Inspiration for our boot room makeover

I’ve always wanted a boot room. A cross between a utility room and a mud room, if you like, with lots of space to store away all the unattractive cleaning products that clutter up the cupboard under the sink and somewhere to hang outdoor coats and to keep muddy boats and wellies.

We’re blessed at The Essex Barn with a laundry room near the bedrooms that came with a washing-machine – perfect as most of the washing comes from the bedrooms – and this left us with the machine we brought from our old house, looking sad and unwanted. Next to the parlour was a small L-shaped utility room and an even smaller loo that hadn’t been quite finished by the previous owners. We decided to knock the two rooms together to make a home for the second washing machine and create the boot room I’d been dreaming of. Here’s a shot of the before…!

The Essex Barn boot room - before makeover

Work is underway already with our building and decorating team from RE Butler and I’ll be sharing our before and after shots as soon as it’s finished. In the meantime here’s my thoughts on how to plan a utility room makeover and some of the ideas I’ve been using as inspiration.

Some thoughts on planning…

What do you want to use the room for? A laundry room is going to have different storage needs to a mud room for example. Plan out exactly that you’re likely to use the room for and use that to inform your design. We knew we were going to use our boot room to hang up outside coats and store wellingtons so it was important that we allowed for both full-height storage and a lower rail for the boots.

How much space do you have? A large area could be separated into different uses while a small room might need some clever planning to create multi-purpose storage space.

What’s your budget? I’ve seen some seriously expensive makeovers for boot rooms which are gorgeous but if you’re doing a makeover on a budget then consider which elements to spend most money on – do you want bespoke cabinets or will painted MDF suffice in preference for a stunning stone floor? You can do a lot to change a utility room by simply clearing away the clutter with some clever storage and adding a new colour scheme.

What do you want the room to feel like? Modern, bright and airy would call for a light scheme and good lighting while a traditional rustic boot room could look great with dark wood accents and wicker accessories.


Let’s get inspired…

Use colour as an accent

Image credits (L-R): Bright Blue: – room designed by Susan Snow, Grey with stripe:

Modern country paired down look

Image credits (L-R):,

Painted cabinets and stone floors - two ways

Image credits (L-R):,

Traditional boot room

Image credit: Alexa Bailey

Fun and functional accessories

Image credit: Joy Interiors, found on Pinterest

Do you have a laundry or utility room you’d like to makeover? What style do you like best? For more inspiration I’ve created a Pinterest board with lots more boot room makeover images to whet your appetite. Or to remember this post for later here’s a pinnable image, just for you x

Pinnable boot room makeover inspiration

Home Etc
 Linking up with Honest Mum, #TheList


  1. Catherine @pushingthemoon September 15, 2015 at 9:01 pm Reply

    I love the different styles you have shown!

    We have a utility room at the back of our kitchen but currently it doubles up as my office and all my freelance work & blogging is done standing up! I need to find a space for a proper office, maybe then I can reclaim my utility room back! Xxx #HomeEtc

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 16, 2015 at 6:46 am Reply

      I was the same in our old house – not standing up but working in the kitchen and shoving everything into a cupboard whenever we needed the space again to cook/eat! I’m blessed with an office and a bootroom and it’s fabulous to be able to leave my laptop and *ahem* paperwork out without having to tidy up all the time 🙂

  2. Mrs Tubbs September 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Metaphorically sobbing with envy here! That room is bigger than my kitchen! It’s stunning though, you’ve done an amazing job.

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 16, 2015 at 6:48 am Reply

      He he – well I haven’t shown you the final version yet but watch this space! I can’t wait to share the makeover and before and after photos 🙂

  3. Caro | The Twinkles Mama September 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm Reply

    Aah — we had a boot room in our old house but sadly not here. No utility room either — storage is at a premium in this cottage! So envious of all these lovely designs — you’re so lucky that you’ve got the house room!! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with us #HomeEtc

    Caro |

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 13, 2015 at 7:01 am Reply

      Oh no that’s a shame. We are very lucky with the amount of space we have here. Can’t wait to share the bootroom makeover at HomeEtc next month – thanks for hosting your fab link-up x

  4. Lisa (mummascribbles) September 10, 2015 at 5:16 pm Reply

    How gorgeous are these? I would definitely have one if we had space, so lovely and even the name of it, the boot room. Love it! You’ve got me dreaming of my perfect country cottage now! #HomeEtc

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 11, 2015 at 6:33 am Reply

      Thanks Lisa! We’re so blessed to have found our forever home – can’t wait to show you all the final boot room makeover next month x

  5. Hannah Parker September 10, 2015 at 1:37 pm Reply

    This is so awesome! I love how you’ve broken it down like this. As you know I’ve recently cleared out our utility room…but since then I’ve become obsessed with a total overhaul and basically starting again. This is a really useful thought process, I’m going to totally use it on our room – I’ll let you knw how we get on!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

  6. Caroline September 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply

    Wow I love those ideas. I am in the process of re-designing our currently cloakroom, its a tiny room that should really just a downstairs loo but the old owners decided to convert it to a ‘utility room’ its tiny just washing machine and drier on top and a whole lot of coats and shoes, so although I am limited to for space I am determined to make it look better then it does now.

    Good luck with all of the work being done I hope you are happy with the end result. #HomeEtc

  7. Helena September 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm Reply

    I can imagine a bootroom being a great addition to our house particularly as we love exploring in the great outdoors.#HomeEtc

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 11, 2015 at 6:31 am Reply

      It’s a bit of an indulgence but a great addition if you’ve got the space – somewhere to put all the messy outdoor clothes and boots. Although now ours is all freshly done and sparkly I don’t think I want to let mud anywhere near it! Thanks for your comment x

  8. Lisa@intotheglade September 9, 2015 at 8:41 pm Reply

    I would absolutely love a boot/mud room, it must be so handy to have somewhere to put your wellies etc. I would pick the duck egg version too but they are all gorgeous. However, the traditional one is fabulous xx

  9. mummyofboygirltwins September 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm Reply

    We have a boot room in our new home; it is SO useful!! Yours is going to look stunning. I’d say coat hooks, shelves and cupboards are a must! Storage is so important. And a sink is so handy! cannot wait to see it 🙂 Thanks SO much for linking up, lovely post, and much appreciated 🙂 Jess xx


  10. Tinuke September 9, 2015 at 11:30 am Reply

    I would love to have a boot room! Your photos have inspired me, particularly the traditional boot room. Beautiful!

  11. Fionnuala September 9, 2015 at 9:15 am Reply

    Back again – this time from #HomeEtc. I still love this and can’t wait to see what you end up doing 🙂
    Fionnuala from

  12. Fionnuala September 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm Reply

    I must send this to my sister in law. She wants a boot room in the house they’be just moved into and has a utility room that is beside a loo. Both are in need of a revamp and more creative use of space. The previous owners didn’t do much with them at all.
    Thanks for sharing!#TheList
    Fionnuala from

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 9, 2015 at 6:37 am Reply

      Oh please do Fionnuala and let her know that we had a similar situation and knocked the two rooms together to make one big space… I’ll be posting about the whole makeover project (the duck egg blue shot above is a big clue for what we went with) next month.

  13. cathy lavictoire September 4, 2015 at 9:15 am Reply

    Oh wow I would absolutely love a boot room or a utility for that matter, love the painted cabinets and stone floors.

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) September 9, 2015 at 6:38 am Reply

      It’s such a useful space Cathy and we are blessed with the extra room her to be able to have one. I love the painted cabinets and stone floors too… I’ll be publishing our makeover project before and after shots next month so watch this space! 🙂

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