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  • Writer's pictureHOTHR


As the name suggests, a 'Bootility' is a cross between a 'boot room' and 'utility'. This is one of those Pinterest rooms that one only dreams of and is probably the room that excites me the most about HOTHR. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's in the 'porn' category, along with dressing room and porch. Sad how you reach a certain age and practical storage and a snazzy front door become the things that get you off. Anyway, I digress.

To accommodate the bootility, we chose to shift the downstairs rooms around. The existing kitchen has a back door entrance and is absolutely tiny compared to the rooms in the rest of the house. So we're switching it up, moving the kitchen to the disproportionately large dining room (accessible from the old kitchen) and using the old kitchen as boot room come utility. This means we can use the back entrance and go straight into the bootility so all shoes and coats will be confined within its walls, leaving our main front door entrance clear of mess and clutter for guests. It also give us a larger, more centralised, family friendly kitchen/dining/living space, far better suited to the modern open-plan family life we live day to day.

So, big plans for the bootility. To serve it's two core functions, it will need:

  • Space for the tumble dryer and not one, but TWO washing machines. Yep, you read that right - no more mountains of washing in the baskets.

  • Sink and storage for laundry liquids and odds and sods

  • Bench seating for the removal of shoes and wellies

  • Space for the ironing board and air drying clothes.

  • skinny cupboard for the ironing board and mop etc.

  • Cupboards for each child to store all 'walk-in' items that would ordinarily be dumped at the front door

This last point is the crucial one, and something we came across when watching Sarah Beenie's 'New Life in the Country' (I can't recommend this show enough, I love her and everything she does). She explained in her show that a well functioning utility can make the cogs of a house turn smoothly, and had tall units for each of her four children where they hung their coats, bags, sports kits, shoes and school bags. Groundbreaking! So, hijacking this idea, we decided these cubbys would be perfect in the new bootility. The kids can walk through the door and instead of their belongings just dropping like a breadcrumb trail to the nearest TV, they can be shed on entry and automatically be in the correct place. Their shoes will come off as they walk in , their stinking sports kits will go straight into the washing machines and the kit bags will go into their individual closets, ready to be repacked and hung up for when they're needed the following week. It'll save time, energy and many MANY arguments about their mess and where they've put their gear. Sheer bliss.

Being that this room is quietly tucked around the back of the house and therefore out of sight of visitors, we've opted for a simpler (cheaper) shaker style unit made by our chippy in MDF. White goods will be stacked within cupboards and shut off behind doors so that they're never on show, as will the kids closets. The units will be floor to ceiling, making the absolute MOST out of every square inch of space in this box room, while keeping one wall free of anything built in so it has space for the ironing board to be put up when needed. Stacey Soloman had the most fantastic clothes drying hack in her utility. Inside one of her units she has a retractable washing line which she pulls out and hooks on the opposite wall when needed, eliminating the need for the irritating floor standing air dryers. I'd entertained the idea of a ceiling mounted pulley airer but the ceilings are so high that I doubt i'd be able to pull it back up again once the washing was on it, so Stacey's idea is far more practical. Colours will stay neutral and light as its not a particularly well lit room, although the handy thing about MDF units is that you can repaint them whenever they start to look tired or you fancy a change. A shallow butler sink and brass taps to match brass cupboard handles should give it a slightly more tradition, luxe look. But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting as they say, so i'll post an update once the room is up and running. Wish me luck!

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