A transitional space for just-out-of-the-rain coats, muddy wellies and wet dogs, our boot room ideas will also serve up plenty of storage ideas too. From hard-working utility rooms, to stylish porches, a boot room can really be any space you can dedicate to connecting your home to the outdoors.
Even the smallest of spaces can be transformed to provide you with a space for taking off shoes and coats before entering the main area of the house. A beautifully well-organised boot room is not just about clearing clutter; it's also about creating a practical space to make life easier for the whole family. We've got storage and layout ideas to inspire, but before you start planning, make sure you've invested in hard-wearing paint and robust flooring to cope with high foot traffic on a daily basis – in all weathers! Because while this room is highly practical, it shouldn't be a space that is neglected when it comes to style.
Boot room ideas
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. Make use of vertical space with high shelves for rarely used items and deep drawers or box storage under seating.
Be inspired and get organised with these stylish boot room ideas for sorting your home.
1. Transform a cosy corner
If you've no space for an entire room for coats and boots, how about turning a corner of your hallway or utility room into a space for these items? A peg rail hung on the wall will provide ample space for coats and jackets, while boots can be neatly lined up besides free-standing storage. If you have dogs that regularly need walking, create a little 'station' with all the things you'll need such as leads, treats, and balls, all stored in easy-to-access baskets.
2. Utilise an alcove space
An alcove space in a kitchen, hallway or utility room, can quickly be turned into the perfect place to store boots and coats, by building a floor to ceiling cupboard. While open shelves are often the most popular choice for alcoves, a cupboard with doors means you can hide away muddy boots and old coats from sight. Fix a rail inside your cupboards to hang coats on hangers and keep boots on a rack so they can be stored upside down. This will prevent muddy puddles forming at the bottom of your cupboard.
3. Make a feature of your storage
Contrary to the last idea, how about making a feature of your storage, rather than hiding it away? Here the homeowner has opted for floor to ceiling open shelving which once filled with their boots, shoes and wicker storage baskets, makes a striking and eye-catching display. Paint your shelving the same colour as the wall behind so that its the items on each shelf that do the talking and the storage blends seamlessly into the room.
4. Move your boot room outside
No space inside for your boots and coats? What about a space outside on a veranda or porch? Any sheltered space can work as a place to hang up coats and keep boots, so here a peg rail and some all-weather storage baskets will be your friends. Fixing a light onto the wall is a clever idea too, so when you return from dark, winter walks, or even late-night summer ones, you can easily see where to leave shoes and jackets.
5. Disguise your storage as a panelled wall
A panelled wall makes a great feature in a kitchen or utility space, but can also disguise hidden storage behind it too. Here the homeowner has cleverly turned her tongue and groove wall into cupboards for storing coats and boots. Painting all the walls, including the panelling, the same shade, ensures a continuity of colour and doesn't draw attention to your clever cupboards.
6. Plump for made-to-measure
'To maximise space, consider made-to-measure units,' says Al Bruce, Founder of Olive & Barr (opens in new tab)
'Asides from creating a place to hang coats and shoes, it provides ample amounts of storage to house those everyday items like umbrellas, hats and other accessories.'
Going for made-to-measure cupboards and seating, means you'll have a space for everything plus the kitchen sink (side note, a sink is actually a really handy thing to have in a boot room too!) and you won't be trying to shoe-horn your things into off-the-peg units. This ensures you maximise space and don't waste money on storage that doesn't work for your home.
7. Incorporate seating
Boot rooms provide an easy and comfortable transition from indoors to outdoors, and vice versa. For ease when removing muddy boots it's a great idea to incorporate an element of seating. The dream is built-in bench seating, preferably topped with comfy cushions in washable, durable fabrics. Not only will you enjoy a handy spot to remove your own shoes, and help children with their laces, but the space underneath can also be used for extra storage.
Surround the seating with concealed cupboards to make the seating the focal point. Painted in a lush shade of forest green to make the area a vision in green.
8. Keep things simple
Don't overcrowd a small space, just have the essentials and some thoughtful houseplants. Pack away anything you don't use on a day-to-day basis and keep shoes, boots and coats that you wear most days out and easily accessible. As a room that is commonly connected to the outdoors, with a door leading to the garden or the font porch, this is the ideal space to welcome house plants.
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. Strong wall shelves and coat pegs are your best friend when it comes to your boot room, so make the most of any wall space you have to play with.
9. Choose budget-friendly solutions
If bespoke built-in seating and storage is not within the budget, fear not there's a solution. A storage bench is just as effective in doing the job. A design with a wide wicker drawer provides lots of storage space as well as somewhere to sit and pull boots on and off. A flip-up seat hides muddy boots, while Shaker-style pegs and a shelf above can 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.
10. Opt for efficient open shelving
Open shelves are great for accessibility and, with the addition of smart wicker baskets, will help provide natural texture and interest. Woven baskets are ideal for all your utility and boot room storage, concealing items in an attractive box. Hide wellies and everyday shoes out of the way in baskets or on racks.
11. Hang coats up to dry
Invest in handsome, functional furniture to keep outdoor gear together. A tall unit provides neat hooks to hang jackets, hats and umbrellas with an integral lidded box at the base for jumpers, throws and scarves. Offer extra hanging space with a Shaker peg rail on the wall.
12. Build bespoke storage
If your boot room is blessed with high ceilings, maximise the full storage potential by taking a vertical approach to cabinetry. Fitting overhead cupboards above a seating area is a really efficient storage solution for items that aren't used on a daily basis. It also an efficient way to use vertical space for storage.
Before you pick out your storage buys, make sure the room is decorated with a hard-wearing paint and robust flooring that'll cope with all the foot traffic!
13. Conceal coats and boots behind closed doors
Large cloakroom cupboards offer the perfect stashing place for bulky winter coats and seasonal essentials - just close the doors and calmness will prevail. If space allows, why not dedicate one cupboard for winter wear and one for summer, so that the right coats and boots are always on hand as you dash out the door. Open hanging shelves are also great for storing outdoor garments, aiding drying and helping to keep mildew at bay.
14. Create a shoe-shining station
A handy step-up-stool in a well-lit room is the perfect place to buff up footwear. Leave just-cleaned shoes to air on a sturdy trolley before wearing out. Store polish, brushes and laces in a rustic box for safekeeping.
15. Make it a versatile space
Short on space? A boot room-cum-utility room is the perfect solution, complete with large butlers sink for rinsing off muddy pets, sports kit and shoes – an industrial-style wall lamp ensures you don't miss a bit!
16. Welcome pets
Today's open-plan homes mean the humble boot room is now so much more than a place to park mops and muddy boots. 'With the help of bespoke fitted furniture, a modern boot room can be used to provide all sorts of essential ‘behind-the-scenes' storage for everything from out-sized vases to a luxurious pet bed lined with comfy cushions,' says Richard Moore, design director, Martin Moore. For those with bijoux boot rooms, built-in storage is your best friend.
Keep carpets paw-print free by creating a large pet bed that also doubles up as a useful cubbyhole unit, perfect for displaying shoes and wellies or wooden crates filled with dog treats, leads and toys.
17. Stack shelves neatly
Dedicate shelves to gardening tools, sports equipment and cleaning products – locker-room style cupboards are tough and durable, a few knocks won't hurt them! As well as a mat inside the front door, put another one under your boot rack to catch mud that drops off your boots.
18. Layer with rugs
As one of the first and last rooms you enter, boot rooms shouldn't be neglected on the style front. Open painted units and a colourful rug are perfect for enjoying an uplifting colour-hit and creating a feeling of warmth. A brightly coloured rug adds texture and interest to any space. For a busy boot room or utility area choose rugs with a heavy thread to ensure it can withstand the footfall. As for colour choices, go with strong earthy shades such as reds and greens that will provide the ideal foil for natural stone floors and won't show the dirt.
19. Find a place for bits and bobs
Keep all those grab-at-the-last-minute essentials in one place so you don't leave the house without them. A neat pigeonhole unit is ideal for family life - especially when wall-hung and out of the way - with room for change pots, car keys, bus passes and combs.
20. Save space with multipurpose hooks
Rethink your storage solutions, a great small utility room idea where you might need to make more of your limited space. Coat hooks can be used an alternative boot and shoe storage if need be. Stack one rack above the other to increase the hanging potential even further.
21. Make a style statement
The secret is making a statement with the space you have, of any size, is to choose interesting fittings. Such as these industrial-style wall lights, that make the space feel like a purposeful, important room, rather than just a place to hang coats.
22. Think big for ideas in a small space
Create boot room facilities in the smallest of spaces by being clever with the details. A patterned floor will also add interest and help make the room feel larger so don't be afraid to embrace busy or large-scale pattern.
23. Keep a clear walkway
Stop your boot room becoming a dumping ground for all sorts of sporting attire, footwear and seasonal clothing by meticulously plotting storage provisions. Think carefully about what you are storing and ensure every item has a home. Don't forget smaller items like gloves and welly socks, which are easier to locate in dedicated drawers. For fast finding within multiple drawers, consider labelling contents on the outside.
24. Protect walls with panelling
Synonymous with classic New England styling, tongue-and-groove panelling will create a relaxed welcome and works especially well in coastal locations. The look also has practical benefits as walls are protected from scuffs and, when painted in a durable finish like eggshell, the panelling can be easily wiped clean.
In a large room like this, there's no need to go overboard with storage. A simple high-level shelf, with boots lined-up below a row of coat pegs is all you'll need for a fresh, uncluttered space with rustic charm.
What is a boot room in a house?
A boot room is a space that connects the outside to the inside, and should ideally be accessed directly from the front, side or back of your house. It is a dedicated space to take off boots, shoes and coats before entering the house, as well as place to store them all too. Often a boot room doubles up as a utility space too, or it could be an extended porch.
What do you put in a boot room?
As the name implies, a boot room is a space to keep your boots! Other footwear is allowed too, but it is predominantly there to save your home from muddy footprints following the dog walk. It can also house coats, jackets, wet-weather gear and even sports equipment too. Lots of people use a boot room as a place to keep any pet paraphernalia such as their bed, foot and toys. One of the most important aspects of a boot room is a durable, wipe-clean floor that will withstand heavy footfall and muck from dirty dogs and children! Next is storage space so think lots of shelving, peg rails and hooks and a sink would be a very handy attention to keep things as clean as possible!
A boot room can also be used to keep dried goods and any overflow from the kitchen, such as jams and pickles.
How can I make my boot room look nice?
Although a boot room is a very practical room, that doesn't mean it can't look super stylish too! Be sure to give everything it's own place so it doesn't become a dumping ground. Baskets are a great way to hide away clutter as are galvanised storage trunks. Think about painting walls and units in a stylish colour, like navy, forest green or cool grey and add lighting that creates a cosy glow. Some soft furnishes will help make a boot room look nice, so if there is no place for cushions, a rug could be an option, and some roman blinds to dress windows.
Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.
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