'The importance of a mudroom in the countryside should not be underestimated,' says interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch. 'It acts as an important gateway between the outdoors and your home, and is usually designed to withstand dirt, avoiding it being transferred into the main body of the house.
'However, this isn’t to say that a mudroom should be ignored in terms of the design aesthetic. We treat this space as part of the house, so its design will be in keeping with the rest of the interior.'
Emma has designed countless mudrooms and boot rooms as part of her work at design agency Sims Hilditch, and has grown a reputation as something of an expert in creating handsome but practical spaces. These are her top tips and mudroom ideas for designing yours.
1. Function before form
'As a starting point, when designing a mudroom one must consider function before form. We look at a client’s interests, hobbies, and daily living to establish the overall design direction. The boot room is one of the hardest working rooms in the house and should meet all requirements,' says Emma.
2. Make storage a priority
'The most important feature of a mud or boot room is its storage,' says Emma. 'We often install bespoke joinery with plenty of shelving and a bench seat which doubles up as a place to store our clients’ outdoor-wear.'
3. Include a deep sink
'The boot room should include a good-sized Belfast sink (if space permits) and practical storage solutions such as shelves and coat hooks. Bespoke joinery may cost a little more, but it does mean that the design will be perfectly suited to the space. Do try to combine seating and shoe storage ideas as well as a hook and woven basket for each member of the family,' says Emma Sims Hilditch.
4. Choose durable materials
'For a boot room to work effortlessly, the choice of material is very important. The materials must be hard wearing and allow for the family’s busy lifestyle. Aesthetic is important but practicality wins the battle when furnishing the boot room. Therefore, we wouldn’t add any embroidered fabric or antiques to a boot room, we tend to stick to materials that can stand more wear and are easily cleaned,' advises Emma.
5. Find space in a hallway for mudroom essentials
'When space is limited, remember that a boot room does not necessarily mean being its own room. We have designed bespoke joinery to fit neatly against a wall in the entrance hall providing adequate storage,' says Emma Sims Hilditch.
6. Look to combine a mudroom with laundry and utility spaces
'If the space allows, fitted utility cabinetry provides extra kitchen space for those day to day tasks in the home. Combining the boot room and the laundry or with utility room ideas allows all those daily tasks to be centered in room one,' says Emma Sims Hilditch.
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