In this fine country house, a complete re-organisation of the space was required to suit the needs of a busy family living an outdoor lifestyle at weekends. It was also important to accommodate large house parties of guests who would be enjoying outdoor pursuits such as hunting and shooting.
A hardworking traditional country house boot room therefore became an important part of our response to this brief – so much so that internal space planning informed the architecture. We created a room that was functional and beautiful – a room that greatly added to the ‘liveability’ of the house.
Following our conversations with the client and getting to grips with their brief, it became clear that additional space was needed for a boot room. We worked closely with interior designer Henriette Von Stockhausen from VSP Interiors to plan these changes and deliver a solution to the brief that exceeded the client’s expectations.
This area would provide a practical muddy space as a valve between the outside elements – mud, rain, cold and the pristine interior. This would allow for storage of outdoor clothing and footwear in purpose-designed boot room cabinets, as well as somewhere to dry out wet coats, hats, and boots.
The new room would also provide access to the extensive and well stocked vegetable and flower gardens, so it made sense to accommodate a large sink and an area for cutting and arranging flowers.
The family dog, an important member of the household, needed accommodating and the boot room provides an ideal place for him to sleep, be groomed and fed, keeping the associated mud and muck away from the rest of the house. The location of the room is such that the dog is not isolated in some far-flung corner of the house when drying off – rather he is close to the hustle and bustle of family life.
Country house boot rooms are practical spaces that are likely to see heavy use so choice of materials is vital. The substantial marble bench has holes, with radiators below, providing a warm, wide seat on which to take off one’s boots but also an opportunity to hang wet coats and hats to dry. The grate and drain set in the floor allow for drainage and easy cleaning of a room that will see lots of mud and weather-related mess. The profiles of the painted fitted furniture and boot room cabinets are simple but perfectly proportioned – appropriate to the traditional back of house style.