Australia may be an island, but we’re far from isolated when it comes to interior design. We have a plethora of international design blogs streaming to our phones, tablets and PCs every day, and so do our clients.
And when American and European interiors are ‘pinned’ and filed by these clients, so too is the international terminology, adding a few more tweaks to our complicated vernacular and more opportunities for confusion.
In this feature, we’ll look at the subtle differences between three rooms increasingly popular in Australia today.
The term ‘powder room’ has been used by Australians for some time, most often for the small bathroom to be used by guests. The room essentially houses a toilet, sink and mirror, and often adjoins the living/entertaining areas of a home.
The term ‘boot room’ appears to have originated in the UK, defining the room that football teams broke to for their post-game cheers or commiserations. As home-owners looked for a similar space to facilitate muddy boots and wet sporting gear, along with the necessary ablutions, the boot room made its way on to the home design wish list.
Over the years it has evolved to a bathroom near an entranceway that houses a bench to sit on while you pull off your muddy boots, along with coat hooks and storage, a sink, toilet and shower or bath. For obvious reasons, the boot room is best finished with hard-wearing, easy to clean products, but by no means need it look like the ‘man cave’ some would imagine!
The mud room is virtually the American equivalent of the boot room (without the amenities) and until the last few years, has most often been found in snowy, damp northern American climates. The sensibility of such a room can be appreciated in any climate, however, and as a place to store outerwear, boots, sports gear and the like, could be considered a practical must-have. The location of the mud room will generally dictate its contents and finish: by the back door, it may contain storage bins and shelving, and have a floor finish well suited to muddy ingress and egress. By the front door, a more welcoming arrangement would be required, with decorative hardware and cabinetry.
We’d love to see examples of your home-grown versions of these internationally inspired rooms. Send us your best projects and we’ll add them to this feature.