Point and Aim of Good Gun Room Design
Gun rooms used to be such a simple concept. Tucked away in basements or outbuildings, all that had to be provided was plenty of storage along with safe, secure access for shotguns, rifles, kit and shooting paraphernalia. Glamorous it was not.
However, with the rise in popularity of shooting as a country pursuit, and the growing interest in interior architecture in general and intricate cabinetry design in particular, the gun room has arrived.
The gun room of today is an aspirational as much as an inspirational space where function meets form, where style and substance come together in a place where shooting as a hobby can not only be acknowledged, but celebrated.
And just as you would employ an interior designer to create a bespoke kitchen, bedroom suite or remodel the entire interior of your property, bespoke gun room design too has come of age. In order to achieve the appropriate physical envelope to do justice to your passion for rural pursuits, several diverse specialism need to come together in perfect harmony: interior design, artisan joinery and gun care expertise.
Here, Dakota Murphey in partnership with luxury interior designers, Artichoke to give you some of the main considerations for your gun room design.
How many guns does the room need to accommodate and how many people will be using the room? There’s a big difference between a cosy ‘den’ with a gun cabinet where you can relax by the fire with a drink and a cigar after your outing, and a large shoot with many guests. A practical room for 8-12 guns could be as small as 10 sqm. But if the gun room is to be used for equipment storage and display, including a drying/cleaning area and a boot room for after a shoot, 40 sqm is not excessive.
Depending on your personal taste and overall design of the house, you may decide to furnish the room in traditional hunting lodge style, complete with wood panelling, or go for a more contemporary setting. In terms of designs, anything is possible. However, certain central questions will always need to be addressed:
- Should your gun collection be on display or stored away? If you decide to show off your collection, should display cabinets be vertical or horizontal? What about drawers for ammunition?
- Don’t forget about trophy display cabinets to exhibit your achievements, and shelving for your personal library of hunting and shooting books.
- A central leather topped table (so as not to scratch the metal of the gun) can be useful as a cleaning and/or drying area, as would a drying rack. Rust is the enemy of all guns, so proper air drying is essential.
- For convivial entertaining in comfort, you might like to fit out the gun room with a seating area of sofas and armchairs. A drinks cabinet and a servery will come in handy too, especially if you have guests.
- Consider having window shutters installed. Not only do they look fantastic, they provide additional security for you and your gun collection too.
Treat your gun room as another reception room and personalise the space with appropriate wall decorations. Hunting themed paintings and artwork alongside hunting trophies (real or otherwise) or other gun related objeсts would add real character and style to the room. Maybe a geographical map of the local area to feature on the wall too?
Style and functionality are all very well, but when it comes to guns, proper security must surely be the overriding consideration. Security must comply with all local constabulary and Home Office regulations. For the correct storage of shotguns, the gun room itself must either have been designed as a ‘strong room’ with 5 bolt door locks, or individual gun cabinets must be bolted to a solid wall. Rifles and ammunition need more security provisions in addition to that.
In order to avoid problems later, a consultation with the local constabulary firearms office at the gun room design stage is highly recommended. Top level security doesn’t need to detract from the attractiveness of the room – ask your interior designer and a home security expert to come up with subtle yet effective ways to keep the guns secure.
Finally, it goes without saying that your gun room should be connected to your home security system, and ideally covered by CCTV, in case of fire, unauthorised access and theft. Your local police authority should be your point of contact for comprehensive theft protection advice.