliances. They require installation by a competent kitchen fitter with the tools needed to hang the doors. Depending on the design, you may also need a plumber for tricky connections. This means that a standard appliance delivery from the likes of B&Q or Curries won’t be enough. Also, if you later change the appliance for a different model, you will probably need a new furniture door due to different hinge positions.
For some clients, that’s simply too much to think about and many opt for exposed appliances. It’s all down to personal preference and you shouldn’t be swayed either way by your designer.
One new trend that is proving popular is the elevated appliance. Pronorm has developed a robust cabinet designed to lift your washing machine and tumble dryer off the floor. This position makes it easier to access the appliance and stop you having to stoop down for every washing load. This might seem like an unimportant design feature. But ease of use and accessibility shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially in a world where multigenerational families are living together in one home.
Ironing boards, compact step ladders, mops and sweeping brushes all need a place to live in any organised home. That’s why, in many of my utility room designs, I try to incorporate at least one tall cabinet with minimal shelving so that all the awkward sized essentials can be put away neatly.
Pronorm’s Proline 128 range offers three tall cabinet heights to add even more flexibility.
So, rest assured, there’ll be something to suit your space.
For the ultra organised, Pronorm have created a pocket door cabinet that sits on top of a base unit. Behind the pocket doors, you have the option to create your own storage options. Drawer packs and open shelving can be configured to meet your needs precisely. When you want it all to disappear, you simply close the outer doors and hide everything away.
I simply adore the oak fronted crate drawers. They aren’t just a stylish option, they are also incredibly practical. The slatted fronts allow air to circulate the drawer, which stops trapped moisture from causing smells or damage. Whilst the extra depth they provide make them Ideal for bulky items that need a tidy home.
Many of our clients use their utility rooms for additional kitchen storage. Bulky appliances, such as food mixers or bread makers. Some choose to stockpile tinned food or a stash of biscuits that never runs out. Others like to have a few bottles of wine on standby and that’s where Pronorm’s new oak styled bottle storage cabinets come in. These open front cabinets offer an attractive way to store your wine bottles and they’re practical too.
With a little clever design, it’s amazing what you can achieve with a modern utility room. It really doesn’t need to be a forgotten space. It can be a room that looks as good as the kitchen it complements. Whilst offering the the functionality that your family home needs.
Why not have a look at the space you have available and send me the details. A simple sketch, a few photos and some basic dimensions will do. I’ll put together a scheme for you that we can discuss and develop. I offer a collaborative design service and I’m passionate about creating the best possible solution for your home. So let’s have a chat over a cuppa and see what we can do.
Categories: kitchen design