Interior design

Muddy boots and fun pursuits

cathy_interiorsCreating a stylish home that can also withstand muddy boots and soggy pawprints can be a challenge, but it is entirely possible with a little extra thought.

Most of the dirt that is brought into our homes is from our feet as we enter. Finding a way to catch it at this point is the key. A top priority should always be investing in a really good doormat. A quality doormat will make your home feel welcoming and smart, and – best of all – it’s one of the easiest changes you can make.

The ideal solution to outdoor-wear clutter is to add on, or create, a porch area or boot-room, where family and guests can remove footwear before they come into the house. Here, shoe racks, bags, coat racks and other storage can be kept separate from the main living areas. Boot-rooms don’t need to be boring; they can be inspiring in their own right. There are many simple ways in which you can give them personality, such as quirky wallpaper, beautiful basketware, hardwearing rugs, upholstered storage benches and clever carpentry.

Wallpaper in a porch, boot-room or entrance hall instantly makes the space feel inviting. Perhaps counter-intuitively, it can also be a more practical option than paint because pattern is more forgiving, disguising scuffs and scrapes. There are many durable vinyl wallpapers available which are fantastic at repelling damage. If your home needs to be extremely robust, you could add wood panelling to the lower half of the wall, painted in a tough satin paint, or even tiles which can be wiped down with a cloth. Tip: Use a range of patterns and textures to create a relaxed and cosy feel. This has the added benefit of detracting the eye from any marks on the walls or floor.

Hard flooring that can be cleaned with a mop is absolutely essential – entrances are no place for a carpet if you enjoy the great outdoors. Stone, granite or slate flagstones look fantastic. It’s best to choose a finish that is not slippery when wet to avoid falls and accidents. Whilst expensive to install, they are a life-long investment that should make keeping your home clean much easier and add value to your property. Timber floors are extremely beautiful, but they require a degree of maintenance. They can, however, be protected with a patterned and hard-wearing rug. There is a good range of ‘indoor/outdoor’ rugs available which are waterproof and therefore well-suited to high traffic areas.

A few investments and bit of consideration can make your home a much more practical and attractive space, meaning less work for you. Happy puddle jumping!

Catherine Cumberlidge Interiors

February – March 2020