Boot Room Design7 May 2021
Whether it’s a large country estate or a semi in the suburbs, a boot room is a really useful space within the home. As well as the utility area and walk-in larder, a dedicated boot room serves a practical purpose within the downstairs layout of any property and as such, its flooring needs to be functional, hardwearing, low maintenance and easy on the eye.
When designing for a boot room brief, there are plenty of elements to consider. Interior designers and architects will ask the homeowner about their lifestyle and how they wish to use the space. Is it simply for hanging up coats and storing shoes or will it need to cope with constant muddy foot and paw prints. Will it be in keeping with the style and character of the building or does the client want more of a contrast or juxtaposition of styles; what about colour scheme and, importantly, the amount and type of storage required.
Here at Artisans of Devizes we consider the flooring to be the most important factor and one that should be planned from the outset, as this will not only have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of the space but it will also determine how practical and durable the boot room will remain for many years to come. With this in mind, Artisans of Devizes’ stone expert Gordon Fleck shares his advice on choosing the perfect stone for your next boot room project.
Which material is best for boot rooms?
Natural stone is always an excellent choice, as it’s durable, hardwearing, low maintenance and compatible with underfloor heating. Many products also look better with age as they become more weathered and worn-in. Limestone is the most popular and with so many different variations to choose from, it’s important to consider the finish too. There are velvety honed surfaces (Blandford), rustic tumbled edges (Wychwood) and seasoned stones (Antwerp) or for something more unique, our Artisan Antique™ and Ancient™ treatments will give the boot room an authentically aged stone effect.
Another option is porcelain for a more contemporary look and feel. Our Abbotsbury Porcelain Pietra provides a more affordable option for projects with a tighter budget and it looks wonderfully authentic with its high-definition finish.
Consider the colour
While it’s often the case that a darker tile hides the dirt – a must in any boot room – try to avoid selecting a stone simply based on its colour. Any Artisans of Devizes product will be hardwearing, durable and easy to clean so even if the space is bombarded with mud on a daily basis, it will be easy enough to deal with. A dark limestone with a seasoned finish such as our Hardwicke tile is ideal for rustic interiors with its tumbled edges and textured surface. It suits period properties really well and it can also be used to bring character into a more contemporary surrounding.
On the flipside, a much lighter, paler surface such as our Buscot limestone flagship stone in a seasoned finish creates a warmer feel that enhances painted timber cabinetry, shoe racks and floor-to-ceiling cupboards. If you want more of a patterned approach to create a Victorian look, Amaya limestone can be supplied in different colours and patterns. Standard square or rectangle formats can be laid in different effects such as diagonal, brick bond, stack bond, basketweave, herringbone or square – while many of our products are also supplied in patterns such as French or Dutch, comprising predetermined combinations of set-size formats for easy installation, which reduces waste too.
Make a statement with pattern
When a project needs instant impact the minute you walk into the room, a playful pattern underfoot is eye-catching without being overpowering. Patterned floor tiles are ideal for boot rooms, as the print detracts the eye from any dirt and grime that has lingered on the floor. Something like our Spitalfields Ceramic Retro Star in Black is a great choice for boot rooms and utility areas and it looks stunning teamed with fresh white painted cabinetry. Its off-white background has a lovely aged effect, which brings a heritage look into the room and it complements period properties as well as new-builds and everything in between.
Add texture to walls
Many boot room projects feature traditional tongue-and-groove wall panelling and when painted in an attractive palette, it’s the perfect choice for a classic look. However, it can also be interesting to consider laying tiles on the walls instead of – or as well as. Take a look at the new National Trust Tile Collection, as there are plenty of fantastic ideas to inspire. One of my favourites is the Brewhouse Porcelain Brick tile, which gives boot rooms an on-trend industrial look and feel.
For further inspiration…
I love the softness and tranquil feel that this space creates. It cleverly offsets the fact that it’s a hardworking boot room by using a colour palette and materials that are gentle on the eye and easy to accessorise.
Successfully achieving a reclaimed flagstone floor look and feel, the whole of this interior design feels so warm and welcoming. There are lots of different colours, materials, patterns and textures yet it just works effortlessly.
For a more contemporary interior, this design is crisp and fresh with the white painted cabinetry finish picked up on in the starburst floor tiles. It achieves a period look while still appearing modern and on-trend.