On a recent collaboration with Cambridge auctioneer house Cheffins I did some styling at the Farmhouse with some lovely goodies that will soon be appearing in their Spring Fine Art sale. In this sale there is a lot of sporting memorabilia so much of it worked perfectly in the boot room.
No country house is complete without a boot room, in many instances multifunctional, my own boot room stores coats, hats, outdoor paraphernalia, is a boiler room, clothes drying room and a downstairs loo! They are always a hard working and essential area of the home. Often the main rear entrance to a country property, the boot room is the link between the exterior and interior and as such takes some harsh treatment from both people and pets. As a ‘behind the scenes’ area it can easily become a chaotic dumping ground and a place to hide clutter, however, backstage area it maybe, but that is no reason to sacrifice style. Take a look at my top design tips to creating a practical but stylish boot room that you can be proud of.
“A place for everything, everything in it’s place”
First the practicalities…
Its no good making it look beautiful if there is nowhere to put anything!
A well designed boot room is not just about storage but some hidden cupboards for items not used on a day to day basis is a good idea to keep things clutter free. For a fitted look bespoke cabinets are obviously ideal to make the most of space, but another more affordable option would be to find an older character piece of furniture, for example an old brown wardrobe and repurpose, giving it a new personality by painting with a chalk paint in a lovely fun shade, check out Amsterdam Green, by Annie Sloan. Try antique fairs or the auctions for great bargains and unique pieces.
Painted cupboards add charm to this Boot Room
Baskets, Flooring and Drying
Great for storing things like woolly hats, gloves and picnic blankets. They can be placed on the floor, on top of cupboards or in cubby holes. The Basket company do a good range of all shapes and sizes.
A good hardwearing washable flooring is essential. Door mats are a must and vinyl washable mats, try Rockett St George, can also help with containing some of the mud!
A good heating source is imperative for drying our damp coats and footwear. A pulley style clothes airer can also be a massive asset, it dries things quickly and is up and out of the way, pulleymaid.com do a great quality range of traditional pulley clothes airers
Baskets make great storage
Now to add some style…
Now comes the fun part where we can get creative and personalise our space so that represents the family and how you live, be bold and have some fun.
Now’s a chance show off your sporting cups and awards, maybe on a shelf or in a display cabinet, perhaps paintings or pictures of your sporting triumphs. Vintage sporting equipment can be fun to display, for example I have some old wooden skis on display that I picked up at an antiques fair. The selection of polo and walking sticks and the sporting cups are from Cheffins Spring Sale. A collection of lovely fishing rods hung on the wall can look great, these are also easily found at antique fairs and auctions
A lovely display of fishing rods
Take a seat
Rather than trying to balance on one leg whilst getting those boots on and off, add some seating and hook over a handy shoe horn. How about adding a great bench or some unusual old chairs, or maybe repaint some farmhouse ones in a funky colour. I’m thinking of painting an old chair I have in Rectory Red from Farrow & Ball. It’s a wonderful rich intense red which will pick out the red in the sporting wallpaper by Lewis and Wood and add some lovely depth.
Bold wallpaper and an antique settle create a welcome space
Practicality is key in the boot room but don’t let that spoil your fun. For more inspiration and ideas visit my Boot Room Pinterest board, or contact me for bespoke design help.
Here are some extras you might like to add …
Fun country door mat from Cox and Cox
A traditional long shoe horn from Trickers
A wipe clean, fully washable, dust and dirt repellent plastic woven rug runner from Hus&Hem
Classic french style soap holder by labour and Wait
Traditional boot scraper and brush stands Black Country Metalworks