Nothing beats a brisk walk in the countryside, whether you're out enjoying the sunshine on a summer's day or taking advantage of a dry spell in the colder months. But regardless of the time of year, the UK countryside is often muddy, especially by streams and lakes and in wooded areas.

So, when you arrive home after a good stomp with muddy boots, a wet raincoat and dripping hat or umbrella, where does it all go? After all, you don't want to be traipsing mud through the house. A boot room is a perfect solution, offering a space to dry off, take off your messy gear and keep it all out of the way.

When it comes to the design of your boot room, take inspiration from your surroundings as well as the style of your home. Do you have a colour scheme going through your home that you'd like to include, or is your home of a particular era that you'd like to honour?

Bear in mind that you'll be walking muddy shoes into the room, so lighter paint palettes will become dirty more quickly.

You'll also want to consider how much space you have for your boot room, and how much storage you need to try to fit in. Do you simply want a bench to sit on with space to store your shoes underneath, or do you require a more complex storage system with cupboards, drawers and a hanging rail?

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What goes into a boot room?

You boot room is a space to store your outdoor clothes and accessories, such as wellington boots, winter coats, rain jackets, hats, scarves and even pet accessories like leads and doggy bags. How much you store in your boot room is entirely up to you, and dependent on how much space you have.

Regardless of the size of your boot room, it's a good idea to include plenty of useful storage. Adding a shoe rack beneath a bench seat is a great way to save space, and tall cupboards take advantage of wall space that would otherwise be left unused.

Where is the best place for a boot room?

If you're thinking of adding a boot room in your home, it's best to build it near a door that allows you to enter and exit the house. This way, you can take all of your outerwear off before entering other rooms of your home, decreasing the amount of mess made.

This can be a corner of your entrance hall if space permits, or perhaps you have a room just off the hallway, or an unused area of your kitchen that feels somewhat empty.

Boot room ideas

Create a seating area with panelling

Boot room ideas
Annie Sloan

If you're lucky enough to have a spacious boot room in your home, zoning the space might help the room feel less expansive. Adding panelling behind seating makes it clear it's the place guests should make a bee-line for, and adding hooks above it means no one is confused as to where to put their things! It's also a great solution if you want to keep your boot room light and airy without dealing with muddy stains on the walls.

Keep it simple with built-ins

Boot room ideas
The Dormy House

Not everyone has the space for a designated boot room, but dedicating a corner by the back door works just as well. By simply adding a bench seat with an attached storage unit, you can create a comfy area to remove your muddy shoes and store away your outerwear without compromising the overall feel of the room.

Opt for heritage colours

Boot room ideas
Olive & Barr

For a truly traditional-style boot room, heritage colours are the way to go. This deep green colour is a perfect choice, not too dark that it makes the space feel closed in, but not too light that every little mud stain shows up. Pretty and practical!

Add interest with tonal paint

Boot room ideas
Sara Austin @six_by_the_sea

When it comes to your boot room, you don't have to stick to one colour or tone throughout. In Sara Austin's Victorian home, the boot room has been given a new lease of life with two shades of blue, De Nimes and Down Pipe from Farrow & Ball, helping the somewhat dark space feel more open and airy.

Use bench seating as a shoe rack

Boot room ideas
Naked Kitchens

An easy way to save space in a boot room is to give everything a dual purpose. In this boot room, the bench seating has been left open underneath to provide ample space for shoes. If you want to do this in your own boot room, make sure you factor the height and size of your shoes – if you're a family of wellington boot wearers, you'll want to make sure they can comfortably fit under the bench.

Embrace eclectic style

Boot room ideas
Garden Trading

Built-in units with vast storage space might not be for everyone so, instead, lean into a more imperfect approach. By combining a few different pieces of furniture, you can create a boot room with the same purpose, but in an aesthetic that's more suited to your home. This is a great way to incorporate antiques into your boot room design, too!

Include drawers for additional storage

Boot room ideas
Naked Kitchens

Storage is usually a key factor in designing a practical boot room, and if you have the space, it might be worth considering some drawer space. People often design their boot room to include a seating space and storage for shoes and coats, but accessories and smaller items are often overlooked. Think hats, scarves, gloves, and dog leads, just to name a few. Having a dedicated space for these smaller items will make all the difference – you certainly won't be losing things as easily!

Create a boot room in the corner

Boot room ideas
Benjamin Moore

An awkward corner is the perfect place to create a boot room area. Make the space really work with built-in storage, from shelves to cupboards and even cubby holes like in this example, or you can keep it really simple with just a bench and some hooks. Whatever best fits the corner you've got to play with will work – if it's in a corner of your kitchen, make it look tailored by matching your boot room space to your kitchen design, or create a unique zone with a fun colour palette.

Keep it comfy with pretty textiles

Boot room ideas

The boot room is often a very practical space, created using hardwearing, durable materials, so it's no surprise they can often feel rather stark and lacking comfort. Introducing pretty textiles can make any boot room feel more welcoming and comfortable. Think cushions covered in a dainty floral print, a soft rug to walk on once you've removed your shoes, or even a beautiful soft blanket to wrap up in as you come in from the cold.

Choose Shaker cabinets in the boot room

Boot room ideas

Although you'd typically expect to find Shaker cabinetry in a kitchen or a utility room, they also look great in a boot room. Not only do they add detail, but they help the space to feel more tailored – they certainly suit older homes that exude a more traditional aesthetic. We'd recommend considering such style in larger spaces where you might include larger storage solutions – plain cabinetry can make a boot room feel flat and unfinished.

Make the most of vertical space

Boot room ideas
Edward Bulmer

Most homes don't come with a ready-made space for your boot room, so it's likely you're creating it from an existing space that is currently unused. As such, it might be a small or awkwardly shaped area, where you might be limited on storage space. If you're lucky enough to have high ceilings, continuing cabinets or shelving right up to the top will make a huge difference. If you're worried about being able to reach, why not add a rolling ladder like you might find in a traditional library? Not only is it useful, but it acts as a design feature, too!

Create aesthetically pleasing symmetry

Boot room ideas
Tom Howley

Few things make a space feel more cohesive than symmetry. This boot room may be on the small size, but the matching cupboards on either side of the bench seat give it a sense of grandeur. Plus, it adds an abundance of extra storage with doors to hide away all the boots, coats and necessities that often make a room feel cluttered and messy.

Introduce natural materials

Boot room ideas
Benchmarx Kitchens

We're all for colourful interiors, and the boot room is no exception. But if your home or built-ins lean into a more modern style (which is often the case), one block colour can take away any character the space could have. Simply adding some natural materials, like these wooden surfaces, can really inject some personality and add dimension to the space.

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