Discover a dirty little secret behind the best country homes

The key to keeping hallways neat and welcoming is to confine the messy business of muddy wellies and running shoes, soggy coats, umbrellas and dog leads to a separate boot room area.

Whether it’s a dedicated space leading off the kitchen or beside an
entrance to your home, a boot room with a washable floor, a bench to
perch upon, plenty of coat hooks, shoe storage and, ideally, heating makes
life more comfortable in the country. Make use of vertical space with
high shelves for rarely used items and deep drawers or box storage under
seating.

Bench storage
A flip-up seat hides muddy boots, while Shaker-style pegs and a shelf above hold everything from hats and coats to dog leads. Ideal for storing outdoor paraphernalia and concealing untidy equipment or scruffy kit, this bench box has ventilation to prevent things getting mouldy. Hand-painted wellie box, Podesta Kitchens.

Streamlined space
Popular for kitchens, elegant, subtle grey is reaching out into utility spaces, too. This boot room has a colour scheme that tones with the adjoining kitchen, creating a seamless link between the two. Functional, but also visually appealing, with its checked tile floor and tongue-and-groove panelling, this is a calm spot to get kitted out for outdoor activities and somewhere to take a breather after a bracing country walk. Boot room, 1909 Kitchens.

Warm corner
Copper piping was historically used in country-house boot rooms and this modern-day adaptation is supremely practical as it dries anything that is hung on or near it. In this timeless bespoke design, floor-to-ceiling cupboards provide space for outdoor garments and shelves for luggage and sports bags. Boot room, Hám.

For more country-style decorating ideas see House to Home

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