You may have read my ‘Watch This Space’ post from several weeks back. It detailed my hopes and dreams for the perfect boot room. Well, I’m thrilled to say this project is finally complete! It has seemed like a lifetime in the making but I’m over the moon with the end result and so excited to share it with you.
You might remember the back of my home looking like this…
I was desperate to make more of a statement with the exterior of this side of the house, as the back door is the one we use the most, and therefore the main entrance to our home. Always in the back of my mind was the aesthetic improvements an extension would offer, as well as the added space.
Granted, space – or lack thereof, was our biggest issue. Living in a small cottage is fine, until you accumulate more ‘stuff’ than you have cupboards. Then life becomes a clutter fest. And that’s bad. Really bad.
So I nagged and nagged my husband (#savegraeme) and convinced him that a small extension was the only way to stop me from losing the plot. The moment he agreed, I could visualise the whole thing in my head and couldn’t wait to get on and create it.
Once the build started to take shape, I could see how much it improved the appearance of the cottage from the back. The brick matched incredibly well and having the house squared off made it look twice the size.
I knew the exact exterior door I wanted and it was created to the letter by Riverside Joinery. We had it painted in Pigeon by Farrow and Ball, which is a beautiful greyish green that changes colour depending on the amount of sunlight that hits it. The rustic black knocker and letterbox made all the difference, along with the traditional lantern style porch lights from Screwfix.
We decided to knock out much of the wall between the extension and the dining room (the room you previously walked straight into from the original back door).
Initially I was keen to have one of those sliding barn style doors, but there simply wasn’t room. I was actually glad of it in the end as the house feels so much bigger now. Having a wall or door as a partition would have restricted the impact of the extension on the rest of the downstairs. Now it has a lovely open-plan feel about it.
The roof of the extension slants downwards providing a high ceiling, which we have packed full of spotlights. This, combined with the natural light flooding in from the windows either side of the back door, makes the room seem so much bigger than its rather modest 96 square feet.
To add a bit of character and to create a feature, we exposed the original brick on the back wall. I always think exposing just a little brick like this adds a stylish touch to any room.
The stone effect tiles on the floor were the closest thing I could get to flagstones and cost £25 per metre from East Midlands Ceramics.
The units, bench, and tongue and groove paneling were a huge part of my vision for this room. I wanted a really traditional cottage boot room and I knew I had to get these elements just right to achieve that. We had it designed and built by local kitchen company Inspirational Interiors (who also did our kitchen). The total cost was £2700 and that included the cost of the fitting as well as the wood being sprayed in Stone Grey. We were thrilled with both the design and the workmanship.
At first it bothered me that the units either side of the bench were not going to be symmetrical (due to the window by the door), but once I saw the finished article, it wasn’t a problem at all. In fact, it probably looks better this way.
We purchased the polished chrome hooks and knobs from Ebay, and they were the perfect finishing touches. The knobs were £4 each and the hooks, £15 for a pack of five.
The woven baskets, which provide aesthetically pleasing storage for all our boots and shoes, were from Ikea. The joiner took the measurements of these and built the bench with them in mind.
What excites me most about this new space is that I now have somewhere to house our endless clutter and household items. I’ll talk you through the newly labelled and organized cupboard space. (women aged 30 + – brace yourselves! This is exciting stuff.)
First and foremost we now have this – a godsend.
Yes many of you will take your full size fridge/freezer for granted, but it has changed our lives! We can actually do proper weekly shops now and rather more importantly, have a new-found ability to keep booze cold!
Behind the next set of life-changing doors we have the laundry area, including TUMBLE DRYER! How we have lasted 6 years without one I will never know.
The ‘blind’ corner cupboard (as its apparently called) has a hanging rail for all our coats. (I know what you’re thinking but no– because the hooks above the bench are for carefully selected, aesthetically pleasing accessories).
The ironing board fits neatly onto a hook on the back of the cupboard door.
It also has 3, (yes 3!) shelves for, well pretty much anything that used to be crammed inside drawers or drop out of over-packed kitchen cupboards. Everything now has a place, as you can see from my meticulously labelled storage boxes.
(For fellow neat freaks and OCD tidiers, the chalk labels were from Ebay – I know they caught your eye.)
This low unit keeps keys hidden away and also all our letters/paperwork. I’m still looking for some sort of filing tray to pop in here. (Paperwork organization -or anything practical or necessary for that matter -is not really my forte).
The oak window sills and worktop were made using leftover bits of wood from when we had our kitchen fitted. This plant stand was an exciting find in Homebase for £40. It’s a lovely egg shell colour and fits perfectly in the corner of the room.
I’m currently on the hunt for an industrial hanging bulb and bracket like this one for the blank wall space above it…
and maybe some hexagonal shelves like these…
Photo credit: @rustiquehome
I’m in love with my bumblebee doormat, £12 from M&S.
If you have space for a small extension like this, I can’t recommend a boot room enough! It has completely transformed our home and the way we live in it. The additional space and storage will also enable us to stay in our beloved cottage for so much longer than we’d expected to.
If you’ve completed a home improvement recently and would like to share it here on the Homebirds blog, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re waiting to feature you!