Project House - Utility and Boot Room Makeover

May 29, 2017

Hello! I'm home from all my travels and have soo many blog posts to write. I thought I'd start with the utility room today. 

Before we moved house, one of the things on our dream house list was a utility room. I mean, of course we didn't really need one, it's definitely a want rather than need part of a house but it's always been one of those things you wish for. Somewhere to put the laundry so you don't have to sort it in the kitchen, somewhere for more cupboard space, another sink, a spare fridge {dishwasher perhaps?!}. Also on the list was a boot room with a separate entrance so we could take all our muddy allotment veg through that way or go in with our boots after a muddy walk instead of worrying about the main hallway. Again, a complete dream rather than house necessity but when we started designing our new kitchen extension we figured that we're only going to do this once so why not design enough room in the build for both! It would future proof the house and mean that we could then free up more space in the kitchen. So fast forward a few months later and we nearly have a finished utility/boot room! The befores/during/after below - note it was very much a DIY job and a complete bargain.

You can see more of the before stages in these two posts {here and here} with all the building work we had to get to this stage. In designing the new room we essentially split off part of the main kitchen to create a galley style utility boot room with a window, door and velux at one end {and the entrance through to the kitchen at the other}.

It then all got plaster boarded and plastered ready for the fun part of putting our dreams into practice.

We spent a while planning what we wanted it to look like and decided on tongue and groove panelling in the end to tie in both the boot end and the utility area. We'd have a long run of units that would have the panelling running behind and at the sides. We could have had Ben's uncle make the units for out here but to save on time, and money, Ben decided to make it himself.

We had sheets of mdf panelling delivered from a local builders merchants and then had our decorator prime them first.

Ben found a bespoke kitchen cabinet maker on eBay {here for those who asked} that we sent plans/measurements to of what we wanted and he made up in-frame solid oak doors for us and couriered them from the South Coast. We paid £1100 for these which is a hell of a lot cheaper than any high street company would charge for doors that wouldn't be as good quality as these. 

Ben then bought sheets of oak veneered MDF to make the cabinets up for the doors. 

It was so exciting to see our dreams become reality in a matter of hours. I'm so amazed by what my husband can create. And he genuinely loves a project.

There would be two full height cupboards as you go in {to store the washing machine and tumble drier} and storage then smaller units for an undercounter fridge {I'm thinking ahead for Christmas}, sink unit and an extra cupboard that we might end up putting an extra dishwasher in eventually but we'll see how much storage we need.

I always knew that I wanted tiles in the utility room, something that's easy to clean. And I fell in love with these Berkeley Tiles by Topps Tiles. They're patterned and look so classic/old fashioned yet very on trend too. They come as one big tile with space to grout onto to make it look like they're all small individual tiles once grouted. It makes for easier/quicker laying and an amazing effect at the end.

We designed a tap with Bespoke Taps, again another seller that we found on eBay. Paolo will make any tap that you want, in any size and finish. We went for a wall mounted tap in antique brass. I wanted it to swivel so the main arm twists. 

We were away when the tiles got laid so it was such a nice surprise to come home and see them finished!

I love them so much and everybody who's come round so far has commented on them. 

Next it was time to finish the units off. We got the sink in and already it was feeling more like a utility room.

Ben built the cabinets/doors around the appliances.

Fixing the panelling to the sides of the doors.

The panelling went up behind the sink area and again suddenly it transformed it.

At the other end we have two big cupboards for coats/storage with a gap in the middle for a bench seat with a lift up lid for shoes. 

The tap fitted out of the panelling.

We've stacked the washing machine and tumble drier together.

My laundry cupboard of dreams! 

The panelling and units all got primed {my decorator mixed an undercoat primer with some dark grey to make this colour! I actually really loved it this colour but we couldn't make enough of it in the same batch again! and we'd already chosen something a little darker/more of an impact}

Then on went the skirting and architrave around the top and bottom to finish it off/make it look more bespoke. 

We were then ready for it to be painted in her final colour. Farrow & Ball's Downpipe. I've always been tempted by the dark side and whilst it's very on trend for whole kitchens right now, I just wasn't brave enough to take the plunge for all of our kitchen to be dark. So I love that we've got the island and utility room painted dark. It also goes so well with brass fittings and I love it with the contrast of the floor tiles. 

You definitely need two good coats of Farrow & Ball to see the final colour.


For wooden cabinets/panelling you'll want to use an eggshell finish.

All finished! Well, nearly. We've ordered oak worktops which should arrive by the end of the week and we need to add the brass hardware and fit the waste to the sink to be able to use it. But at least we have running water out here yay! Ben also needs to add some shelves inside the cupboards so I can start using them, and finish the bench seat at the boot room end. I want to add some peg rails to the panelling to hang things from. The rest of the walls are being painted today {with Farrow & Ball Wimborne White to brighten it up} and we need to fit a radiator in here {more on that soon} but for now I'm just so so happy and in love with it all. I'm thinking of getting one of those hanging from the ceiling wooden airers for laundry, any tips please send them my way.

Is it weird to be so excited about unpacking my cleaning/laundry products in these cupboards?! That's what not having a kitchen or washing machine for 6 months does to you!

This will be the coat/bench/shoe area.

It's quite a narrow galley with glaring light through the window at one end so hard to take photos of.

We had a height difference with the door and the rest of the kitchen so decided to have a sunken area for a big doormat where you come in. We need to get a big piece of coir mat cut. 

Cute pom-pom basket of dreams from House of Brissi here.

More photos coming soon once it's all in use/more finished!

R <3 xx 

{disclaimer, I was sent some of the products in this post to feature. A huge thank you to Farrow & Ball, Topps Tiles and Bespoke Taps for helping us with this project. But as always I would never ever promote something I don't truly love and would have paid for myself}.

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  1. Rebecca,

    That looks like the utility of dreams... love it and can't wait to see it when you have all of your accessories in place. I find the long presses handy for ironing board and brushes as well as hoover and coat hangers. Our utility leads to our garage so I make sure all the wellies are put in it as we live on a farm and have lots of wet and mucky wellies.. Looking forward to more posts on your kitchen... keep up the good work

    All things nice...

  2. Only came across your blog a little while ago and instantly assumed you were american since all the blogs I love seem to be US based! Was pleasantly surprised you're in Herts instead (I grew up in Redbourn). I love everything you've done including all the lovely heritage touches.
    For a clothes airer I've heard lots of good things about this company in terms of quality and they cast from original period hardware too :

  3. Oh it looks gorgeous! We can't wait for the finished photos :)

    From the (very jealous) Marketing team @toppstiles

  4. This is fabulous!

    I can also highly recommend Pulleymaid for a clothes hanger, choice of colour and size.

  5. Wow, i totally love this. Thanks so much for sharing it with all the helpful links, and details, its amazing. We will def be creating something very similar in our new home. Just love it x


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