Back of House

Boot Room | Regency Country House | Hampshire

The importance of practicality

This Regency country house design is a typical example of how a grand house evolves over time, presenting a challenge to adapt it to suit a modern family’s way of life without compromising its original charm and beauty.

While the series of reception rooms on the ground floor can be used for their original purpose, the remnants of earlier buildings and back of house rooms on the site needed repurposing.

These are the rooms that service the everyday needs of a family – understanding the practical whilst bringing an aesthetic that enhances the beauty of the house as a whole.

Re-configuring the space for modern living

As we began to understand better the requirements of the large household we executed a complete reorganisation of the space so that internal space planning informed the architecture. Such decisions drove revised thinking on where to store the children’s large trunks on their return from school.

The listing of a series of outbuildings at the back of the house created planning complications. One neat solution was to bring forward a partition wall that created a symmetrical back entrance hall. It both made sense of the space and provided a smart alternative entrance to the house.

Alongside the trunk room, we created a shoe room for slippers and shoes and everyday hats and gloves, while the boot room provided storage and drying space for muddier outdoor clothes and boots. The boot room doubles as a flower room, with sink and counter to arrange flowers brought in from the garden. The sizable laundry, designed to accommodate the linen of large house parties, completes the engine room of a 21st century English country house design.

Design details and materials

The materials and the finishes used are chosen so that the patina will develop and improve with age. The zinc plinths and copper nails in the shoe room for example are functional – making the furniture hardwearing and resistant to scuffing but they are also beautiful. The holes in the thickly carved marble in the laundry provide an intricate detail that looks stunning but serves to allow hot air to rise to the clothes hanging above.

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