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Posts Tagged ‘what rooms do i need’

Once upon a time, houses had a wealth of rooms dedicated to particular activities – rooms that rarely appear in our modern homes. We look at how to integrate these useful spaces back into our homes.

(This article first featured in Agenda magazine September 2011)

Fashions for rooms come and go as our society changes and our relationship with our homes develops. The separate dining room, for example, has seen a great demise in recent years as dining tables and sometimes a TV and sofa are incorporated into a modern family kitchen. However our basic daily needs from our home often remain the same even if it is us now using the space rather than the staff!

A butler’s pantry was traditionally a room for plates, glasses and a sink and was evident in most grand historical houses. Whilst this room might seem like an extravagance these days, if you entertain often a modern version of this can be really useful and marking out a section of your kitchen to store glassware and crockery close to a sink or dishwasher is a way of reinstating this practical space. Some modern large houses have even created a 20th century version of this room by installing two kitchens; a residential kitchen for everyday meals and a catering kitchen for entertaining purposes.

A larder or cool room, the cool room or larder is another room that is making a bit of a comeback with more people requesting them in modern homes. Brilliant at freeing up space in a kitchen, an insulated cool room with shelves and a sink reduces the need for lots of cupboards in the main food preparation area and acts as a natural overflow for your fridge. When planning your home it may be worth going for a smaller kitchen that incorporates a decent sized larder.

A boot room may already be a familiar concept if you live in the country and undertake outdoor pursuits. Popular in historical country houses these rooms provide a heated space for wet boots, coats and clothes to dry out. They are usually fitted out with hooks along the walls and low level heating and someone returning home after a long day outdoors can walk straight into this room and remove their wet and muddy boots and clothes before entering the rest of the house. A great idea for any rural home, saving a space for this set-up is worth considering in a modern house.

A flower room is likely to appeal to all you gardeners out there. Traditionally set as the back of the house, near the gardens this room served as a practical room for storing vases and garden tools, with a sink and bench for arranging flowers. Although not many of us would have the space for this in our own home, if you have a utility room you could always set aside some space there with a separate sink for this purpose.

Whilst these rooms all sound appealing, when considering your own home, essentially you need to ask yourself, ‘how do I live in my house?’ and ‘what rooms do I need?’ But be warned, you might be surprised by the answers; I am now desperate to find space for a flower room!

Images: Plain English, The White Company

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