It’s the middle of Winter, and let’s face it – even on a dry day, bringing debris into the house is unavoidable. Muddy boots, paw prints, leaves, and damp hats and coats are often the first things we see when crossing the threshold, but they needn’t be. A boot room, also known as a mudroom, is a great solution, especially if you’re a family who loves the outdoors.
A boot room, as the name suggests, is a great way to organise and store all your shoes, boots, coats, hats, gloves, outdoor equipment and more! Plus, with design inspiration from our cabinetmakers, you can have a bespoke boot room created that’s every bit as stylish as the rest of your home.
So, what do you need to know about boot rooms to get started?
A boot room is not the same as a utility room
The names ‘boot room’ and ‘utility room’ are often used interchangeably, when in fact they’re really quite different. A utility room is a space for washing and drying clothes. Neatly tucked-away, the utility room frees-up space within the kitchen by housing a washing machine, dryer, and a sink to pre-wash or soak any items. If your utility room is big enough, there may be space for clothes to air dry and room for an extra fridge or laundry storage cupboard.
A boot room, on the other hand, serves a different purpose. Typically, and very traditionally, boot rooms are used to store a family’s coats, umbrellas, shoes and sporting equipment. Essentially, it’s a place to neatly store all your outerwear that you’d rather not bring into the home. Usually, you’ll find a bench or other seating to comfortably remove everything, and somewhere to store it all.
This is not to say that you cannot combine the two rooms. If you have the space, there’s no reason why you cannot have an area for laundry and a place for muddy boots and the like.
If your boot room doubles-up as a utility space, you may also want to add an ironing board, a hanging rail and recycling storage.
Deciding where to place your boot room
First thing’s first. You need to decide where your boot room will go. An existing entryway is usually an ideal spot because it offers easy access in and out of the house. If you don’t have a suitable entryway, then any space in your home could work. Just make sure it has enough room for all your footwear and some extra storage.
Don’t worry, though. If you’re not sure whether you have enough space and are unsure of how a boot room could work, we’re happy to help. We specialise in handcrafting boot rooms of all shapes and sizes.
Choosing the right design
We’ve never made two boot rooms the same, but we do follow some basic design principles, which we hope you find helpful.
Before we create a design, we consider the context and positioning of your boot room. If it’s close to your kitchen, you have two options. You can either mirror your existing kitchen design, which is usually the case when the kitchen is being redesigned at the same time. Or you can give your boot room an identity of its own.
Most people, if they can, choose to run the same flooring from their kitchen or hallway into their boot room, but this entirely depends on personal preference and how much wear and tear you think your boot room may get. If you have a soft wood floor throughout the rest of your home, you’re unlikely to want the same in your boot room. Instead, it’s a good idea to choose a hardwearing tiled floor that can withstand regular traffic.
Once you’ve decided on the space and the type of design you prefer, it’s time to focus on storage solutions. There are lots of options available ranging from simple shoe racks and wall-mounted shelves to built-in cabinets and drawers. If you know exactly what you’re going to store, you can have bespoke cubby holes, racks and cabinets made. Depending on many items you plan on storing, you might want to think about adding some hooks or coat hangers too.
Think about the things that you’d rather keep together such as dog walking and riding gear, the kids school shoes and bags etc. If you have storage space specifically for those items, it’s so much easier to literally grab and go!
Create an inviting space
The last step is perhaps the most important—make sure that your boot room looks inviting and stylish. Choose colours and materials that coordinate with other rooms in the house for continuity; soft blues or greens often work well for this purpose. Add some artwork or photographs on the walls if there’s space; this will help create a warm feeling. Finally, add some cosy touches like rugs or mats near the entrance; these will help keep dirt off floors in other parts of the house while also adding an extra touch of comfort when taking shoes off.
So, in summary…
A well-designed boot room can not only provide ample storage but also add style to your home. With these tips in mind, you can create a practical yet attractive space that will be both inviting and organised. Whether you choose minimalistic designs with simple shoe racks or opt for something more elaborate – remember that whatever design scheme fits best into your lifestyle is what matters most, and this is where Vale Designs come in. When you reach out to us to design your boot room, we’ll take the time to understand exactly how you plan on using the space to create a boot room that’s both practical and stylish.
You’re always welcome to pop along to our workshop in Aldringham, Suffolk or give us a call on 01728 830581 to chat through your ideas.