There is something about a smaller space that gives me a bit more confidence to step outside of my comfort zone…and the utility room was the perfect room to do exactly that.
As you will probably already know, I am a big fan of a white interior, but recently I have been itching more and more to add some drama in the shape of some darker walls.
I decided to give the utility room a bit of a makeover and get over some of my decorating fears.
As a bit of background, the utility room was already there when we moved in – but it was perhaps more lean-to like than actual room. The roof leaked and the cupboards in there were on their last legs. When we did the main renovation work we sorted out the structural issues, putting on a new roof, moving the boiler from upstairs to this room and building a cupboard around it as well as adding in some new cabinets. We gave it a lick of paint (a wishy-washy colour I disliked from the outset), and added a bit of interest with a Belfast style sink and oak worktop.
It was all done pretty cheaply – the cabinets were a basic range from B&Q (similar here) and the most standard metro tiles available. We kept the existing, crumbly quarry tiles on the floor and that is pretty much how we left the room for a number of years. It was a perfectly respectable and functional utility room as they go, but I knew it had more to give us!
Then recently, I felt like I needed to spruce it up. I really wanted to test out some dark paint and knew the utility room could take it. With light coming from both ends of the room, white tiles and white cupboards already installed, there wasn’t that much wall space to paint so I thought I would just go ahead and give it a go. I went for Down Pipe by Farrow and Ball and immediately loved it! The colour changes with the light, sometimes looking almost black and other times there is a definite green hue to it. The quarry tiles by this stage were coming away and looking decidedly scruffy so I opted for a bit more drama and went for the same patterned tile that we had put down in the porch (you can see that makeover here) which are Waverley from Fired Earth. (Tip – we found them a cheaper on Ebay).
Then of course came the fun bit – styling it all up which in my opinion, can make or break a room. My go-to place for functional home items is Lisa Valentine Home so I have loads of bits from there, as well as pictures from Desenio and a wooden slat blind at the window. I added in some more oak accents to make sure the mainly monochrome room doesn’t feel too cold.
The utility room now somehow looks brighter and bigger with the changes. I would like to say it is making me do more washing but that would be a lie, but it does give me a smile when I go in there now!
I am really pleased with how the room looks – it has become a stylish destination rather than a scruffy afterthought and I am so glad I took the risk to go bold and brave!
Shop our utility room
Round woven Bag (gifted) | Tiles | Hammam towel | Sink | First Aid box (gifted) |
Wooden pegs | Oak peg rail (gifted) | Fringed hand towel – similar |
Enamel jug – similar | Dustpan and brush | Aesop hand wash | Handwash caddy |
Scrubbing brush | Metro tiles | Single poppy print (gifted) | Double poppy print (gifted) | Cleaning products | Utility scissors | Star doormat | Seagrass basket | Cat (not for sale)!
My tips for creating impact in a small space
- Don’t be afraid to go bold with your colour – be it dark or bright, a small space that you don’t spend huge amounts of time in are often great starting spaces for developing your confidence and style.
- Try out pattern – Again, as your space is smaller, a pattern can make the space feel bigger and not compete too loudly with other elements in the room. I love a patterned floor tile, but think it is absolutely best reserved for smaller spaces.
- Keep other elements simple – If you go bold in some areas of the room, keep other elements simple. I went for a dark colour and patterned floor but kept my colour palette restrained to white, dark grey and warm oak. This means the bits you want can take the limelight and not fight for attention.
- Keep it functional and pretty – If you are short on space you need every element in the room to be earning it’s keep. Find functional items that also act as stylish accessories and you get a win win!
- Just go for it – Go on, give it a go! Painting our utility darker lead me to painting my living room dark…and I adore it!
The lovely team at Rock my Style blog recently featured my utility – Check out their post for more pictures.
An update on my posting schedule
As you may have noticed, I took a break from posting for a few weeks so I could gather some feedback in the shape of my reader survey and plan out some exciting new content for you. I have had such amazing feedback and I am still working through it, but hope to be back posting regularly on my usual Sunday slot very soon! Thank you so much for sticking with me through my down time, and I can’t wait to share some great posts over the coming weeks and months.