By Ruth Bell11th June 2024

Here at Thomas Robinson Architects, we know that if we get the functional spaces of a home right then the entertaining spaces will truly be allowed to sing. The popularity of the open-plan layout has only continued to grow and when executed well it is the epitome of modern living, allowing families and friends to co-exist harmoniously. But modern life is often busy and hectic, so for our homes to really work for us they need to be not only places of sanctuary but also practical and efficient.

Our years of experience in designing exceptional homes for our clients has shown that back-of-house areas are just as important as main living spaces. If designed poorly, these pantries, boot rooms, and laundry spaces are at risk of becoming dumping grounds, so it is our job to consider how they will flow and function well. One way we do this is to get to know our clients and how they will use each space, no matter how small, not just now but in years to come. We need to ensure that all aspects of the homes we design will stand the test of time.

Pantries, boot rooms, and laundry rooms are most likely some of the smallest rooms in your home, but they can be the hardest working spaces, used daily. If thoughtfully designed and organised correctly a good pantry, boot room, or laundry can be a truly life changing addition.

Designing a pantry

Pantries have been used as far back as the Middle Ages, and nowadays can be so much more than simply a place to store food. Interpretations of the pantry in kitchen design may involve a pull-out larder or butler’s pantry, but in our eyes the very best option is a walk-in pantry. This is where necessary but not always aesthetically pleasing kitchen items find a home, allowing for clear surfaces and uncluttered open shelving in your main kitchen.

A natural extension of your kitchen, the pantry should have over-the-counter shelving for jars and tins so that items are no longer left languishing at the back of cupboards. Easy to access while cooking with easy-to-see items if you are running low, pantries will help with the organisation of food and with meal planning, too. Under-counter storage can be utilised for larger appliances that are less-frequently used, leaving your main kitchen cupboards and drawers to house everyday items that need to be at your fingertips.

A pantry can also act as an additional prep space, be it home for the coffee machine and toaster so that busy morning mess can be left unseen, or when cooking for a gathering, keeping kitchen surfaces clear.

For most of our clients the kitchen is the heart of the home, a place not only to cook and share a meal but to socialise and entertain. A great pantry is an essential functional space that helps make that goal possible.


Pantry 2

Designing a boot room

Whether you live in the city or the countryside, there will always be occasions when stepping into your home should be handled with care. A thoughtfully placed and considered boot room acts as a safeguard for your home, ensuring mud from your dog walk or bicycle ride is left firmly at the door, and raincoats and shoes are not left strewn over a beautiful entrance hall. We’re talking built-in shoe and coat storage with sections for each member of the family, dedicated space for wellington boots and umbrellas, benches with hidden storage, or even a shower area for your pet. A successful boot, shoe, and coat room can be customised to your exact requirements ensuring every item has a home. For some, this space can become a favourite spot as its function is so pleasing.


Designing a laundry room

Not to be confused with the aforementioned boot room, the laundry or utility room should be decidedly separate if space allows. Fresh clean laundry should not mix with wet coats and muddy shoes. Typically, the utility room is found adjacent to the kitchen but in some of our most successful designs, the most sensible place for the laundry room has been on the second floor, minimising the need to carry washing up and down stairs and keeping fresh washing away from any potential cooking smells. The laundry is a dedicated space not only for your washer and dryer but for clothes drying. There are so may clever solutions that can be applied here with built-in racks that can be folded away into cupboards when not in use or the ever-wonderful Victorian-style pulley. Take a thought to your heating in this room too: Underfloor heating, heated towel rails and built-in dehumidifiers can be the answer to ensure your laundry dries as quickly as possible and everything is fresh and fragrant. These are the things that will need to be planned out early in the design stages to ensure they are in place long before the build begins. As with every element of our design, the earlier the right design is pinned down, the more successful the outcome.

Laundry room 1

Laundry room 2

If you’re looking to reconfigure a house or build your dream home, complete with the ideal boot room, laundry, and pantry, please get in touch with us here at Thomas Robinson Architects to discuss your project. Get in touch here >

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