How We Created a New Mini Boot Room

“Boot Room” sounds like a luxury. When you think of a boot room, you’re probably thinking of a beautiful, expansive house in the country with a lovely rambling room for dumping La Chameau wellies and Barbour jackets. Am I right?

Well, sadly, ours is not that.

However, it’s pretty damn good for what we need and can afford!

If you want to hear the full process, read on. If you just want to know what products we used, skip to the bottom.

This is why we wanted a boot room.

If you’ve read my previous post, “We split our sitting room to maximise space”, you’ll know the background. If not, check it out. In short, we nabbed a small part of the new office, formerly the sitting room, to create this small but perfectly formed boot room.

I’ve mentioned this house having a strange layout with poor design choices regarding how the place works practically! I will one day write a post explaining this as I keep giving you tidbits.

But basically, there wasn’t anywhere for boots and the like to go, as our utility room is where I do the laundry and keep food. So I didn’t particularly want muddy wellies, clean laundry and food getting involved there!

The Layout

As you enter the boot room from our hallway, the enclosed shoe cupboard is on the right.

On the left is a bench seat with open welly storage below, coat hooks above and a shelf at the top.

Straight in front of you is the “secret” door. I say secret like this because the door handle gives it away! But it was a plain door. The panelling covered it, and it was painted the same as the walls. James Bond-esque.

This is how we did it

Once the stud wall had gone up (one of the only things we didn’t do), we insulated and plasterboarded the new walls. Following this, we cracked on with the woodwork. I say we, Tom did this!

The wood and MDF came from B&Q. They also offer a brilliant cutting service, which is excellent if you don’t have any tools and are “DIYing”. They make up to 5 cuts for free, then it’s charged at 50p per cut, which is excellent value, considering how much time and hassle you’re saving yourself.

We have all the tools and a van and still use their service! It’s a no-brainer.

Just make sure you don’t forget the measurements!

The panelling

Part of the room was already panelled in the Georgian style, the wall that was previously the TV wall in the sitting room. So the first job was to panel the new wall opposite, including the door. Panelling in this style is easy. The tricky part is working out the measurements and ensuring that all squares are the same size. This was made harder for us as the aforementioned back wall was already panelled, but we couldn’t use the same measurements due to the position of the door.

Tom had to work out how the panelling would look best on the door and go from there. So if you look closely, you’ll notice that the two walls are different. Luckily, the walls are opposite, and people don’t have eyes in the back of their heads! If the existing panelling had been running up to it from a side wall, we would have had to rip the existing strips off. Let me tell you, this is a messy and nightmarish job that we were able to avoid.

I notice EVERYTHING. I’m a perfectionist, and you can’t notice it.

The uprights are one piece and were glued on first using no-nails. This is the best glue we’ve found. The horizontals are small sections which are cut and added individually. It’s really important to do this if your walls are slightly wonky!

Once the MDF panelling was up, we filled any gaps with Ronseal multi-purpose wood filler and decorators caulk around the edges. This is time-consuming but worth it. You can paint over decorators’ caulk, so make sure you use this and not a silicone-based product!

The shoe cupboard

The shoe cupboard contains 11 shelves, all of differing heights to contain different types of shoes.

Painting this was an epic challenge, let me tell you! I wanted to paint these before Tom attached them, as It 100% would have been easier…but painting 11 shelves unattached in one go is also a logistical nightmare. Where do you do it? You can only paint one side at a time, and it takes over the house. I know this because I’ve previously repainted our kitchen, removing all the doors, and I never want a repeat of that!

The only thing I would have done differently here is to lower the smaller shelves as it’s tricky to see what’s up there being 5″5 in height!

The doors are full height from the skirting board, so we needed strong hinges. For something so small and almost hidden, we went for a more cost-effective option from Ironmongery Direct.

The door handles are antique brass from Corston Architectural, and we’ve used magnetic latches to keep them secure.

A very rough undercoat of the MDF shoe cupboard shelves and part of the panelling!

boot room
boot room
The bench seat

We ummed and arrghed about how to do this. Whether to have it on a raised platform, enabling us to skirting board around the bottom, which would have looked neat. However, working out the measurements, we realised that for the seat to be the correct sitting height, the gap underneath would have been too low for wellies. Considering this was one of the main points, we had to forego the skirting board idea.
What we didn’t want, though, was for the boots to be sat on the carpet, so instead, Tom used a single sheet of MDF as the base, which looks great! The wellies fit easily, and the bench is the right height to sit on comfortably.
I’ve seen so many boot rooms, in person and on Pinterest or Instagram, where they haven’t taken these things into account, and the seat is way too high or can only house 3/4 height or ankle boots. So be careful and double-check your measurements!
Tom cut two pieces of MDF, one for the top, one for the bottom, and then three others for the sides and middle support.
We can fit eight pairs of wellies or tall boots underneath, as it’s quite deep.
Eventually, I will have a fitted seat cushion made, but for now, I’ve put a sheepskin on top with some lovely cushions from Homesense.

The paint

We hadn’t intended to go with Hague Blue, but Tom came into the house one day after a trip to the shed, informing me that we still had nearly 3/4’s of a tin of Hague Blue, though it was emulsion, not eggshell. Amazingly, we also had a 750ml tin of Hague Blue eggshell, which is a long story, but it was a tin that we couldn’t return after accidentally denting it! So we thought instead of spending any more money (Farrow and Ball is not cheap, but it is good quality in my opinion), Tom suggested we paint it and see if we like it. This wasn’t just a willy-nilly decision; we always intended it to be a dark room.

In effect, we used the emulsion as an undercoat. Dark tones always need 2 or 3 coats, so we thought we might as well use it, as it needed using up, and there was no point using a white undercoat for a dark colour, let’s be honest. To caveat, we did use a white undercoat on the new panelling as, again, we had some left-over, and we had already done this before finding the Hague Blue!

We did need to buy another tin of eggshell, though. If we didn’t already have that 750ml tin, we would have just needed one 2.5l tin, which would have worked out cheaper than two 750mls.

Anyhow, it paid off; we LOVE the colour. It works, particularly as we tried to achieve that secret door, old library look! Obviously, we were not going for a light and airy feel.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

The coat wall

We originally planned to part-panel this wall in Victorian panelling, upright strips. This tends to be used in boot rooms, particularly behind coats. Panelling up to just above the coat hooks would have looked great, but we decided not to proceed for two reasons. The first was the additional cost. For the simple fact that the coats would cover the area 95% of the time, we thought it an unnecessary expense, at least for the time being. Second and most logistically tricky, I wanted a shelf above, and the brackets are quite substantial, meaning the shelf would have been way too high for clearance of the panelling. This would have looked weird and been impractically high for normal-sized humans!

After thinking carefully, we chose classic antique brass coat hooks, four fitting perfectly in the space with enough room around them, considering that coats are often quite bulky. They are of brilliant quality from Corston Architectural. We did a lot of research, and believe it or not, true antique brass fixtures are hard to come by; some look dreadful or are hideously expensive.

Tom made the shelf from MDF, adding detail around the edges using an electric planer. The brackets are also Corston Architectural, so they tie in nicely.

The carpet

I have always been a big fan of seagrass carpets. I love the feel of it underfoot, the classic look and it even smells nice. Not that I spend a lot of time on the floor sniffing carpet…

That being said, it can be a seriously spenny option.

I thought I’d found a great deal online, but this carpet was also going in the office, and the rooms’ measurements meant we needed to buy a whole extra metre in width, just for 10 cm! What a nightmare. So Tom managed to find a website selling remnants. We managed to get an even better quality and branded carpet, Crucial Trading, for less money and more carpet. Meaning we can make a runner out of the offcuts. My mum also wants some, too, for this reason, so that none will be wasted.

The lights

There was no light in the new boot room as the room was split. This was a necessity as the little room is windowless and very dark! An electrician came out to install a new switch and run a cable up the new wall and across the ceiling leaving Tom with two cables in the positions for the new wall lights. Tom wired these up, fitted them, and changed the switches from standard white plastic to an antique brass.

Product details and costs
Total cost = £1241.04

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Small, but mighty. I knew this boot room would be a game-changer, but I didn’t quite realise how effective and, honestly, how fantastic it would look, in my opinion!

It might only be 2 metres x 1 metre in proportion, but it’s seriously impactful.

The shoe cupboards comfortably fit a whopping 55 pairs of adult shoes! All our dog-walking and non-dress coats, dog leads, gloves, hats, etc.

The left-hand coat side of the boot room

We are pleased with the outcome of our mini boot room, and although, yes, it’s a first-world problem, it has solved the lack of shoe storage problem in our home.

Sometimes it is a storage problem, not a “too much stuff” problem.

Just remember, always declutter what you don’t need or love first, don’t buy or build storage before doing so and don’t just use a lack of storage as an excuse to keep the stuff you don’t need!

If you’d like to watch the full boot room behind-the-scenes process from start to finish, you can watch it all on Youtube. Subscribe to be notified when the video goes live here!

– Do you want to re-design or style a room and need some help but don’t want to pay the high rates of an interior designer? Book a free discovery call here. Or, check out my Home Staging & Styling services here.

Has this boot room post inspired you? If so, please comment below to let me know!

Amy xx

-Your decluttering bestie

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